West Bromwich Albion begin their 2020-21 Carabao Cup campaign with a difficult test as they host EFL newcomers, Harrogate Town at The Hawthorns in Second Round.
West Brom will be looking to bounce back from Sunday’s loss to Leicester whilst Harrogate Town seek to continue their impressive start to life in the EFL, which has seen them take two draws in cup competitions plus a league victory so far.
Matt Phillips is a doubt for West Brom with a back injury and is unlikely to be risked alongside Conor Townsend (ankle) and Kenneth Zohore (calf) as Slaven Bilic rotates his squad.
Harrogate have no fresh injury concerns and could name an unchanged team from Saturday’s 4-0 away win at Southend United in League Two.
- This is West Brom’s first-ever meeting against Harrogate in all cup competitions.
- West Brom have won each of their last three meetings against League Two opposition in all cup competitions.
- Harrogate are unbeaten in their last six cup matches in all cup competitions (W4, D2).
West Brom were simply outplayed by Leicester on Sunday in all aspect of the game but with strong attacking quality like Grady Diangana and Hal Robson-Kanu in their squad, I am expecting a reaction here against a Harrogate team who simply lack the quality needed to defeat a club of West Brom’s stature.
Harrogate however played a pressing game against Southend which worked as The Shrimpers’ defence soon opened up to allow the Yorkshire club to ease to victory, and if they deploy similar tactics here, West Brom are going to have to be wary but tight at the back the longer it stays goalless.
This therefore could be an open game but I can’t see West Brom somehow losing this except via penalties and that is something which is surely unlikely, given the width in quality between these teams and hectic scheduling.
Prediction: WBA 2-1 Harrogate Town
Result: WBA 3-0 Harrogate Town