BILLY BUNTER

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Baggies and Brentford to serve up humdinger

Sky Bet Championship
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It is often said that the Sky Bet Championship is a crazily competitive division and Brentford's games highlight that point of view more than most.

The Bees were buzzing in the early stages of the season, hitting the heights of second place after whacking Wigan on September 15 and they had still lost only twice following a draw at highflying Leeds before the international break in October.

Now Brentford are stuck in 18th spot as they head to the Hawthorns to take on West Brom.

They have won just one of their last 12 games in the Championship with six defeats in their last seven, although some of those poor results may well have been due to the unsettling time when they lost manager Dean Smith to Aston Villa.

Smith's replacement, Brentford's former number two Thomas Frank, took over with the club in seventh spot and it has been a difficult spell in terms of results even if the new boss is convinced their performances have warranted more points.

Brentford have two young centre-backs in Ezri Konsa and Chris Mepham.

Both are rated highly but they have managed only one clean sheet in their last 12 matches, against lowly Millwall, which does not bode well for this trip to face the most potent attack in the Championship.

West Brom have already scored 41 goals in their 19 league fixtures and such is the strength in depth of that forward unit that striker Dwight Gayle has found himself out of the starting 11.

Instead Jay Rodriguez is leading the line, flanked by Hal Robson-Kanu and Harvey Barnes, to help the Baggies boing back from a dodgy sequence of results to beat Leeds, Ipswich and Swansea in their last three games.

However, for all of Albion's slick offensive play they have managed only one clean sheet in this season's Championship and, like Brentford, that shutout came at home to Millwall.

The record of both teams points to goals, a fact not missed by the bookmakers, but there may still be a bit of value to be had in backing both teams to score in a match featuring over 2.5 goals.

It's a bet which has landed in seven of West Brom's nine home games and in 13-goal Neal Maupay Brentford have a striker who will trouble the Albion rearguard.

For all of Brentford's problems they have failed to score only three times this season and in their last six games the Bees have notched twice against QPR and Sheffield United and three at Preston but still suffered defeats.

Recommendation
Both teams to score & over 2.5 goals

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Match in Focus

15:00 TODAY

Huddersfield v Newcastle

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Both teams have scored in three of the last five meetings
Expert verdict
Huddersfield are back into the relegation places but, before last week’s defeat to Arsenal, had notched in five consecutive Premier League games. The visiting Magpies have scored five goals in their last four matches on the road and can contribute to a high-scoring affair at the John Smith’s Stadium.