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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Bluebirds bound for misery at the Hawthorns –

West Brom fought valiantly throughout their 2-2 draw with promotion hopefuls Ipswich on Saturday and will be looking to build on that well-earned point when Cardiff arrive at the Hawthorns on Tuesday night. 

In contrast, the Bluebirds were beaten 2-0 by an inconsistent Preston side in the weekend and the Championship’s 14th-placed team could be in for a tough time against the Baggies, who are firmly in the hunt for a play-off berth. 

Team news

Daryl Dike’s terrible luck continued at Portman Road as the American striker was forced off with another serious-looking injury meaning he will miss this tie alongside Josh Maja and Matt Phillips as well as Kyle Bartley, who also took a knock against Ipswich. 

Semi Ajayi’s Nigeria lost in the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday night and he is unlikely to be back in time to feature, but Grady Diangana has returned from his spell at the same tournament with DR Congo and could play a part. 

Callum O’Dowda and Mark McGuinness are Cardiff’s only confirmed absentees and Bluebirds boss Erol Bulut could give Wales legend Aaron Ramsey a first start since September after coming off the bench in the defeat against Preston. 

The stats

West Brom have won their last four Championship home matches, winning three of those games to nil.

Cardiff are winless in their last four trips to the Hawthorns.

Three of the Baggies’ last four home league matches have finished 1-0 in favour of the hosts.

None of the last four meetings between these sides have gone over 2.5 goals.

Just two of West Brom’s last 10 Championship games have seen the ball hit the net more than twice.

Cardiff have failed to score in three of their last five matches.

The Baggies are going for five home wins on the bounce

Prediction

A repeat of West Brom’s performance at Portman Road would surely be enough to see off the challenge of an out-of-sorts Cardiff who have lost four of their last five games, with an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to a poor Sheffield Wednesday side kickstarting that run. 

Given that the Baggies are unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Bluebirds and Cardiff have failed to win any of their last four trips to the Hawthorns, Carlos Corberan will be confident in his side’s chance of taking the points and cementing their place in the play-off picture. 

They have been excellent at home recently, winning their last four league matches at the Hawthorns in a run that has included three clean sheets and a win over automatic promotion contenders Leeds, and should see off Cardiff. 

However, goals may be at a premium in this tie. None of the last four meetings between the pair have seen the ball hit the net more than twice and just two of the Baggies’ last 10 league games have gone over 2.5 goals. 

West Brom will win but a thrashing is unlikely, so back a home win in a low-scoring affair at the Hawthorns. 

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