West Brom will be looking to build on last week’s first win of the 2020/21 season when they return to Premier League action this lunchtime.
Slaven Bilic’s men welcome a former manager in Roy Hodgson and his Crystal Palace side to the Hawthorns for the 12 o’clock kickoff.
The Baggies defeated rock-bottom Sheffield United to move out of the relegation zone over seven days ago, but now find themselves back in it after results last Sunday and yesterday.
Albion are dealing with several injury and fitness concerns, so the under-fire Croatian has plenty of decisions to make. Here’s the XI we’re predicting…
There could be as many as three changes this afternoon.
Sam Johnstone is a shoo-in to remain between the sticks as the Baggies’ first-choice goalkeeper whilst Bilic is likely to stick with the back three of Kyle Bartley, Branislav Ivanovic and Semi Ajayi.
However, he’s forced into at least one switch at left wing-back after Conor Townsend was ruled out with injury for the rest of the month and with Kieran Gibbs only fresh off dealing with an injury of his own as well as coronavirus, we could see young academy sensation Dara O’Shea take up a place as his replacement.
Darnell Furlong should be good to go on the other flank.
There is also a return for £10m captain Jake Livermore, who was another player that tested positive for the virus. He’s an integral part of Bilic’s squad and will surely be handed the reigns over Romaine Sawyers despite the 29-year-old filling in astutely.
His colossal presence in the middle will allow Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher and Matheus Pereira freedom to roam further up the pitch, where the Albion manager could make a surprising final change.
Callum Robinson keeps his place as West Brom’s top goalscorer, but we could see summer signing Karlan Grant dropped to the bench after a string of underwhelming performances.
The 23-year-old, signed from Huddersfield Town for a total of £16m, has scored just once in six appearances and has recorded below 6.15 in four of those matches, as per WhoScored.
Hal Robson-Kanu could be the man to start instead.
It means Grady Diangana will have to once again settle for a place on the bench, alongside the likes of Rekeem Harper, Kyle Edwards, Kamil Grosicki and Cedric Kipre.
AND in other news, Exclusive: Carlton Palmer makes Slaven Bilic claim amid “issues”…