While the Baggies are unlikely to be outdone fitness wise, Al Hain-Cole thinks they may struggle to keep out Craig Shakespeare’s side in Hong Kong
West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City will compete for a place in the Premier League Asia Trophy final when they come face-to-face at the Hong Kong Stadium on Wednesday.
Having lost 2-1 to Slavia Prague in their first pre-season friendly, the Baggies are available at 9/4 (3.25) with bet365 to bounce back with a victory over their Midlands opponents.
Meanwhile, Craig Shakespeare’s side are yet to play a match since returning from their holidays, but are on offer at 6/5 (2.20) to hit the ground running by coming out on top here.
Just one of the last 11 encounters between these sides has resulted in a draw, but you can get odds of 23/10 (3.30) on them taking this game to penalties after a deadlocked 90 minutes.
Despite the defeat against the Czech champions, Tony Pulis will have enjoyed putting his players through their paces in the Austrian mountains.
After enduring a famously intense training regime to get up to the fitness levels demanded by their disciplinarian manager, the team from the Black Country should be good shape to brave the East Asian heat.
However, while fitness should not therefore be much of an issue, the absence through injury of the influential Gareth McAuley will leave Pulis’ side slightly light at the back.
New loan signing Ahmed Hegazi will certainly need to get up to speed quickly should he make his debut against a team that finished the season in prolific fashion under Shakespeare.
Having failed to find the net just once in 13 league matches since the former assistant replaced Claudio Ranieri, the Foxes should provide a stern test for the weakened opposition backline.
Nevertheless, with the benefit of superior match sharpness in their favour, West Brom are well worth backing at 8/11 (1.73) to join Leicester on the scoresheet in Hong Kong.