West Bromwich Albion travel to Hillsborough this evening as one of the favourites to reach the top-flight this season, but Darren Moore simply must find a way to keep clean sheets on the road in order to achieve the club’s ultimate ambition.
Indeed, much has been made of the Baggies incisive attacking threat this season but there is a balance which needs to be struck to ensure they maintain their current level throughout the campaign.
Jay Rodriguez has been in brilliant form alongside Dwight Gayle at the spearhead of the attack with 7 goals from his opening 10 fixtures, and on the evidence of the season so far it’s fair to say his poachers instinct will snatch the club plenty of points in tightly-contested encounters.
But with not a single clean sheet to report from their first 5 away matches, something needs to improve in defence.
Moore has enjoyed plenty of success when deploying a back-three in recent weeks, and with Kyle Bartley at the heart of it he has a defensive enforcer of true quality.
The 27-year-old has plenty of experience at this level and the fact he hasn’t missed a single minute of league football this season clearly demonstrates how important he is to the promotion-chasing side.
Against a team of Sheffield Wednesday’s ability, Bartley will need to be at the top of his game and bring his natural leadership qualities to the table to ensure West Brom are solid at the back.
The Owls are a side who West Brom will struggle to keep at bay this evening, but a huge performance from Bartley could provide them with their first clean sheet away from home and a priceless result to savour.
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