We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
West Brom versus Sheffield United is a “huge” fixture this weekend at The Hawthorns, according to ex-Baggies striker Kevin Phillips.
Neither side has won a Premier League match this season in nine attempts and Chris Wilder’s Blades sit bottom of the table with one point, two short of Albion in 19th.
West Brom and Sheffield United both suffered 1-0 defeats last time out with Slaven Bilic overseeing a controversial loss at Manchester United and the Yorkshire club falling short at home against West Ham.
Phillips has called on West Brom to use their impressive performance at Old Trafford to their advantage when the Blades make their way to the Black Country this weekend.
He’s not been overly impressed with how both teams have started the Premier League season but has predicted the Baggies will take all three points in the bottom-of-the-table showdown.
“It’s huge. They’re the games that you’ve got to win. When you’re down at the bottom of the Premier League, and like I’ve said before I’ve experienced it many times, they’re the games you identify where you need to pick up points,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“They’re two teams who have started very poorly in the Premier League. Sheffield United have probably surprised a lot of people with where they are considering what they did last year.
“West Brom can take a lot of confidence from the Man United game even though they lost. They created opportunities, they gave Man United a good game. They’ve just got to keep on believing.
“When a team’s on a downer and confidence is low like it is at Sheffield United, you’ve got to take advantage of that.
“This is a crucial game for me this weekend.
“I’m always going to back to the Baggies so I’m going to go for them to win 2-1.”
West Brom and Sheffield United haven’t met in the top-tier of English football since January 1973 when the Yorkshire club ran out 3-0 winners at Bramall Lane.
The last top-flight game between them at The Hawthorns was in 1972. Albion lost that game as well.
More recently, the Baggies and the Blades have met just twice in the last 10 years when they competed at the top-end of the 2018/19 Championship.
Both teams won away from home in those fixtures with Wilder’s side winning 1-0 in the last clash between them.
Clearly, history doesn’t favour the West Midlands club but performances against Tottenham and Manchester United have suggested that Bilic’s men are close to finally picking up their first win of the season.
Let’s hope it’s this weekend and Phillips is right.