West Brom have been in horrendous form, picking up just one point from their last seven games, and new manager Steve Bruce will be hoping that he can capitalise on Hull City’s inconsistency to seal all three points when his side travel to Humberside this afternoon.
Despite the injury picture remaining mostly unchanged, with Daryl Dike, Matt Phillips and Kenneth Zohore all still unavailable for selection, the former Newcastle boss will be able to bring more experience back into the side, with Jake Livermore returning from suspension for the match against the Tigers.
With that in mind, here is how Football FanCast expect to see West Brom line up against Hull today…
The first change we expect to see is the addition of Taylor Gardner-Hickman in the backline for his first starting appearance since the 61-year-old was appointed as Albion manager last month. The 20-year-old – who was hailed as “bright” by Chris Lepkowski – was handed a permanent contract by the club at the end of 2021 after impressing former Baggies manager Valerien Ismael.
If Bruce’s comments are anything to go by, the youngster will get his opportunity to impress once again today against Hull City, with the Albion boss telling the press on Friday: “Certainly, he will get his opportunity and he is right in my thoughts for tomorrow.”
The second change we predict is the return of Livermore in the starting XI, returning from suspension following a four-match ban due to receiving his second red card of the season.
The 32-year-old worked with his current manager, coincidentally at Hull, and it would be no surprise at all to see him instantly restored to the starting XI, with the ineffective Adam Reach axed to accommodate his return and Jayson Molumby moved over into the left central midfield position.
The third and final predicted change to the starting line-up is the return of Karlan Grant, replacing Grady Diangana in the forward line just behind Andy Carroll in an attempt to freshen up the attacking threat after the disappointing defeat at The Hawthorns earlier this week.
Grant is currently the Baggies’ top scorer this season, with 10 goals in the current campaign, and he will be hoping that Bruce will give him the opportunity to start against Hull today to prove that he can get back to his goalscoring ways, having failed to find the net since West Brom’s last victory in January against Peterborough.
A win for the Baggies this afternoon is an absolute must, as they has now fallen to 13th in the Championship and are running out of time to gain a play-off place, and Bruce will be hoping to secure his first win at the club to take the pressure off amid some question marks over his appointment.