What do you get when the most entertaining team in the division meets the best team in the division? Well, hopefully not a nil-all draw, I suppose.
West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City come head-to-head on Sunday and you should probably looking forward to that fixture than anything the Premier League has to offer.
It seems unlikely to say this, but West Brom are facing a crucial stretch now where they can really cement their chances of returning to the Premier League with a couple of big results in December.
It’s always the festive period that catches these supposed runaway leaders, but if they can maintain it, well – Leeds might have to start looking over their shoulders rather than at what’s in front of them in the distance.
But no team has performed better with fewer points to show for it in the 2019/20 Championship season than Swansea City. Something has to give.
And that something is goals. Think of these two sides and what immediately springs to mind? Pace.
The midfield battle here will be almost non-existent as both managers will instruct their respective sides to move the ball quicker into channels to avoid being dispossessed and creating four-v-threes after the turnover of possession.
Given that these kind of games on a Sunday morning don’t take long to heat up, this particular meeting doesn’t fall into the danger category of only realistically having 70 minutes in which teams will try to score. That’s more common than you’d think – it’s why unders is often a good play – but not here.
This will be absolute hell for leather and a good game to show your yet-to-be-converted, suspiciously indifferent to football mate who has fewer and fewer pets as the weeks go by, to try and convince him that the beautiful game could change his life.
Unless he’s into scenery, of course. Not sure market towns in the Black Country are what he’ll be into.
How many times do you see a winger break through on goal, only to be shown onto his weaker side? He then takes a touch, looks up, does two stepovers, gets given out to by his number nine, then waits for an overlap to take the defender away, only for him to take too long.
The winger then crosses the ball, unsuccessfully, but it falls to the edge of the box where either the number ten, or the roaming number eight pops up, fires a low drive into the box among 15 bodies and it slaps off the post and into the back of the net?
These two do not mess about.
West Brom have been 1-0 up inside the opening 10 minutes on two of their last three Championship encounters and the reason for that is because Slaven Bilic has an incredible ability to make human beings run through walls for him.
Have a think. You don’t even know him, but you’d consider it, wouldn’t you?