ALBION return to The Hawthorns after two games on the road, and here football stattos WhoScored.com
have crunched the numbers ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Cardiff (ko 3pm).
Just three points separate 16th and 19th and even though the Baggies have a crucial game in hand with which they can widen the gap between the teams, this clash remains a true six-pointer.
Back on home soil, Pepe Mel's men have a great chance to take a huge step towards survival.
After the fantastic comeback victory at Swansea, Albion were undone by a questionable refereeing decision at Hull last weekend and, barring any similar circumstances, look well set for another positive result this week.
Mel has suffered defeat only once in five Premier League games at The Hawthorns despite only facing one team outside the top flight's current top seven.
The side's main goalscorer on home soil - particularly under Mel's guidance - has been forward Victor Anichebe, who grabbed vital equalisers against both Liverpool and Chelsea.
Again – if he can overcome a hamstring problem in time – he is expected to be charged with leading the line this weekend and Cardiff's defence will have to be on their mettle to thwart the Nigeria international.
Averaging a goal every 119 minutes at home this season, he is one of the most prolific players in this regard in the Premier League.
Of the 349 players to have made more than five home appearances this season, only nine have maintained a better minutes-per-goal rate than the Baggies frontman.
And he is lethal from the bench, with no other player in the division scoring more than the three goals he has notched as a substitute.
His WhoScored.com strength of 'key passes' highlights his input in other departments too, however, with the forward more than capable of bringing others into play his Baggies team-mates benefit as a result.
With Cardiff having shipped six goals last week and without an away clean sheet in the league since early December, Anichebe and his attacking colleagues could well take advantage.
*WhoScored.com is a unique website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. Follow @WhoScored and their editor-in-chief @alitweedale on Twitter. All-time results record (League, FA Cup and League Cup)
A total of 16 different Albion players have found the net this season – the most in the Premier League alongside Arsenal and Hull.
Cardiff are unbeaten in the last five league meetings between the two clubs, which has seen three draws, while Albion’s most recent three points against City came in 2007.
Peter Whittingham has scored for the Bluebirds in each of their last three league encounters against Albion.
The Baggies have drawn five of their previous seven league matches at The Hawthorns, winning one and losing one.
Albion are yet to keep a clean sheet under head coach Pepe Mel since his appointment, with the most recent shut-out coming on New Year’s Day in a 1-0 win over Newcastle.
Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has lost eight of his 11 league games since taking charge, winning two.
The Welsh club have suffered eight successive away league defeats and have the worst record on the road in the Barclays Premier League this term.
Last time out
HOME: Championship, Tuesday, December 8, 2009, Albion 0 Cardiff 2 (Burke 18, Whittingham 85); FA CUP, Saturday, January 7, 2012, Albion 4 (Odemwingie 7, Cox 33, 61, 90) Cardiff 2 (Earnshaw 36, Mason 50)
AWAY: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, December 14, 2013, Cardiff 1 (Whittingham 65) Albion 0
Form guide (last six league matches)
Last league match line-ups
ALBION (v Hull – away L 2-0): Foster; Ridgewell, McAuley (Sinclair 79), Dawson, Reid; Dorrans, Mulumbu Morrison; Sessegnon; Thievy (Vydra 61), Anichebe (Berahino 76). Subs not used: Myhill (gk), O'Neil, Daniels, Gera.
CARDIFF (v Liverpool – home L 6-3): Marshall, Caulker, Cala, Theophile-Catherine, Fabio, John (Zaha 65), Medel, Bo-Kyung (Daehli 65), Mutch, Campbell, Bellamy (Jones 70). Subs not used: Lewis (gk), Turner, Whittingham, Gunnarsson.
Cardiff team news
Winger Craig Noone is fit again after a muscle injury, Ben Turner has overcome a migraine while fellow defender Matt Connolly has also shrugged off an ankle problem.
Michael Oliver will referee Saturday's game. The Northumberland official last oversaw the Baggies in their 1-1 draw with Everton at The Hawthorns in mid-January. He has dished out 81 yellow and three red cards in 22 games this term.
Selected odds from Sky Bet:
Albion to win: 4/5
Cardiff to win: 100/30
Stephane Sessegnon to score first: 7/1
Jordon Mutch to score first: 10/1
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