West Brom vs Huddersfield preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football

West Brom face Huddersfield in the Sky Bet Championship on Sunday. Coverage gets underway live on Sky Sports Football from 11.30am, with kick-off at midday.

Team news

West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic has defensive concerns ahead of his side’s clash with Huddersfield at The Hawthorns. Conor Townsend is ruled out after failing to recover from a back injury while Kieran Gibbs has suffered a setback with an ankle problem.

Better news for Bilic is the return to full training of Egypt defender Ahmed Hegazi, although he will not be involved this weekend. The Baggies go into the game as the only unbeaten team in the Championship, albeit desperate to turn their draws into wins.

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Alex Pritchard and Collin Quaner are struggling to be fit for Huddersfield after missing last week’s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. Otherwise, Terriers boss Danny Cowley will be hoping to pick from a fully-fit squad as he looks to get his reign up and running with a win.

Juninho Bacuna and Isaac Mbenza both featured off the bench last Sunday and are pushing for starting places. Cowley is currently running the rule over former Leicester free agent Danny Simpson, but he will not be signed in time for the game.

Recent form

West Brom may be sixth in the Championship standings, but they are one of just five teams in the entire EFL yet to taste defeat in the league this season. Last time out, they salvaged a 1-1 draw away at Fulham, after a hard-fought 3-2 victory at Blackburn prior to the international break. Additionally, that followed another pair of 1-1 draws against Derby and Reading.

As the Cowley era got underway last week, Huddersfield’s dreadful run continued regardless. The ex-Lincoln boss started with a 2-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday, and the fifth consecutive league defeat has left the Terriers just above basement club Stoke on goal difference alone.

The managers

West Brom boss Slaven Bilic: “There are a few good things like being unbeaten. We’re on a good run and we’ve been playing good football. The competition is really good in every area and we are gelling into a good team. I’d like us to be more consistent but it takes time, it takes more training.

“They haven’t won for 19 games altogether if you count the Premier League. We can’t expect that they will have sky-high confidence like Swansea. It’s normal for every club, Real Madrid do not have high confidence now and they are all world-class players.

“Are they on a good run? No, they are not. But they are a massive club who played last year in the Premier League. They have changed their manager and they have some really good players. We must be double motivated. We have to be on top of our game.”

Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley: TBC

Talking point – Losing mentality tough to break

As we’ve seen, and continue to see with Stoke at the moment, once losing has been a regular occurrence – a habit, if you will – returning to winning ways is so much more difficult than one would imagine. Unable to challenge last term, the Potters are under severe pressure in their second season back in the Championship and there seems to be a familiar story unfolding at the John Smith’s Stadium with Huddersfield.

Relegated from the Premier League last term after just three wins from 38 games, there seems to be a losing mentality ingrained into the very fabric of the club. Much like Stoke have done with Nathan Jones, the Terriers have hired a young, talented, hungry manager in Danny Cowley, who has enjoyed much success with Lincoln over the past three years. But can he arrest this alarming start? After an opening defeat last weekend, the Baggies will prove a stern test.

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West Bromwich Albion lost both of their league games against Huddersfield in the last season the sides met during the 2017-18 Premier League campaign.

Outside the top-flight, this is the first league meeting between West Brom and Huddersfield since April 2001, when the sides shared a 1-1 draw in the second-tier.

West Bromwich Albion have remained unbeaten in their opening eight league games of a season only three times previously (1953-54, 1999-00 and 2009-10).

Danny Cowley is looking to avoid becoming the fifth consecutive permanent Huddersfield Town manager to fail to win either of his first two league games in charge, following Mark Robins, Chris Powell, David Wagner and Jan Siewert.

West Brom have recovered 12 points from losing positions in the Championship matches this season (W3 D3 L0), avoiding defeat in all six matches they’ve trailed in – opponents Huddersfield have avoided defeat in just six of the previous 66 league games they’ve fallen behind in.

Huddersfield Town are winless in their last 16 away league matches (W0 D3 L13), their worst run since going 20 away games without a win between April 1977 and February 1978.

Prutton’s prediction

West Brom are the last remaining unbeaten side in the Championship! Mainly thanks to Marcus Bettinelli’s helping hand last weekend as they nicked a late draw at Fulham.

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