Today’s match against Fulham is a classic six pointer; Albion are just two points behind the Cottagers and so a win today would be crucial in their mission to escape the relegation zone.
A victory would put the Baggies on 14 points, meaning they move up above Fulham into 18th — then just four points behind 17th place Brighton. But, of course, this is all hypothetical; we have to focus on one thing at a time, and right now it’s all about picking up three points at The Hawthorns today.
Team News and Predicted XI:
Grady Diangana is back in training following a hamstring injury and is in contention to start against Fulham; as is Conor Townsend who has recently recovered from a knee injury.
Aside from that, Big Sam has the whole squad to choose from when selecting his side so the fans should expect a strong starting eleven today.
The team we predict Allardyce will choose is as follows: Sam Johnstone in-between the sticks as per usual, behind a backline of Kieran Gibbs, Dara O’Shea, Semi Ajayi and Darnell Furlong.
In front of them is a flat midfield of Karlan Grant, Romaine Sawyers, Jake Livermore and Robert Snodgrass. Grant had been used as a striker for much of this season but, in actual fact, his strongest position is on the left wing.
Sawyers’ performances as of late have been dire, but with a lack of competition for his position, Allardyce may be forced to keep him in the eleven until a signing is made this month.
Matheus Pereira will be used to connect the midfield to the attack, with Callum Robinson up top. New signing Mbaye Diagne is unlikely to start, with talk of a suspension being carried over from his time with Galatasaray.
Albion’s Predicted XI: (4-4-1-1)
Full-back Antonee Robinson, who the Baggies had tried to sign in the summer, is back following a one-match suspension.
Terence Kongolo and Tom Cairney are both sidelined, but this won’t be much of a worry for Scott Parker, as his side can still field a very strong eleven and hope to win against a struggling West Brom team.
Alphonse Areola is likely to be in goal for the Cottagers, with a ex-Baggie Tosin Adarabioyo lined up alongside Joachim Andersen and Ola Aina to make a back three.
Antonee Robinson and Kenny Tete will serve as the wing-backs, pushing forward and causing trouble for Kieran Gibbs and Darnell Furlong on the flanks.
Harrison Reed and Andre Zambo-Anguissa will operate in the centre of the park, with Ademola Lookman and Ruben Loftus-Cheek pushed further ahead with more attacking duties.
And up top, replacing Aleksandr Mitrovic, is likely to be ex-Wolves forward Ivan Cavaleiro.
Albion will have their work cut out today, that’s for sure.
Fulham’s Predicted XI: (3-4-3)
West Brom 1-0 Fulham
Perhaps it’s wishful thinking to predict a victory against Fulham, but we’re at home and this is a crucial match for the Baggies. A win against our relegation rivals would be monumental in our bid to stay up. We predict that the game will be neck-and-neck until around the 70th – 80th minute when we’ll score from a set-piece, and then successfully see the game out. Fingers crossed.