West Brom’s March could make or break their season after crucial Sheffield United fixture change
Carlos Corberan must ensure his side is up to speed with pivotal games coming up this month.
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West Bromwich Albion have a big month coming up with important fixtures flooding into their Championship schedule as their play-off chasing campaign begins its final run-in. Carlos Corberan’s side could thrust themselves into the top six, or find themselves further away from it than they previously were.
They begin the month with a trip to Hull City on Friday evening, followed by the visit of Wigan Athletic the following Tuesday. The Baggies will then host Huddersfield Town before making a midweek trip to Cardiff City to end the month, they were due to play Sheffield United but that game has been moved owing to their FA Cup semi-final.
Albion have a good record against teams in the bottom half of the division, winning five games against those sides. With four of their upcoming opponents inside the bottom half, it’ll be interesting to see how they translate that previous form into these fixtures.
But Carlos Corberan knows his side need to reinstate the form they showed earlier in the campaign in order to achieve the number of points they require to make the play-off positions. And this month should provide them the opportunity to gain those.
Hull City - (A)
A big game to kick off March for the Baggies, they’ve managed to beat Hull on each of the last six occasions. However, the game is at the MKM Stadium, and Albion have notoriously struggled on the road under Corberan, having lost their last four away matches.
They also will struggle immediately without the likes of Brandon Thomas-Asante and Grady Diangana who could both miss extended periods of action with injury. But with a great record against the Tigers they have a sizeable opportunity to gain ground on the top six.
Wigan Athletic - (H)
New manager Shaun Maloney has brought some stability to a seemingly sinking ship at the Latics. However, they should still be no match for the Baggies if they produce a performance similar to the one against Middlesbrough.
Wigan managed a draw against Albion last time out as former manager Steve Bruce struggled to get points on the board as the season began. However Albion should take confidence from their good record against teams in the bottom half with the Latics sitting at rock bottom at the time of writing.
Huddersfield Town - (H)
Two games at The Hawthorns in the space of five days provides a huge chance to kickstart a good run of form. Although a visitor from Neil Warnock’s Terriers is never likely to be a walkover, especially with the added animocity of Corberan facing his former club.
The Baggies have won eight of their 10 home matches under Corberan, only conceding three during that period too. And against relegation candidates, they could pick up some goals to bolster their goal difference.
Cardiff City - (A)
The following Tuesday and in their final game of this essential month, they travel to the Welsh capital to face Cardiff. The Baggies drew 0-0 with the Bluebirds at The Hawthorns earlier in the season and will hope to avoid a similar stalemate in their hunt for a top six position.
Their opponents are now managed by Sabri Lamouchi and may provide an even more stern test after they picked up two victories against Birmingham City and Reading early in his reign. But Albion will feel they can take maximum points from these games if they are to put in a high level of performance.