According to The Birmingham Mail, Matt Phillips is ready to return to the West Brom squad this evening.
This will be a major boost to The Baggies, as Phillips had been one of the star performers for the club before his injury. However, his return may not be as important as some might think.
This is because, since injuring himself against Millwall in September, the club have still scored nine goals in four games. Unfortunately, they have also conceded six goals. If Phillips goes back into the role he was playing before he got injured, it would mean dropping Tyrone Mears, which makes the club just that bit less defensively solid.
On the other hand, The Baggies failed to score against Wigan on Saturday, suggesting that they are not as offensively assured as previously thought. The addition of Phillips there would clearly make West Brom’s attack far more potent, and could perhaps prevent the team from slumping to results like the one against The Latics.
This is the dilemma manager Darren Moore faces; whether he weakens his side defensively by including Phillips, or sacrifices their attack by sticking with Mears. Ultimately, Phillips’ attacking credentials probably outweigh Mears’ defensive credentials, meaning he should probably should get the nod ahead of him. The game is about goals, and Phillips will help towards that.
The Baggies host Derby tonight, in a bid to go to the top of the Championship table. They face a team that are not adverse to attacking themselves, and goals therefore will be vital.