Sam Allardyce will be hoping his West Brom side can build on Saturday’s Black Country derby victory with another result at West Ham United this evening, though he’ll have to do it without first-choice winger Grady Diangana.
According to BirminghamLive reporter Joseph Chapman, the 22-year-old attacker picked up a hamstring injury during training on Friday, which explains his absence against Wolves the following lunchtime.
He claims that he will not feature on his return to the London Stadium this evening and this will come as a huge blow to Big Sam, who also goes back to his old stomping ground in pursuit of back-to-back wins.
Indeed, the 3-2 victory over Wolves at the weekend was the Baggies’ first under the 66-year-old after taking over from Slaven Bilic in mid-December. However, it still leaves them four points from safety, making tonight’s encounter just as important as the derby.
The £18m summer addition from the Hammers will have undoubtedly loved to feature tonight as he’d certainly have a point to prove to David Moyes, who was seemingly more than happy to sanction his exit.
He’s also started 14 of his 15 appearances in the top-flight this campaign, so clearly, the £37.5k-per-week man is an integral part of the West Brom side even if the young winger has only contributed towards one goal, via Transfermarkt.
Two of the Baggies’ three goals against Wolves came from the spot, the first of which being hugely dubious as initial contact looked outside the penalty box on the first, second and third viewing. They won’t always get the rub of the green.
Allardyce’s men struggled to create chances from out wide, between Kamil Grosicki, Robert Snodgrass and then Hal Robson-Kanu, they managed only one key pass between them throughout the 90 minutes.
By comparison, Matheus Pereira managed double that on his own, whilst Wolves’ Pedro Neto notched five key passes despite being on the losing team, that only further suggests that West Brom perhaps got away with it just three days ago.
Diangana is an “explosive” attacker who is a “total nightmare” to play against, according to Sky Sports duo Keith Andrews and Lee Hendrie. At the same time, the £13.5m-rated star has also been lauded as a “fantastic talent” by Baggies legend Carlton Palmer in an exclusive interview with Football FanCast.
West Brom are a much weaker proposition without the enigmatic sensation, who contributed towards 15 goals last term, bombing down that left-flank.
He’ll be a massive miss tonight.
AND in other news, Big Sam must unleash West Brom gem who Pulis once dubbed “gifted” tonight…