This weekend, West Brom fans will fill The Hawthorns ahead of their side’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday. The 3pm kick-off sees top of the table WBA with 8th placed Wednesday, but it won’t be an easy clash at all for the home side.
Slaven Bilic will have his work cut out to keep Garry Monk’s side at bay, and whilst on paper a clash between 1st and 8th should have a clear winner, there are just eight points between the sides and should the travelling side cut that to just five points at this early stage in the season then anything can happen.
Of course, there’s also the fact that the Baggies have six other sides between themselves and Wednesday breathing down their necks, and nothing but three points will do for Bilic and co when they leave The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.
For that to happen, not only will the Baggies have to be near their best going forward, but they’ll have to be effective at the back and keep the Owls at bay at the other end, and we’ve picked out the man who Bilic and co will have to keep on a tight leash to make this clash an easy one.
There is talent throughout Mink’s side, the goalscoring talents of Steven Fletcher and Atdhe Nuhiu need to be respected, but the man we’re picking out is a creative midfielder who can dictate the tempo of games, the Scottish international midfielder Barry Bannan.
So far this season the 29-year-old has been in solid form for the Owls. He’s already recorded three assists for Monk’s side despite not finding the net yet (Transfermarkt), and his passing numbers have been nothing short of sublime.
Will we beat Sheffield Wednesday?
Bannan is leading the way in the Wednesday side for key passes, average number of passes and cross per game (WhoScored), and is the joint leading assister alongside Adam Reach, so keeping him at bay is imperative for Bilic and co, as he could well hold the key to unlocking the Baggies’ backline.