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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues head to West Bromwich Albion

A trip to the Hawthorns...

22 April 2022

The Sky Blues travel to the Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion in the Sky Bet Championship. Here's everything you need to know about our opponents.

Fact File

Founded: 1878
Stadium: The Hawthorns
Capacity: 26,850
Nickname: The Baggies
Address: Birmingham Road, West Bromwich, B71 4LF
Pitch Size: 115 x 74 yards

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The Opposition

After a flying start to the season, holding third place for a large portion of the campaign, West Bromwich Albion dropped down the rankings and currently find themselves in 12th place- one spot behind the Sky Blues.

Bagging 15 times for the Baggies this season, Karlan Grant leads the goal charts, then followed by Callum Robinson (7).

Robinson and Grant reverse roles when it comes to the assist tally, the former with eight, and the latter on five as the two have been talismanic for West Brom this year.

Despite their descent from the play-off spots, the Baggies still boast the fifth-best clean sheet record in the Championship, three off the leagues top spot, with 16 in 43 outings.

A wealth of talent arrived in the summer window, with the likes of Alex Mowatt, Matthew Clarke, and Adam Reach all joining on free transfers.

In January, the Baggies opted for more firepower up top, bringing in Daryl Dike for a fee just shy of £10 million, as well as former Premier League striker Andy Carroll on a free transfer.

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The Manager: Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce endured a career more successful than perhaps all of his Championship manager counterparts, winning a multitude of accolades across a career stemming over 700 appearances.

On the verge of quitting football altogether, after some unsuccessful trial at several clubs, Bruce was then offered an apprenticeship at Gillingham where he progressed onto play over 200 senior games for the Kent-based club.

Norwich snapped up the defender’s services in 1984, there being the place he won his first trophy, the League Cup, in 1985.

Three years later, Bruce moved to Manchester United, where he enjoyed his greatest success, winning twelve trophies with the Red Devils.

Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Bruce won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup and the European Cup Winner’s Cup and also became the first ever English player of the 20th century to captain a team to the League and FA Cup double.

Despite his great success and leadership, Bruce was never capped for his country, England.

To round off his stellar playing days, the Englishman had spells with Birmingham City and Sheffield United, retiring in 1999.

West Bromwich Albion, as his latest stop, adds to Bruce’s extensive list of clubs managed, making him one of the most recognised English managers of recent times.

Finishing his career with the Blades led to his first step into management, taking over the Steel City-side immediately after retiring.

Stints at Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic, Crystal Palace all followed before his first prolonged spell at a club came with Birmingham City, where he spent six years.

Bruce guided the Blues to Premier League promotion twice in his tenure, but resigned in 2007 to begin his second spell at Wigan.

Born and bred in the North East, Bruce took over as Sunderland manager in 2009, a position he held until he was dismissed two years later, then joining Hull City thereafter.

The Tigers reached the FA Cup final in 2014, falling to defeat against Arsenal 3-2, and were also promoted twice under Bruce.

Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday were his next stays, albeit briefly, before Bruce arrived at Newcastle United, managing the club through the Covid-19 pandemic before being dismissed upon the arrival of new ownership at the back end of 2021.

 

Last Six Games

Lost - Nottingham Forest 4-0 West Brom (Sky Bet Championship)
Won - West Brom 2-1 Blackpool (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost - West Brom 3-1 Stoke City (Sky Bet Championship)
Won - West Brom 2-0 Bournemouth (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost - Birmingham 1-0 West Brom (Sky Bet Championship)
Draw - Bristol City 2-2 West Brom (Sky Bet Championship)

 

Head-to-Head Record

Sky Blues wins - 17
Draws - 16
West Bromwich wins - 32

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Last Time We Met

Kyle McFadzean inadvertently scored twice last time we met, one of which in his own net, as the Sky Blues were defeated by West Bromwich Albion, back in December.

West Brom took the lead through Karlan Grant, prompting a swift response from the Sky Blues as Todd Kane’s strike was deflected onto the woodwork- a warning sign for the visitors.

The Baggies’ regular long throws caused Mark Robins’ side trouble, however, it was a switch up to go short that lead to the second of the afternoon as Darnell Furlong’s cross bounced off Kyle McFadzen for a two-goal lead.

McFadzean salvaged a goal back in the final stages of the game, heading home from a corner seven minutes from time with hopes of another late goal in 'Coventry City Time,' but the away side held out to take the three points back to The Hawthorns.

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Club Connection: Garry Thompson

Garry Thompson began his career with the Sky Blues, breaking into the first-team through the academy and making his debut in 1977.

Thompson thrived at City, where many believe he spent his prime years, scoring 49 goals in 158 appearances over the course of six years.

Forward by nature, he then moved onto West Bromwich Albion, making him this week’s ‘club connection,’ winning the Baggies Player of the Year for the 1984-85 season.

The Englishman then had spells with Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, and Watford before he was then snapped up by Crystal Palace to provide cover for a young Ian Wright, who was sidelined with injury.

Scoring goals wherever he went, Thompson rounded out his career with time at Queens Park Rangers, Cardiff City, and finally Northampton Town, retiring in 1997- marking his 20th year in the professional game.

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Match Officials

Stephen Martin is set to take charge of his second Sky Blues game this season, with the first coming in City’s defeat to Luton Town at Kenilworth Road earlier in the campaign.

Martin’s team at the Hawthorns will be made up of Mark Pottage and Mark Dwyer- linesmen for the clash-and Josh Smith as the fourth official.


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