Baggies’ late, late rally can start here

February 24th, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

I wrote the other day that I thought West Brom might still avoid the drop from the Premier League to the Championship. I hold to this and cannot, for the life of me, see what purpose would be served by sacking Alan Pardew now.

The Baggies have twice lost at home to Southampton recently but in the FA Cup game last weekend they were decidedly unfortunate not to force a replay in the final twenty minutes. Rondon still looks more than up for it, the ‘taxi’ affair has faded away and there will be tremendous support against Huddersfield for the simple reason that West Brom will almost certainly depart the stage if they fail to win.

Huddersfield have fared better than many expected, notably against Manchester United, but do not score many goals, especially on their travels. Many neutrals will wish them well, because life can be hard for promoted clubs but the Terriers will surely be in the thick of the dog-fight to the bitter end. It will be nervous and quite possibly tetchy but even-money about West Brom on their own pitch is certainly a fair price.

I don’t know how often I’ve commented on this page about Neil Warnock’s dual personalty. Watching him with his snarling expression in the face of the fourth official and hearing some of the reported comments when he gets to the referee post-match, it is hard to believe that this is the same man who wrote a nicey-nicey, family-based column for the Independent.

Warnock can be nasty under pressure but he knows the game inside out and is not far from taking Cardiff back to the Premier League. The Bluebirds are certainly making it hard for the pack trying to close on the top two in the Championship because they have opened up a four-point gap in second.

I suspect Fulham have left it too late for a top-two finish but no team is playing better and they were good value for the 2-0 win over a briefly faltering Aston Villa last week. Mitrovic was a shrewd loan signing from Newcastle and the Sessegnon brothers are a classy duo.

Now Fulham need to repeat the dose against clear leaders Wolves in the Saturday teatime game. I made the Cottagers against Villa a draw last week so Sod’s Law says it will be all square this time but Fulham are playing some eye-catching football and 15/8 about them is not bad in their current mood.

I shouldn’t care to call Burnley v Southampton, but if you can make money over its being low-scoring, that’s the way to go.

WEST BROM 30 units at evens to beat Huddersfield

FULHAM 15 units at 15/8 to beat Wolves