West Bromwich Albion are on the hunt for their big return to the Premier League. Sitting fifth in the Championship, with a game in hand on their promotion-chasing rivals, the Baggies have it all to play for when they visit Home Park on Tuesday evening. In preparation for the game, I sat down with super-fan Chris Hall from Albion Analysis to discuss all things Baggies.

You’re currently sitting 5th in the table, holding onto the playoffs. Do you think this could be the season you make your big return to the premier league, at the third time of asking?

Obviously we hope so. This season there seems to be two distinct leagues at the top of the Championship. It was made clear early on that top 2 was out of reach for all but 4 teams so our job was to be the best of the rest and we’ve largely done that. I’d worry if Southampton landed in the play offs because they outclassed us the other night but we are unbeaten against Leeds and Ipswich so we’ve no reason to fear either of them.

Did you expect to be where you are now? If not, what were your expectations for the season?

Not at all, with all the mess going on off the pitch we really didn’t know what to expect. It seemed every player was available in the summer if the price was right but fortunately clubs tried to low ball us for our stars so we kept everyone but Dara O’Shea.

Carlos Corberan has done an incredible job to have us where we are. It’s a small squad and he hasn’t spent a penny in fees. It’s a testament to what an incredible coach he is that we are competing as well as we are.

You brought in a few loan signings in January. Mikey Johnston from Celtic, Callum Marshall from West Ham, and Andres Weimann from Bristol City. How have their arrivals affected things?

They’ve given us options which is huge. We got beaten by Swansea on New Year’s Day and our changes that day were a series of square pegs in round holes. Since those players have come in Weimann has scored against Blues and Cardiff (and should have scored against Ipswich) and Johnston scored against Cardiff. Our changes in games are helping us rather than hindering us now.

Who could cause us a few problems on Tuesday? Who should we be worried about?

Ha, that depends who plays as we’ve switched our forward line about a bit in recent weeks. Given the way both teams play I imagine we will be most dangerous on the break. For that reason I hope Tom Fellows starts as he is quick and strong with an eye for goal. He’s a real talent.

What about weak areas? Where should we be looking to exploit to try and pinch the win?

I feel like I shouldn’t help your coaching staff by answering this.

All joking aside, the first goal is massive in our games. If we score it we usually win, if we concede it we usually lose. That’s the key to beating us, scoring first but we are pretty solid so it can be easier said than done.

You’re third in the table on home form this season but 17th on the road. Why do you think away days have been so tricky for you this season?

See above really. We are slow starters away but fast starters at home. Our most common time to score the opening goal at home is 1-15mins but away it’s 46-60mins. Quite why is anybody’s guess. Could be mentality, might be because the opposition start faster at home than away but it’s something we need to address.

What is your perception of an away day in Plymouth? A should win? Must win? Easy win? Potential banana skin?

I think you have to respect your home form so to call you a banana skin would be disrespectful. I view it as a tough game but equally, this is our game in hand and it’s our chance to restore our cushion to the teams below us. It’s a huge game for us so it’s one we need something from but I don’t think it’s one we SHOULD win.

Any views on the argyle side and who could cause you a few problems?

Morgan Whittaker is the blindingly obvious one, what a season he’s having and he was so unlucky not to score a wonderful goal at The Hawthorns. Generally I just think you’re a fun, exciting side to watch. I think you’ve become most people’s second favourite team this season but I’ll change that view if you dent our play off chances on Tuesday. Our fixture at the hawthorns earlier in the season wasn’t much to write home about. A rather uneventful 0-0 draw.

How do you think this game is going to shape up? What kind of performance can we expect from the Baggies this time round?

I hope we won’t be so sluggish out of the gates this time. It’s something Corberan is clearly trying to address and we started really well at Ipswich so hopefully that signals a shift in our approach away. Other than that though don’t expect a massive change in our approach. We will still be solid and organised and will attack you on the turnover.

With that said: score prediction?

Whoever scores first wins. I’m saying 2-1 to whoever gets the first goal!