West Brom will be looking to make the most of their momentum from the 1-1 draw against league leaders Liverpool and stop Leeds from taking any points home with them from the Hawthorns on Tuesday evening.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side sit in 12th place with a respectable 20 points from 15 games. They were thrashed 6-2 by Manchester United just over a week ago, but did well to bounce back with a 1-0 win over Burnley on Monday.
Albion, meanwhile, are second to bottom on a mere eight points from 15 matches, six points from safety. Fulham are above them on 11 points, which just shows how vital a win would be against Leeds — every point is crucial from here on out.
Leeds will be the favourites, despite being away from home, but if Allardyce can set the Baggies up as robustly as he did against Liverpool, three points might not be out of reach after all.
Team News & Predicted XI
Conor Townsend is sidelined with a knee injury and is unlikely to return until the middle of January; meanwhile, Hal Robson-Kanu and Kyle Bartley look set to be out for even longer.
Sam Field is unlikely to play due to a lack of match fitness, and Jake Livermore has two games left of his three-match suspension, following his sending off against Aston Villa.
A strong side is still available for Allardyce to choose from, and many will be expecting him to go with the same team that played so well against the Reds at the weekend.
Albion’s Predicted XI: (4-1-4-1)
Leeds will be without some key figures at the back including Robin Koch (knee injury), Liam Cooper (abdominal injury) and Diego Llorente (muscle injury), which could mean that youngster Pascal Strujik will get a start in defence against the Baggies.
These injuries won’t be too drastic, however, as Bielsa can easily adjust his formation to accomodate other players. Moreover, a backline of Alioski, Strujik, Ayling and Dallas is still very strong.
Interestingly, Leeds lined up in a 3-3-3-1 formation against Burnley — one of Bielsa’s many tactical curveballs opposition struggle to deal with — and it paid off, but I think he’ll revert to a more common system at the Hawthorns.
Leeds’ Predicted XI: (4-1-4-1)
Score Prediction: West Brom 1-0 Leeds
If Allardyce sets up the side the same way he did against Liverpool, there’s a strong chance that we could not only earn a clean sheet, but all three points in the process. Set-pieces are our strong point, so a corner-ball swung in for Ajayi or a free-kick curled into the area by Pereira and the game could be ours for the taking…