West Bromwich Albion have been dealt a double injury blow ahead of their upcoming Championship fixture.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Steve Bruce revealed that both Kyle Bartley and Matt Phillips are major doubts for Albion’s trip to Sheffield United tomorrow evening, with the defender having fallen ill and the winger having picked up a foot injury.
Speaking about the current condition of his first-team squad, the 61-year-old said: “Unfortunately we have a couple of issues in terms of fitness ahead of the game. We might have lost Kyle Bartley because he is sick and Matty Phillips because he has a foot injury.
“We don’t know the extent of it at this moment in time. It’s part and parcel of the game. We’re going to pick up injuries along the way.”
Considering just how important both Bartley and Phillips are within the Baggies squad, the news that both players look set to miss out on a fixture as important as the Sheffield United clash is sure to have left Bruce fuming.
Indeed, over his 27 Championship appearances so far this season, the £2.25m-rated Bartley has helped his side keep ten clean sheets, scored two goals and registered one assist, as well as making an average of 1.1 interceptions, one tackle, 4.1 clearances and winning a whopping 9.2 duels per game – with these returns seeing the 30-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 7.10.
Meanwhile, over Phillips’ own 23 league outings in the current campaign, the £2.7m-rated winger has scored three goals, provided two assists and created two big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.5 shots and making 0.9 key passes per fixture – with these metrics seeing the Scotland international average a SofaScore match rating of 6.80.
As such, it is clear for all to see that the likely absence of both players will come as a major blow to West Brom’s chances of taking all three points home from Bramall Lane on Wednesday night – with a loss potentially being disastrous for the Baggies’ top six hopes come the end of the season.