West Bromwich Albion will play host to in-form Middlesbrough in the EFL Championship. The hosts sit tenth in the league table and 12 points behind Boro, who are third in the standings. As both teams look to make it to the English Premier League next season, we take a look at some of the stats that could help us predict the outcome of the match.
West Bromwich Albion have won 12, drawn nine, and lost 11 matches this season. They have scored 42 goals and conceded 26. West Brom have a high xG rate of 1.72 this season. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the team in comparison to other teams in the EFL Championship. It shows that West Brom have been one of the top performers in the league. They were in the top six, but a bit of a drop in the level of performance has cost them some positions in the league. They will try to reach the playoffs.
Middlesbrough made a poor start to the season. Michael Carrick took in-charge of the team and now they sit third in the table with 17 wins, six draws, and ten losses. Boro have scored 56 goals at an average xG rate of 1.58 per match. The defence has leaked 38 goals. They have been good at keeping the ball and are aiming for automatic promotion.
Both teams have one of the highest xG rates per 90 minutes. They like to attack and this could turn out to be a high-scoring fixture.
Inconsistency in front of the goal
West Brom have struggled a bit in their last five matches. They have only collected four points and lost three matches. The hosts have scored five goals during this period and conceded eight. One of the reasons behind these struggles is their inability to take shots. They average 12.3 shots with a 33.8% accuracy rate this season. In the last five matches, the team has taken shots at an average of 10.6 and had a 26.4% accuracy rate. This has cost them some points, and they will look to cover up the deficit in the coming matches.
West Bromwich Albion likes to attack by putting crosses into the opposition’s penalty box. They average 20.44 crosses per match, and this is the highest average in the EFL Championship in 2022/23. One of the interesting things that can be observed from the above viz is that West Brom have the same success rate from both flanks. They will look to trouble Boro’s defence crosses into the dangerous areas.
Boro on a charge
Middlesbrough are on a five-match winning streak. They have registered famous wins against promotion contenders Sheffield United and Watford in this period. Carrick’s men have netted 14 goals and nearly averaged three goals per match. Overall, the team averages 11.27 shots with a 36.3% accuracy rate. In these five matches, the average has gone up to 12.4 shots, and the accuracy rate was 46.77%. They will look to carry this momentum into this match.
Can Boro handle West Brom’s pressing?
Although Middlesbrough have been the in-form team, there are some areas where West Bromwich Albion will create trouble for them. The hosts have the highest pressing efficiency in the league this season. This high efficiency has also allowed them to make the most recoveries in the opposition’s half per 90 minutes. Middlesbrough have struggled in both of these departments. They are way behind other teams that are near them in the league table. Carrick’s men will have to deal with this pressure.
Chuba Akpom is having his dream season. The 27-year-old is the highest goal scorer in the EFL Championship this season. Since his return to action post-World Cup, the striker has netted 11 goals. The xG map above shows that Akpom scores his goals from the edge of the six-yard box. He likes to stay inside the opposition penalty box and often finds space to score a goal. The player will look to secure a win for his team in this match.
The home team has no new injury concerns.
Middlesbrough will be without Matthew Clarke, who is out injured.
West Bromwich Albion are the favourites to take three points from this match. As per the 1×2 betting odds, they have odds of around 2.4 to win the match. Middlesbrough have odds of around 2.9. The chances of a match ending in a draw have an odds rate of around 3.4. As for the over/under lines, the over lines could thrive as both teams will settle for a win.
Middlesbrough will face a tough test when they face West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. Both sides have set their eyes on three points. Boro have an edge over their opponents due to their good form. However, West Brom won’t allow them to take three points away from their backyard that easily. This is one of the biggest matches in the EFL Championship this weekend.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine