West Brom are seeking their first Premier League points of the season when they host Chelsea at The Hawthorns this evening.
Heavy defeats to Leicester and Everton, preceded by the midweek Carabao Cup exit to Brentford, have made for a difficult start to the campaign for the Baggies, who face a Blues side that spent more than £220m on new signings over the summer.
Slaven Bilic will hope for a more placid game than the one which saw him sent off by Mike Dean at Goodison Park last week, but the Albion manager could have to contend without several players for today’s clash.
Kenneth Zohore (injured), Kieran Gibbs (suspended) and Conor Gallagher (ineligible to face parent club) are all confirmed absentees. On top of that, the trio of Ahmed Hegazi, Kamil Grosicki and Hal Robson-Kanu all face late fitness tests on various injury problems to determine whether they will be available to feature (as per premierinjuries.com)
Our predicted West Brom line-up for this evening’s game shows nine changes from the Brentford match as Bilic recalls many of his big guns:
Sam Johnstone will return in goals in place of David Button, with left-back Conor Townsend and centre-back Branislav Ivanovic the only men to keep their places from midweek. The latter, who joined West Brom earlier this month, is in line to make his league debut for the Baggies against his former club.
The veteran Serbia international could be part of a three-man back-line along with Semi Ajayi and Dara O’Shea as Bilic reverts to the 5-4-1 formation that he has used in both Premier League games so far this term. Darnell Furlong is also set for a recall at right wing-back in place of Lee Peltier.
As per usual, the central midfield duo is likely to be Jake Livermore and Romaine Sawyers, with a wide duo of Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira, their two scorers in the defeat at Everton a week ago. Even if Grosicki is fit enough to feature, he would probably have to settle for a place on the bench.
Callum Robinson is awaiting his first league goal of the season but is likely to get the nod at centre-forward again, having started both league games so far and with Robson-Kanu an injury doubt. Bilic will hope to at least have the Welshman in his squad, though, after his two goals against Brentford.
West Brom fans, is this the line-up that you expect to see this evening? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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