West Bromwich Albion were held to their third Championship draw in a week as they were forced to settle for a point against Preston North End at Deepdale. West Brom have failed to win all three points for the third consecutive game and have dropped down to third position on the table.
West Brom made a very strong start to the season after winning four of their first five matches, but since then they have drawn consecutive matches and have only won three points out of the possible nine.
West Brom have actually been the team who have dominated possession of the ball in all three games and also have a higher xG than their opposition. They have been able to create and attempt more attacking actions but have failed to score goals when it is needed the most. They had previously scored 12 goals in the first six matches of the campaign, but have only scored two goals in the last three games.
The above visuals show us the pass zones and the crosses that West Brom attempted against Derby County and Millwall. While the Derby County game ended 0-0, West Brom were able to score one goal in the game against Millwall. From the above visuals, we can depict that West Brom have been trying to create more goalscoring opportunities from wider positions on the pitch. They have attempted plenty of crosses from both flanks but have failed to find the all-important touch in the penalty area.
As mentioned for the above visuals, West Brom have attempted the most number of crosses in the whole league and average 20.19 crosses per 90 minutes. West Brom have scored a majority of their goals from similar situations where the ball was put into the penalty area from the wider positions. But in the recent games, their opposition is well aware of their threat from such positions and have been able to deal with these crosses by having more players inside the penalty box to win these duels and clear the ball from the danger area.
In their most recent game against Preston North End, West Brom attempted a total of 22 crosses into the penalty area. But from the above visual it can be depicted that the Preston North End defenders were able to win almost 70% of the aerial duels near the penalty box. This indicates that their attempts to create a goalscoring opportunity from these crosses was easily thwarted by their opposition.
The above viz ranks the teams based on the number of through balls they have attempted so far in the league. West Brom are one of the bottom five teams in this list and have attempted 41 through balls. The West Brom midfielders have lacked the creative spark needed to provide through balls to their attackers. West Brom need to pay more smart passes centrally and can strive to do so as they have strikers like Callum Robinson who possess the pace to make runs behind the opposition defenders.
West Brom have lacked the killer instinct in the past three games and have failed to capitalise on the chances created. Their players need to make most of the half-chances they receive. They have also been unlucky in a couple of instances as they conceded a deflected shot against Preston and were also denied by the heroics of the Derby County keeper. West Brom will be facing Queens Park Rangers this weekend and will look to bounce back from this recent slump in form.