West Bromwich Albion have been described as certainties for promotion from the Championship by Birmingham boss Pep Clotet, who says he “saw it from the beginning”.
Slaven Bilic’s charges have been impressive for most of the season and are currently second in the table, having led the standings for large spells.
Although West Brom were knocked off top spot by Leeds after playing out a 0-0 draw with Swansea in midweek, the Baggies are still six points clear of third-placed Fulham.
Birmingham were due to be Albion’s next opponents, the two sides meant to lock horns at The Hawthorns before the suspension of English football’s top four divisions.
Prior to the announcement, Clotet had praised the Blues’ West Midlands rivals, telling the Birmingham Mail: “Are they nailed on certainties for promotion? Yes. But I saw it from the beginning.
“I saw a very progressive team having their stamp, knowing exactly how they are playing and I think the recruitment they did makes a lot of sense.
“They recruited what they needed, made good use of the players they had – the performance level of every player at West Brom is at least a seven and when they had a tough moment they always dig points and handle the pressure of being out there. Definitely I would say they are candidates for promotion.”
After West Brom’s disappointing playoff semi-final exit last season, the club has certainly learned from the experience and, since the summer, things have gone very much according to plan for the Baggies.
Barring a few hiccups here and there, it’s looking good for West Brom and, obviously depending on how things pan out in terms of once football can and does resume, the Baggies are pretty much nailed-on for a welcome Premier League return.