West Bromwich Albion are closing in on promotion to the Premier League and Birmingham City boss Pep Clotet has been impressed by Pep Clotet’s Baggies.

West Bromwich Albion are ‘nailed on certainties’ for automatic promotion this season, Birmingham City boss Pep Clotet has told the Birmingham Mail.

With just nine games remaining in another topsy turvy Championship campaign, the league’s two standout clubs have a healthy lead over third place Fulham.

Despite failing to win their last two games, falling behind Leeds United in the race for the title, Slaven Bilic’s Baggies are still six points clear of the play-off places with a return to the Premier League at the second time of asking in their sights.

Ahead of Saturday’s proposed Midlands derby clash with Birmingham (which has since been postponed), West Brom have been given plenty of backing from down the road at St Andrews.

“Are they nailed on certainties for promotion? Yes. But I saw it from the beginning,” said Clotet, who is either being brutally honest or hopes to ramp up the pressure via some less-than-subtle mind games.

“I saw a very progressive team having their stamp, knowing exactly how they are playing and I think the recruitment they did makes a lot of sense.

“They recruited what they needed, made good use of the players they had – the performance level of every player at West Brom is at least a seven and when they had a tough moment they always dig points and handle the pressure of being out there.”

Along with Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, West Brom have been a cut above throughout almost the entirety of the 2019/20 campaign with the likes of Matheus Pereira, Grady Diangana, Jake Livermore and Hal Robson-Kanu playing some of the best football of their career since former Croatia boss Bilic took over at the Hawthorns.

And few would bet against the Baggies recovering their golden touch between now and the end of the season – whenever that may be.

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