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West Brom predicted starting XI under Steve Bruce

After winning just one out of their seven previous Championship games, West Brom pulled the plug on Valerien Ismael’s tenure in charge of the Baggies after just seven months and swiftly appointed former Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce as their new manager.

With the Midlands club currently sixth in the table with 45 points on the board and 17 league games remaining, the 61-year-old has a big challenge on his hands to get the Baggies back into the Premier League next season.

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Which La Liga club did West Brom sign Okay Yokuslu on loan from in the 2021 January transfer window?

Moving forward, with a new crop of players at his disposal at The Hawthorns, here’s what we feel Bruce’s West Brom starting XI could look like.

Taking into account how the former Newcastle boss was rather flexible in terms of what formations he used at St James’ Park, he may stick with the same mindset for this season, chopping and changing things at West Brom.

In goal, despite being out of the picture in the past few weeks, it seems likely that Bruce will put Sam Johnstone back in the team to see if he can help stop the Baggies from conceding as many goals as they have been recently.

Presuming Bruce goes with a standard 4-4-2 formation at some point during his tenure as West Brom manager, we think the new Baggies boss will go with a centre-back pairing of Kyle Bartley and Cedric Kipre, with Conor Townsend keeping his place at left-back and Darnell Furlong on the right-hand side.

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For the two central midfield positions, it seems likely that Bruce will preserve the pairing of club captain Jake Livermore and summer signing Alex Mowatt. On the left-hand side, the oft-shuffled Adam Reach could finally get some consistency under his belt this season in terms of his position ahead of Townsend in a more attacking role.

On the right, with the experience of 196 appearances as a West Brom player, Bruce could look to Matt Phillips as a regular figure in his side who can lead by example on the pitch ahead of Grady Diangana. The 23-year-old, who is currently picking up £25k-per-week, scored just two goals under Ismael’s guidance this season, so he could be a victim of the managerial change at The Hawthorns.

For the two centre-forward positions, with Karlan Grant being West Brom’s top scorer this season with 10 goals, it seems likely that he will be seen as a main attacking threat for the team alongside January recruit Andy Carroll, who Bruce will know well having worked with him at Newcastle.

In other news: Bruce can become an instant fan favourite by unleashing WBA’s rarely-seen “star”

Article title: West Brom predicted starting XI under Steve Bruce

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