West Bromwich Albion beat Hull City 1-0 back in November and will be keen to pick up another win against the Tigers at the Hawthorns; will Bilic go with a similar side to last time or switch it up entirely?
Now that the teams competing for promotion are effectively in the ‘final sprint’ stage, every game should be treated with the importance of a cup final, so how Bilic chooses his team for these upcoming matches is crucial.
Five alterations were made to the side that won against Sheffield Wednesday midweek, but we can expect some of those names to return to the teamsheet for this game.
Hull City’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough in the week will give them a great deal of confidence going into the game against Albion, but both teams will be carrying momentum so it’ll be interesting to see who comes away with it still intact.
This is the team that we predict Slaven Bilic will field against Hull on Sunday:
Sam Johnstone inevitably keeps his place between the sticks and should be looking for another cleansheet from this match. In front of him is the solid back-four we’ve seen throughout most of the season, with Darnell Furlong and Semi Ajayi returning to the starting eleven. Ahmed Hegazi and Kieran Gibbs deservedly stay put.
The midfield duo of Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore could come back, with the latter replacing young Rekeem Harper, who had an OK game against Sheffield. Livermore will likely wear the captain’s armband too.
Ahead of them is Filip Krovinovic playing in a central attacking midfielder role, where he is probably at his best, rather than out on the right flank. Matheus Pereira, who excelled midweek, scoring two goals for the Baggies, could be placed out on the right wing, with Grady Diangana out on the left.
It will be tough for Bilic to decide who will play on the left wing — Diangana or Robinson — but it all depends on his tactics for the match; Diangana, although he was off the pace on Wednesday, still provides a strong attacking presence; however, much the same could be said for Robinson, as he was a thorn in the side of Sheffield Wednesday the entire time he was on the pitch.
And, finally, keeping his place upfront is Charlie Austin, who confidently converted a penalty against Wednesday and also made a considerable contribution on defensive duty from set-pieces. He wandered from the striker role to a deep position constantly, under the instruction of Slaven Bilic, and showed just how versatile he can be when given a clear outline of his responsibilities.