Following on from their 1-0 win over Hull City in midweek thanks to a second half strike from Karlan Grant, West Brom face into a home clash against Middlesbrough today as the next assignment in their promotion-chasing campaign.
Speaking ahead of the match against Neil Warnock’s side, who are currently 14th in the table after losing 3-1 against Luton Town in midweek, Baggies manager Valerien Ismael revealed that defender Kean Bryan isn’t likely to feature this afternoon after being forced off with an injury in the first half of the Hull game.
With this in mind, here’s how we feel West Brom could line up against Middlesbrough this afternoon, with two changes anticipated from Wednesday night’s starting XI.
Given how he’s played in all but one of West Brom’s Championship games so far this season, we see no reason why Ismael wouldn’t stick with Sam Johnstone in goal.
In a back three, considering that Bryan will be unavailable, we think Ismael will bring Semi Ajayi back into the team alongside Cedric Kipre and Matt Clarke, who both played the full 90 minutes in midweek and helped the Baggies to a clean sheet.
For the wing-back positions, we think the Baggies boss will stick with Conor Townsend on the left and youngster Taylor Gardner-Hickman on the right to see if the latter can replicate the type of performance he put in against Hull, which earned him an overall match rating of 8/10 from Birmingham Live.
In midfield, we feel that Ismael will stick with the central duo of Robert Snodgrass and Jake Livermore, with midweek goalscorer Grant and Callum Robinson keeping their places up front. One change sees Matt Phillips, who is currently earning a weekly wage of £20k-per-week according to Spotrac, drop out after a poor performance against Hull, being replaced by Grady Diangana to freshen up the attack slightly.