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Preview: Woking vs. West Bromwich Albion – prediction, team news, head to head

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West Bromwich Albion start life low Valerien Ismael with a preseason friendly away in the National League Woking Friday night.

The Baggies are scheduled to play five games before starting their Championship campaign, while their opponents will see this meeting as the climax of their preparations for the new season.

Match preview

Having tried and failed to hire several different managers as replacement for Sam allardyce, the Baggies hierarchy finally made the decision to pay the compensation required by Ismael.

The Frenchman was arguably the season’s championship boss during 2020-21 after guiding Barnsley to the playoffs, but will face higher expectations during his time at The Hawthorns.

While it appears Ismael will be given time to achieve success in the West Midlands after signing a four-year deal, he is tasked with securing an immediate return to the Premier League.

A familiar face in Alex Mowatt has joined him to leave Barnsley for West Brom, with Matthew clarke the second addition to a one-season loan agreement from Brighton & Hove Albion.

There will inevitably be more new faces in the coming weeks as West Brom continues its preparations with friendlies against Watford, Sheffield Wednesday, Walsall and Birmingham City.

Woking counterpart Alan Dowson he faces similar rebuilding work after the Surrey team’s poor conclusion until last season.

The Cardinals failed to win any of their last 16 games of the season, their two draws coming against Eastleigh and Stockport County.

Woking would still have avoided the fall even if relegation had been a possibility, but Dowson is aware that he must lift spirits at the club as soon as possible.

Seven new faces have already joined the first team, including George Oakley who has returned to the south of England after working at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Hamilton Academical and Kilmarnock.

Woking form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
West Bromwich Albion form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team news

Barnsley's Alex Mowatt collides with Swansea City's Jay Fulton May 17, 2021

Mowatt is in line to appear in Baggies’ midfield, while Clarke should be named among the replacements after his transfer earlier this week.

Ismael can also take a look at the young midfielder Quevin Moises Castro, who moved to West Brom with a free transfer.

Sam johnstone will not participate after being part of the England team for Euro 2020, and the same could apply to Romaine Sawyers, who spent time with Saint Kitts and Nevis last month.

Dowson will name his strongest Woking lineup possible as his team will look to start the preseason with a surprising victory.

Head to head

These two teams have only met in one competitive match, an encounter that took place at the 1991 FA Cup.

West Brom, who was relegated to the third tier later that season, suffered a surprising 4-2 loss at The Hawthorns.

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We say: Woking 1-4 West Bromwich Albion

Ismael has had minimal time to work with his new players on training ground, which could provide an opportunity for the home team.

That said, the Baggies players will be motivated to impress their new head coach, leading us to predict a convincing victory for the visitors.

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