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West Brom: Sam Johnstone key to stopping Aston Villa

West Brom: Sam Johnstone key to stopping Aston Villa - Championship

The day of reckoning is almost here for West Bromwich Albion.

In less than a week, it’ll be decided whether or not Jimmy Shan and his boys have the mettle to deserve a Premier League promotion. Up first is Aston Villa, a side riding high in momentum.

When you peg the Villains’ menacing attack against West Brom’s frail defence, problems are almost guaranteed for the Baggies. If their humiliation at Derby proved anything, Shan cannot rely on his defence to bail him out. One person he can trust to save his graces is the trustworthy Sam Johnstone.

Even during the onslaught from Derby County, Johnstone ended up making 10 saves (stats via Fotmob) to keep it from becoming a cricket score. A couple of weeks ago, he put in a clinic to earn a point at Reading. Whenever the Baggies have an off-day, the 26-year-old goalkeeper ends up standing firm to help motivate his team-mates.

He’s kept nine clean sheets this season despite having a horrible defensive set-up ahead of him. Moreover, the £6.62m signing from Manchester United has averaged 3.1 saves per game (stats via WhoScored), which itself proves how agile he’s forced to stay.

Against a Villa side high in confidence and boasting menacing attackers like Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham, Johnstone needs to prepare for a barrage of shots coming his way. Thankfully for the Baggies, he’s an excellent shot-stopper and extremely quick in sniffing out the danger.

Shan has a daunting task awaiting him, but if Johnstone puts on his heroic cape, West Brom’s promotion chances might just go up.

West Brom fans, do you think Johnstone can keep out Villa’s onslaught? Join the discussion by commenting below…

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Article title: West Brom: Sam Johnstone key to stopping Aston Villa

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