W.B.A. v Cardiff City. Match preview

Last updated : 18 January 2008 By Michael Morris
West Brom are generally regarded as the best team in the division and are favourites for an automatic promotion place.

City have already won at the Hawthorns this season. A 4 - 2 League Cup triumph set up the trip to Anfield to face Liverpool. 25% of the 12 goals scored by Fowler and Hasselbaink between them came in that one game. It will be a different West Brom side that City play this weekend.

Hopefully the penalty shoot out FA Cup victory over Charlton in midweek will have sapped some energy from the home side. They played 120 mins of football on Tuesday night while City had the luxury of a midweek off.

They were able to rest the divisions top scorer Kevin Phillips midweek. The former Sunderland marksman has scored 16 goals in 16 starts this season. His forward parters, Ishmael Miller (10 goals in 17 starts) and Roman Bednar (8 goals in 9 games), combine to make the Albion frontline very formidable.

Quite incredibly Cardiff's joint top scorer is Robbie Fowler. He's not played for over 2 months and along with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has 6 goals this season. Fowler looks unlikely to add any more to his tally this campaign. With stats like that it's easy to see why Albion have a +27 goal difference. Cardiff are +2.

There are 11 points between the teams. Albion are top, Cardiff 8th. Other results pending City could sneak into the play off places. Make no mistake though it's going to be a tough game in what looks to be the Championship Match of the Day.

On current form City can hold their heads high. Over the last 6 league games Cardiff have 13 points from 18, W.B.A. 12 from 18. Albion have won their last three home league games scoring 12 goals.

Roman Bednar is determined that Albion have learned from the Cup drubbing handed out by Cardiff in October.

"We can only learn from that game," said Czech international.

"But the point is that this is a different game and another 90 minutes. Everybody on the pitch or on the bench will try their best to win the game. There is still a long way to go and there are many games and points in front of us. We just need to focus on this game because a win and another three points would be very important."

Baggie's boss Tony Mowbray has told his players to prepare well for tomorrow's game after their Cup battle with Charlton.

"I don't want the players out shopping or walking round town," said Mowbray. "Our match against Cardiff City is massive.

"We can't afford to feel the impact of our FA Cup tie when we play Cardiff. There will be no excuses on Saturday for tiredness or anything else.

"Every player must rest up and they know that. Our total focus must be on Cardiff City.

"They were at the match and will come to us on Saturday with a game plan. Cardiff are on a good run and it will be a tough test in front of a big crowd."

West Brom v Cardiff City.
Saturday, 3:00pm.