West Bromwich Albion head into Wednesday evening’s Championship fixture in an extremely poor run of form, with the Baggies having won just one of their last eight fixtures in all competitions – with five of these coming as defeats.
As such, Steve Bruce looks to have a rather monumental task on his hands if he is to get West Brom’s promotion push back on track in his first game in charge of the club tonight, especially when considering his side are facing what looks to be an extremely challenging fixture against an upwardly mobile Sheffield United outfit.
So, will the 61-year-old manager make any changes to the side that started the 2-0 loss against Milwall last time out? Here’s how we think West Brom could line up against the Blades, along with the latest team and injury news…
With Bruce recently revealing that both Kyle Bartley and Matt Phillips look as if they will be unavailable for selection as a result of illness and injury, while also confirming that Sam Johnstone will be replacing David Button between the Albion sticks, we predict that the former Newcastle United manager will make four changes to Valerien Ismael’s final starting XI at The Den last time out – as well as switching up the Baggies formation.
Indeed, with the club’s U23 side lining up in a 4-3-3 formation against Southampton on Monday evening, it would appear likely that this is the setup the 61-year-old will be implementing upon his first-team squad going forwards.
As such, there are two changes in the back five, with the aforementioned Johnstone returning in goal, while 25-year-old centre-back Cedric Kipre – who Steve Madeley dubbed “daft” for his sending off against Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup earlier this season – is the player to make way in the switch to a four-man backline.
In the middle of the park, Jake Livermore sits in front of the defence, while Alex Mowatt and Jayson Molumby are given the nod as the more forward-thinking duo in the midfield three.
In attack, with Phillips being unavailable for selection, the 23-year-old Grady Diangana – who Lee Hendrie dubbed a “magnificent” player – is handed a start on the right-wing, while Andy Carroll and Karlan Grant retain their places up top and on the left-wing respectively.