The ball is back in the Baggies’ court as they face Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday, hoping to take advantage of Brentford’s slip up at Stoke over the weekend.
West Bromwich Albion will host QPR at the Hawthorns for what we hope is the last time this season, in a game that will determine which league they are playing in next year.
Unlike Huddersfield, QPR have very little to fight for, although they come off the back of an enthralling 4-3 victory over Milwall at the weekend.
They sit in 14th place with 57 points, well clear of relegation and the playoff places — in fact, without Wigan’s point deduction, they are unable to finish any higher.
A QPR victory would likely promote bitter rivals Brentford or Fulham, which is eerily similar to the crucial final day game against Portsmouth in 2005.
Albion will do well to remember, however, that there is little room for complacency, with the wounds from the shocking loss at Huddersfield yet to heal.
With this in mind, here is how Slaven Bilic may set up his side against QPR.
With so much at stake, Bilic is likely to encourage Albion to attack from the outset, reverting back to the more outlandish 4-3-3 formation.
This is why we’ve opted for Furlong at right back; though Dara O’Shea has been magnificent in recent weeks, Furlong, against his former club, may offer more going forward.
If so, he will likely start in front of Sam Johnstone in goal, with Semi Ajayi, Ahmed Hegazi and Conor Townsend for defensive company.
In line with a more attacking outlook, we’ve gone for a midfield three of Jake Livermore, Romaine Sawyers and Filip Krovinovic, with the latter sitting ahead of the established midfield duo.
Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira, arguably the Baggies’ only lively players on Friday, are likely to flank forward Charlie Austin, who gets the nod against his former club.
Score Prediction: West Brom 3-1 QPR
With so much at stake, it will be an open game — Albion must be careful not to get hit on the counter, especially as QPR hit four past Milwall at the weekend.
Yet, with the lifeline they have been gifted, Albion will surely give it their all on Wednesday, as they seek a return to the promised land: the Premier League.
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