In terms of which players Baggies boss Valerien Ismael could pick for his starting XI on this occasion, one player that featured at the weekend that should keep their place in the team this time around is Taylor Gardner-Hickman.
During the game against Huddersfield, Gardner-Hickman managed to show Ismael just how much of a useful figure he is for the team in an attacking and defensive sense.
In the full 90 minutes he was on the pitch for, Gardner-Hickman had a total of 93 touches of the ball, completed 34 passes with one of them being a key pass, one of them being an accurate cross and three precise long balls. He also registered two shots at goal, highlighting his attacking intentions and passing range.
As well as this, the 19-year-old did not shirk away from his defensive duties as well having made four tackles, two interceptions and one clearance in the process, ultimately earning himself an overall match rating of 6.8/10 according to SofaScore.
With former West Brom manager Sam Allardyce previously claiming that Gardner-Hickman could become an “important” player for the Midlands club among a number of other young players at West Brom, it seems as though the teenager is proving to Ismael that he is a player that the current manager can rely on this season. That’s perhaps even more so than Darnell Furlong, who came on as a late substitute against Huddersfield but was ultimately unable to secure even a point for the Baggies.
The youngster also managed to impress in West Brom’s recent 1-0 win over Hull City where Birmingham Live said that he “was mostly measured on the ball and made a couple of eye-catching forward passes while possessing plenty of energy.”
Taking all of this into account, Gardner-Hickman’s inclusion in the starting XI tonight would give the Baggies a great chance of securing a positive result with his defensive capabilities giving West Brom some strength at the back as well as his attacking prowess providing the team with some energy going forward to terrify Blackpool, who have scored seven goals less than the Baggies and conceded five more than them.
In other news: Callum Robinson must start against Blackpool