West Bromwich Albion play host to Cardiff City on Wednesday evening still looking for their first win in the Championship this season.
In sharp contrast, the Bluebirds make the trip to The Hawthorns having prevailed on two occasions in three games, leaving them in fifth place in the standings.
Steve Bruce knows that he is under pressure to deliver a promotion-chasing campaign for West Brom this season having had time to settle into life at the club.
Two points and a winless start does not make for particularly good reading, but Bruce’s side have arguably had the toughest start to the campaign out of the 24 teams in this division.
Middlesbrough, Watford and leaders Blackburn Rovers have already been played, the only blot on the copybook being the 2-1 defeat at the latter on Sunday.
Having had less recovery time that their in-form hosts due to their EFL Cup commitments, that setback was not necessarily a surprise, and Bruce will feel that his side are in good shape ahead of their next league outing.
Although West Brom are a striker light due to the injury sustained by Daryl Dike, they still have players in Karlan Grant and Callum Robinson who are proven goalscorers at this level.
From Cardiff’s perspective, Steve Morison will be delighted with six points from three games, even if he did witness his team blow a lead against Reading.
Watching the club succumb to a 3-0 defeat at home to Portsmouth in the EFL Cup would not have helped the mood in the dressing room after that setback in the league, but the Bluebirds appear to be heading in the right direction.
A 1-0 victory over Birmingham City at the weekend has left the team in fifth position, and the foundations appear to have been laid for a playoff push.
Callum O’Dowda has been a revelation since arriving from Bristol City on a free transfer, the playmaker having a hand in each of Cardiff’s three goals this season.
West Bromwich Albion Championship form:
West Bromwich Albion form (all competitions):
Cardiff City Championship form:
Cardiff City form (all competitions):
We say: West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Cardiff City
Despite their strong start, goals are not Cardiff’s strong point, and that may not stand them in good stead against a team such as West Brom who are playing om home territory. While the Baggies are having their own issues in the final third, we still feel that they will have enough quality to claim all three points.