West Brom have been arguably the Championship’s most exciting side this season after retaining most of the players who represented them in the Premier League last season, while adding the prolific Dwight Gayle on loan from Newcastle United.
No team has scored more goals in the division than The Baggies (60), an impressive statistic that highlights the challenge facing Forest as they prepare to travel to West Bromwich tonight.
And, in quotes reported by the Birmingham Mail, O’Neill has paid tribute to the quality available to counterpart Darren Moore and admitted that he had The Baggies down as one of the pre-season promotion favourites.
“West Brom are strong and they have proved that this season. They nearly avoided the clutches of relegation last season. It probably took them a few weeks to get used to not being in the Premier League and they have forced their way up the table,” said the former Republic of Ireland boss.
“I don’t think they’ve been too far away from it all season but you would expect them to be strong. We all expected them to be up there and they haven’t disappointed.”
There is likely to be a clash of styles with West Brom’s free-flowing attacking style set to come up against the rugged, organised approach that has served O’Neill well throughout a hugely successful club career.
Forest are ninth in the table, five points adrift of the play-off places.