There are very few things better than the second legs of a Championship semi-final playoff, and there’s absolutely nothing better than the second leg of a Championship playoff that’s still in the balance.
This applies to both ties, thankfully, and with the drama of each game, these second legs have even more bite than you can already expect.
Here’s a Same Game Multi for West Brom and Villa for you to sink your teeth into.
Think about these games and how they play out. West Brom need a goal and they can’t wait around. Villa are probably the best side in the Championship when it comes to breaking at pace, and they can score in a number of different ways.
Grealish will carry the ball, Abraham can act as a focal point in possession and run the channels on the counter. McGinn and Hourihane can probably score from anywhere on the pitch. It’s honestly quite difficult to stop them hitting the net at least once.
West Brom will throw everything into the box early on and any late flurry will result in a bombardment of the Villa box.
This ends with goals, and I fancy more than three.
As I alluded to above, there’s very little chance that Villa don’t score given the amount of space they’ll get to operate in, and the fact that defenders may need to call on divine intervention to stop Tammy Abraham scoring.
West Brom are without Dwight Gayle for the return leg though, after he decided to leave his studs in on the Villa ‘keeper last time out, and they’re going to have to get creative in front of goal.
That doesn’t mean they won’t, though. They had plenty of players chip in with a few goals. Jay Rodriguez scored 22 times in the Championship for them, and while Harvey Barnes’ departure was a big blow, there’s potential for goals all over the park.
Ultimately, this will come down to quality and West Brom chasing the game.
There’s little or no value in the draw here as Villa won’t sit in to defend the lead and West Brom know they’ll be eliminated from the playoffs with a draw of any sort.
So, it boils down to whether or not you believe West Brom have enough in their arsenal to score a few times and put Villa to the sword.
Honestly, I’m not sure they do and the discipline of West Brom is under the microscope once again. If they lose the head here, and Villa will certainly be instructed to make the most of everything they do, then this could get ugly. And in a hurry.
You do not want to be chasing multiple goals against one of the quickest teams in the entire league and there will be countless chances for Villa to put the tie to bed in either half. The law of averages suggests they’ll take a few of them.