Championship

The Hawthorns

Sunday 2nd January 2022 -  14:00
West Brom
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Cardiff
Key Events

Albion kick 2022 off with a home game against Cardiff City on Sunday, January 2 (ko 2pm).

The Baggies ended 2021 with a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Derby, a result which brought their five-game unbeaten run to a halt.

Valérien Ismaël’s men will be hoping to carry their impressive home form from the first half of the campaign into the new calendar year. Albion remain the only Championship side not to lose in front of their own supporters this season, picking up seven victories and four draws from their 11 matches in B71.

Visitors Cardiff City, managed by Steve Morrison, have struggled so far in 2021/22 and sit inside the bottom six of the division. 

They lost 3-0 and had Leandro Bacuna sent off at AFC Bournemouth on Thursday night, leaving them just three points clear of the relegation zone heading into the latest round of Championship fixtures.

WBA big screen
The Baggies return home for the first game of 2022

How to follow the game

Sunday’s game will be available to watch live on WBA TV Matchday worldwide. Video match passes are on sale for £10 with live coverage starting from 1.45pm.

Fans can watch live on the website at wba.co.uk/video/live or the free to download WBA app.

The stream will include Baggies-biased commentary from Gez Mulholland and Andy Johnson as well as coverage of the Always Albion tribute, where we remember members of the Albion family we have lost in 2021, from 1.50pm.

Seasonal and monthly overseas subscribers will be able to watch this match as part of their subscription. Commentary subscribers can still access their commentary feed but will need to upgrade with a match pass to watch live.

Click here to buy your match pass.

WBA TV Matchday

Opposition

It's been a challenging first half of the season for Cardiff City.

The Bluebirds are languishing dangerously close to the drop zone having picked up just 22 points from their 23 matches. 

Mick McCarthy was dismissed towards the end of October after Sunday's opponents suffered a club-record eight successive league defeats. Steve Morrison, the former Wales, Leeds United, Norwich City and Millwall forward, was placed in temporary charge before being handed the role on a permanent basis on November 12.

The 38-year-old has certainly helped steady the ship, picking up 11 points from his nine games in charge. 

The Welsh outfit head to the West Midlands having not won any of their last three though, and Thursday's disappointing 3-0 reverse at AFC Bournemouth keeps them nervously looking over their shoulders. 

Their impressive away form has kept them above the bottom three so far, with Cardiff collecting 15 of their 22 points on their travels, and they will be hoping for another positive away day at The Hawthorns to ease relegation fears. 

Albion won 4-0 at Cardiff in late September

Classic clash

The Baggies recorded a resounding 4-0 win at the Cardiff City Stadium back in September.

Karlan Grant, Alex Mowatt and Matt Phillips were all on target, with City defender Curtis Nelson also scoring an own goal.

Did you know?

The Baggies are unbeaten in their last 16 home matches in the Sky Bet Championship.

Wigan's 1-0 win in B71 on February 29, 2020 was the last time the Albion suffered a home defeat in the second tier.

Grant goal Luton
Albion have their sights set on three points on Sunday

Additional information

The UK Government has introduced legislation which requires everyone aged 18 and over - at sporting events with crowds of more than 10,000 people - to provide proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test when entering stadia from Wednesday, December 15 onwards. Tests must have been undertaken no more than 48 hours prior to kick-off. 

The legislation means all adults attending the Sky Bet Championship fixture against Cardiff City on Sunday, January 2 (ko 2pm) will be required to present an NHS COVID pass on entry. Passes will be mandatory for as long as they are a legal requirement. 

Fans are advised to download the NHS mobile app, if they have not already done so, to familiarise themselves with the relevant processes. For more information on the NHS app, click here

In addition, supporters aged 11 and over will be required to wear face coverings while in an indoor setting at The Hawthorns. The Government introduced new rules last week which require with fans to wear masks while inside concourses and indoor hospitality areas.

Supporters are encouraged to visit wba.co.uk/covid to keep up to date with the requirements to attend The Hawthorns. 

Click here for frequently asked question and further details.

STANDS

LV BET's latest odds

Albion are the favourites at 5/9 (1.55) to beat Cardiff City this weekend.

The Baggies have found the back of the net four times in each of their last three wins against the Bluebirds. We’ve got the Albion at 13/2 (7.50) to score four or more goals at The Hawthorns this Sunday, with a clean sheet victory for the home side valued at 27/20 (2.35). 

Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant both lead the LV BET goalscorer market at 7/5 (2.40) to get their names on the scoresheet. 

Check out the new LV BET Bet £10 Get £10 customer offer here. 18+ begambleaware.org. Terms apply. Odds are subject to change.

LV BET

Albion started 2022 by drawing 1-1 against Cardiff City at The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon in a fiery encounter.

James Collins headed the away side in front in the first half before Callum Robinson equalised immediately after the interval.

Albion pushed for a winner late on despite Alex Mowatt's straight red card 14 minutes from the end, and perhaps should have had a penalty with the final kick when Conor Townsend appeared to be dragged down inside the box.

Referee Thomas Brammal waved away Albion appeals and blew the full-time whistle, before dismissing Sam Johnstone and Bluebirds defender Aden Flint.

Robinson Cardiff
Callum Robinson was on target at The Hawthorns for the second game running

Fresh from signing a new long-term contract, Taylor Gardner-Hickman was brought into the XI alongside fellow academy graduate Tom Fellows – who was making his maiden league start.

Cardiff began brightly without creating any clear-cut chances, the first real opportunity coming for Albion just before the 15-minute mark when Karlan Grant smashed narrowly wide.

The Baggies came even closer to taking an early advantage soon after, Callum Robinson curling an effort towards the top corner and being denied by a brilliant fingertip Alex Smithies save. Mowatt also saw a powerful shot blocked and Kyle Bartley headed over as the hosts dominated the majority of the first period.

11 minutes ahead of half-time, though, Cardiff snatched the lead. A corner was whipped in from the left and Collins converted a header to send City in 1-0 up at the break.

TGH Cardiff
Taylor Gardner-Hickman in action

But Albion wasted no time in finding a leveller – Grant playing Robinson through to finish fantastically shortly into the second half.

There were chances for the Baggies to win the game, most notably Bartley poking a corner wide and substitute Grady Diangana seeing a shot well stopped, however things were made more difficult when Mowatt was sent off 14 minutes from the end.

Deep in stoppage time the home team had a very strong shout for a penalty, Townsend seemingly pulled down inside the area, yet it was turned away by the referee, sparking a post-match coming together in which Sam Johnstone and Aden Flint were both shown red cards.

Albion: Johnstone; Kipré, Bartley, Clarke (Reach 72); Gardner-Hickman, Livermore, Mowatt, Townsend; Fellows (Diangana 65), Robinson (Molumby 79), Grant.

Substitutes: Button, Ajayi, Furlong, Hugill. 

Attendance: 22,925.