The Baggies are looking to translate their blistering Championship form into a prolonged cup run, with relegation no longer a serious threat. Carlos Corberan has made sure of that, leading his side to nine wins in their last ten league games as they now sit in a play-off spot, which is miraculous given their trajectory under Steve Bruce.
However, their winning run was surprisingly halted in the original third-round clash, as the plucky National League side put up quite the fight earlier this month.
Despite taking an early lead, West Brom were pegged back within five minutes before they surged in front again during a frenetic opening 17 minutes. Then, in a crazy turn of events, Chesterfield hit back to take a 3-2 lead themselves, which they held until a last-gasp equaliser from Brandon Thomas-Asante forced tonight’s replay.
However, in the run-up to that goal, the 24-year-old has since been retrospectively suspended for three matches due to ‘violent conduct’. Corberan admitted that he “cannot argue” with the decision, and as such the ex-Salford man will certainly not start against the team that he terrorised with two goals.
There was another key player in the Baggies’ comeback against Chesterfield, with Karlan Grant scoring one goal, setting up another and earning an 8.1 Sofascore rating for his display. This was narrowly shy of the Baggies’ best performer, the aforementioned and now suspended Thomas-Asante.
Despite Daryl Dike also impressing since his return from injury, with two goals in his last two league games, it is likely still too early to be subjecting the American to the full effect of the taxing fixture schedule.
Although this has been a poor season for the former Huddersfield Town man, with just three Championship goals to his name, he retains the quality which has made him a consistent threat in that division.
It was only last season that he netted 18 times in the second tier, while he scored 19 in his final campaign for the Terriers in 2019/20. This led former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips to suggest that Grant could soon be regarded as a “hero” at The Hawthorns, should he maintain such goalscoring form.
The 25-year-old is a consistent striker for this level, albeit one who is desperately scrambling for confidence. These cup matches against lower-league opposition could be instrumental in reigniting that spark and getting him firing again.
Grant has already terrorised Chesterfield with his goal against them ten days ago, and having not featured against Luton at the weekend, Corberan must recall him once again tonight.