West Brom v Norwich City Cheat Sheet
West Brom v Norwich City
Two teams that have had fairly similar seasons here, in many ways. Both clubs are in that cycle of rotating between Premier League and Championship existence and that means that they are still in receipt of parachute payments. Whilst Burnley and Sheffield United have managed to use that status to get themselves back into the Premier League, both West Brom and Norwich have struggled for performance levels and consistency, and both are ending the season with a different manager than they started with.
Despite all of this, both teams are still in with an outside chance of reaching the playoffs. The most likely scenario is that both will miss out, but whoever doesn’t get the maximum points from this match will certainly have their season over with a game to spare.
We saw a similar scenario on Friday night with Blackpool vs Millwall, and though it was obviously helped by the scoring of an early goal, that was an entertaining match with plenty of shots and five goals. This flew in the face of previous performance data which, under normal circumstances, massively favoured a low-margin, low-scoring encounter.
The form is fairly similar here with eight of West Brom’s last ten home matches going under 2.5 goals, albeit it is the most recent two matches that have gone over this mark. Norwich’s away matches have gone six out of ten under 2.5 goals, however neither stat tells the whole story.
West Brom have remained dominant in their performances at home, despite indifferent outcomes in the last three. The Baggies actually carry an elite xG difference between themselves and their opponents at The Hawthorns, an average of +1.1xG over the last ten games. The total xG has been 2 or over in every single one of those home matches, mostly generated by West Brom themselves as evidenced by the fact that they have won the xG battle in all ten home matches too.
Norwich have only ended the match with more xG than their opponents in three of their last ten away matches, and only once in the last eight. Their xG differential away from home is -0.1xG, but that does include thumping away wins back in mid-January that do not feel particularly relevant at the moment.
I like West Brom’s chances of being the more dominant side again here, it is just a question of whether or not they can take their chances. Norwich’s end to the season feels like it has been effected substantially by the injuries sustained by Grant Hanley and Ben Gibson, and though Andrew Omobamidele is a definite talent, he cannot hold the team together single-handedly.
There should be enough chances for West Brom to get a goal or two here, though Norwich will also come out to attack given their own desperate situation regarding the play-offs. This makes me lean towards the overs in terms of goals as well as supporting West Brom for the victory.
Bobby Madley takes the whistle for this clash and it has not escaped the attention of the bookmakers that Madley is a card happy individual, not just birthday cards either.
This means that the price for Over 3.5 cards is too short for me to comfortably add into our bet builder. However, there are a couple of foul angles that are definitely worthwhile.
One off those in this market is Norwich forward Josh Sargent. Now entrusted with leading the line more often than not, the physical robustness to the American’s play leads to a lot of physical duels, and, inevitably, tackles and fouls.
He is a regular fouler in matches, although, he didn’t actually foul against Swansea last time out, but Norwich barely turned up at all in that match anyway. Before that Sargent had gone 2,1,2,1,2,1 in his previous six matches and he concedes over a foul a match on average throughout the whole season.
With the atmosphere of this particular match, and Madley at the whistle, I think that the regular foulers will come out and play here.
The final addition to the builder comes in the passing markets and again involves Jayson Molumby.
When the midfielder has played over 80 minutes in the last few weeks the Irishman has attempted 55, 38, 58, 41, 52 and 67 passes for the Baggies. I expect West Brom to be the dominant side here and possession should be split fairly evenly, West Brom should be having 45-55% possession and, barring an early West Brom goal or a sending off I would make it odds on that Molumby goes over the 50 pass line.
The current price is 11/10 so I make this a bit of value on this line.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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