West Brom have something only Leeds United and Leicester City have done better: View | OneFootball

West Brom have something only Leeds United and Leicester City have done better: View | OneFootball

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Football League World

·26 February 2024

West Brom have something only Leeds United and Leicester City have done better: View

Article image:West Brom have something only Leeds United and Leicester City have done better: View

West Bromwich Albion maintain a four-point cushion in the top six after their draw with promotion rivals Hull City last weekend.

The Baggies battled back from behind after Fabio Carvalho hammered the Tigers in front, but Darnell Furlong’s header from a corner earned Albion an important point on the road.


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The result leaves Carlos Corberan’s men in a healthy position for a top six spot, sitting four points clear of seventh placed Norwich City as they head into their crunch clash against Coventry City on Friday evening.

A main factor in West Brom’s success this season under the Spaniard has been an excellent defensive record, which has seen the Baggies record plenty of clean sheets, allowing them to propel up the Championship table.

If this solid foundation can remain for the final 12 games of the campaign, West Brom could have a serious chance in the play-offs to return to the Premier League at the third time of asking.

Article image:West Brom have something only Leeds United and Leicester City have done better: View

Corberan’s ability to improve the defence since he arrived at The Hawthorns in October 2022 has been phenomenal.

Arriving at the club in his first season, Corberan witnessed Albion drop to the bottom of the second tier after a disastrous period under Steve Bruce.

Suffering a 2-0 defeat to Sheffield United in Corberan’s first match in charge, the Baggies would go on to win 12 of their 16 remaining victories to nil while registering seven clean sheets from their first 10 league outings.

Despite dealing with the disappointment of missing out on the play-offs last term, Albion now have a stronger chance than ever of making the top six, and the backline is one of the core reasons for this opportunity.

This term, , with seven of those coming on home soil.

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The only two clubs to have a better record than Corberan’s men currently sit in the automatic promotion places, with league leaders Leicester City conceding 29 times while Leeds United have conceded 27 goals.

Carlos Corberan’s improvement of West Brom defenders

Article image:West Brom have something only Leeds United and Leicester City have done better: View

These impressive figures have been achieved against the backdrop of a worrying financial situation. With hardly any funds spent on recruitment, West Brom competing in this area with two Championship heavyweights is outstanding.

The former Huddersfield Town coach has managed to resurrect the Albion careers of central defenders Cedric Kipre and Kyle Bartley, who have both been paramount to the secure defensive line.

Kipre was largely an outcast and had featured just 19 times for the club prior to this season, but after playing a key role in maintaining Cardiff City’s second tier status in the previous campaign, the Ivorian has returned and pushed himself into the first-team picture in B71,

After starting 32 out of a possible 33 Championship outings at the heart of the defence, Kipre’s contribution to such an impressive record has made him one of the standout players in the division this term.

Similarly, it appeared Bartley’s career with the Baggies was over, after the 32-year-old was booed by his own supporters against Birmingham City back in September 2022 under Steve Bruce.

Article image:West Brom have something only Leeds United and Leicester City have done better: View

But since then he’s been revitalised under Corberan too and has been Kipre’s playing partner for most of the campaign, registering 1,808 minutes across 25 Championship contests.

Bartley’s bullishness in the air has been imperative for Albion conceding such a low number of goals, with him and Kipre’s physicality presenting tough challenges for Championship forward lines.

When injuries do occur, West Brom have a host of options at the back, as Semi Ajayi and Erik Pieters are able to deputise when required, with the former possessing an incredible amount of pace to shut out potential danger, while Pieters holds a wealth of experience at the top level of English football to do an effective job.

The Dutchman Pieters has previously played at full-back too, while Pipa, who worked with Corberan at Huddersfield Town, can also cover for Darnell Furlong and Conor Townsend.

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