According to John Eustace, West Bromwich Albion have a playoff-caliber group that will pose a challenge to Birmingham City.
The Blues boss lauded Carlos Corberan’s team ahead of their Championship meeting on Friday (6 October), as stated in the print edition of The Mirror (6 October, pp 54).
Despite being seven positions higher, the Baggies are only one point ahead of the Blues.”West Brom have a top-six squad and a top-six starting XI,” Eustace added. We’ll have to keep our wits about us.”
West Brom in fifth and Millwall in 14th are separated by just two points, so the Championship is looking crowded as the Baggies make the short trip across Birmingham.
Birmingham’s 15 points give them a slight advantage over some sides around them, but after a mixed bag of results this season, a big win against the Baggies would be desired.
As Eustace notes, however, Corberan’s side could prove a challenge. With four clean sheets in their last five Championship matches, the likes of Cedric Kipre and Kyle Bartley have maintained excellent standards to help keep the goals out.
Offensively, West Brom have proved devastating. Their 4-0 victory to Preston showed that the Baggies were capable of turning it on when needed, and John Swift has emerged as the biggest attacking threat with five goals already this season.
Corberan would have been frustrated with just a 1-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday considering his side’s attacking dominance. 17 shots to Wednesday’s four should have resulted
in a more favourable scoreline, but West Brom will be facing a much stronger defence at St Andrew’s.
Following his injury against the Owls, Jeremy Sarmiento’s absence might be a major blow as well, with the club stating (4 October) that the Brighton loanee could be out for four weeks with a muscle injury.
Corberan’s team must use their “top-six” quality squad to record a significant win away from home in order to secure a playoff position.
In other West Brom news, a Baggies star has got high plaudits for his recent good performances.