This week, Sam Allardyce admitted that keeping West Brom in the Premier League would be his greatest escape yet.
It’s hard to argue with that point, either. After Fulham defeated Liverpool 1-0 last week in a shock result, Albion are now eight points behind the Cottagers.
With just ten games left of the season, it will be an uphill task for the Baggies to survive. In order to do so, they must win games like the one they’re facing on Saturday afternoon.
Allardyce’s men play a Crystal Palace team who have won just one of their last six outings. Every game at the moment feels like a six-pointer for West Brom, so this is a crucial encounter.
How will the manager line up? Here’s what we’re predicting.
We’re tipping the boss to make just the two changes from the side which drew 0-0 with Newcastle last time out.
The first replacement comes in attack, where January arrival Mbaye Diagne drops out. Conor Townsend consistently found him inside the area during the last game but, try as he might, he couldn’t find the back of the net.
The other change is in midfield where Ainsley Maitland-Niles drops out. The £48,000-per-week loanee has looked comfortable at times but, during the game with Newcastle, he regularly gave the ball away and was inconsistent with his passing, registering a success rate of just 76%. For a player usually so confident with the ball at his feet, it wasn’t ideal.
Thus, Romaine Sawyers may come back into the team to give Albion a little more cover against the counterattacking threat of Wilfried Zaha and Ebere Eze.
Besides that, Allardyce’s side are unchanged with the back four remaining the same. That means Semi Ajayi is once again kept on the bench.