West Brom could go top of the Championship overnight if they can extend their winning run to three matches against Derby this evening.
With current pace-setters Leeds not in action until tomorrow, the Baggies will also take over at the top even if they draw against the Rams given that they are a point behind Marcelo Bielsa’s side and have a superior goal difference. [via Sky Sports]
Derby have promotion aspirations of their own, however, as they sit just outside the play-off positions with the season approaching its climax.
Slaven Bilic will be forced into a couple of changes for this evening’s clash at The Hawthorns, with Ahmed Hegazi suspended following his red card against Hull and Kieran Gibbs set to miss out after going off in that game due to a hamstring problem (as per Birmingham Live).
Our predicted West Brom line-up for the game against Derby shows three changes from the team which started the 4-2 win over the Tigers on Sunday:
Sam Johnstone will continue between the sticks as per usual, although there will be changes to the back four ahead of him. Conor Townsend came on for the injured Gibbs on Sunday and is likely to start at left-back, while Semi Ajayi should come into the side in place of the suspended Hegazi. The other two defensive positions are likely to be unchanged, with Kyle Bartley and Dara O’Shea in the starting line-up again.
Bilic has gone with a defensive midfield duo of Romaine Sawyers and Rekeem Harper in the last couple of games and could preserve that partnership again, although there is a possibility that Jake Livermore may be restored to the team.
While Charlie Austin should keep his place at centre-forward after scoring in both of Albion’s last two matches, there could be a different composition to the attacking midfield trio behind him. Kamil Grosicki scored on his first Baggies start on Sunday and that may be enough to keep him in the side, while Matheus Pereira is sure to start after a hat-trick of assists against Hull.
He could revert to a central role, though, to make way for Grady Diangana on the right after the on-loan winger came off the bench to score at the weekend. That goal might persuade Bilic to put him in from the start this evening, with Filip Krovinovic making way as a result.
Should Grady Diangana start against Derby?
West Brom fans, is this the line-up that you expect to see against Derby this evening? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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