West Brom v Huddersfield: Hawthorns encounter to feature goals

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CHAMPIONSHIP specialist James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) shares his thoughts on Sunday's fixture between West Brom and Huddersfield.

West Brom v Huddersfield | Sunday 22nd September 2019, 12:00 | Sky Sports

We have some more Sunday lunchtime Championship action this weekend and once again it involves Huddersfield, facing West Brom on this occasion.

Going into this weekend, the Baggies retained the only unbeaten record in the division, whilst The Terriers are still seeking for their first three-point haul of the campaign.

WBA unbeaten but work to be done

Slaven Bilic we can now say is quite settled in his role at The Hawthorns. He will be encouraged by what he has overseen, whilst also acknowledging that there is still some improvements to be made that’ll make his a lot happier. That may seem strange to say considering they are indeed without defeat, but four of their seven matches in the league have ended in draws.

That is certainly a frustration, even at this stage of the season. Away draws at Fulham and Derby are good points, but at home to Reading and Millwall are not. That is for a WBA outfit who hold aspirations of winning promotion into the Premier League.

They do have a home win under their belts, 3-2 versus Blackburn. Certainly they can be more purposely on home soil and Bilic will want them to produce a more consistent 90-minute performance.

Whilst West Brom will be glad to be part of the unbeaten club, they are also part of the no clean sheets club in the Championship as well, along with five other teams, Huddersfield included.

Bilic clearly is a coach that wants his team to have a go in attack. They’ve only conceded eight goals, which is anything but leaky, but a lack of a clean sheet has to be a concern. They’re averaging 15.6 shots on goal per game, the third-highest in the league, so they are very much having a go.

Things can only get better for Town

Danny Cowley will be glad to have a full week in preparation for this game having only taken over prior to the Sheffield Wednesday match. Knowing him and his brother and assistant Nicky, they’ll have worked tireless on the training ground, working on the factors to make Huddersfield a more successful team on the pitch moving forward. For all they lost to Sheff Wed, there was still some encouraging signs.

This game saw them produce their highest numbers of shots on target in a league match so far. They’ve looked toothless in attack all season, and without purpose, and whilst there is still work to be done, the Cowley’s will believe this aspect will only naturally improve. Also, for all that Huddersfield have struggled in attack, they’ve at least scored in 5/7 matches.

Zero clean sheets, as mentioned, is something the former Lincoln boss will be aiming to improve probably more than anything. That was the bedrock of his success at Sincil Bank, and he stated after last Sunday his team need to show more fight. He accepts they’re in a relegation battle, so maybe the players need to as well.

The betting angles

West Brom are clearly in the better form but they’re hardly blowing teams away drawing three out of their last four. They’ve dropped points in similar tests to this at home already, so they can be got at. The question is how much Huddersfield will have a go themselves. A draw would be great for them, but Cowley will always state it is about getting into a process, and this team ultimately needs wins, so that’ll be interesting.

I do think Both Teams To Score has to be of interest, and for extra value, we’ll contain a goals figure, too. Both Teams To Score and Under 5 Goals pays 11/8 (Bet365). Only one of the 14 league games combined for these two sides has seen at least five goals present.

Finally, I think we’ll have a little play on a goalscorer market, specifically Grady Diangana Anytime Scorer at 3/1 (Bet365). He already has three goals to his name, and what is even more impressive is that the West Ham loanee has achieved that from 10 shots on goal.

That 30% strike rate will go down, but for now it is quite clinical, especially for a winger. He is enjoying a run in the side too, and Huddersfield will look to be stubborn without the ball, so shots from distance could be an avenue the hosts will ultimately exploit from time-to-time.

Best Bets

West Brom v Huddersfield – Both Teams To Score and Under 5 Goals (11/8 Bet365)

West Brom v Huddersfield – Grady Diangana to score at anytime (3/1 Bet365)

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