FYP Preview: West Brom vs Crystal Palace (25/10/2014)

Written by Jim Daly

Saturday 25th October, 2014. Kick-off 3pm. The Hawthorns, West Bromwich

Big game. Big game.

Team news

James McArthur also came off against Chelsea with a hip problem and Warnock confirmed that the midfielder won't be fit for the trip to the Midlands.

For the second game in a row Neil Warnock will be forced to shuffle his defensive pack after Damien Delaney was sent-off against Chelsea last week, meaning the defender will serve his one match ban this weekend.

With Scott Dann unlikely to be risked despite the defender being in light training following a knee problem, Martin Kelly or Adrian Mariappa could move into the vacant centre-half slot alongside Brede Hangeland.

For West Brom, Boaz Myhill is likely to start in goal for the Baggies after stepping in for the injured Ben Foster for Monday night's game against United after the England goalkeeper pulled a calf muscle.

The only other injury concern for Irvine is winger Silvestre Varela who has a groin problem.


Possible line-ups

Crystal Palace 

Crystal Palace 4-2-3-1 football formation

 

 West Brom 

Chelsea football formation


Eye on the opposition
By Jack Pierce

Four wins in their last five league and domestic cup matches and possess one of the hottest strikers in the Premier League.

No, not last weekend's opponents, Chelsea but West Bromwich Albion.

We head to The Hawthorns this Saturday to play a team who are in good form and are playing with a confidence that a good run of form brings. Their performance against Manchester United on Monday night showed that and in Saido Berahino, Albion have a player who if given a sniff of goal isn't shy of taking that chance.

Last season was an odd one for Baggies' fans. Fresh from an uplifting season under Steve Clarke, supporters must have been hoping to push on again and aim for a top half finish. Unfortunately for them, their season was a bit of a car crash. Clarke was relieved of his duties in December and after nearly a month of deciding who to bring in to replace the Scot, the West Brom board made the rather underwhelming appointment of Pepe Mel. He did at least last to the end of the season and just about kept the club in the top flight but his tenure will not be looked back upon with too much fondness.

If Mel's appointment wasn't received very warmly by The Hawthorns faithful, then I think it's fair to say Alan Irvine's appointment saw the temperature lowered further. A well respected coach in football circles, Irvine's two spells in management have not gone to plan. He trod water with Preston and failed to prevent Sheffield Wednesday going down to the third tier. While Paul Hart, Dougie Freedman and Palace players celebrated, it was Irvine who had the realities of relegation thrown in his face that day at Hillsborough.

Four years on and he comes up against Palace again but this in the Premier League. Not many people who would have forecasted Palace to be a top flight club, let alone Irvine a Premier League coach.

Only one point ahead of Palace in the league table, despite WBA's decent string on performances and points, they are still expected to be one of the many sides who will be competing at the bottom of the table. Early signs are fairly positive for Irvine though and a few of his signings appear to have slotted into place nicely. Craig Gardner and Joleon Lescott bring plenty of top flight experience with them, on-loan Andre Wisdom appears to be fulfilling potential he showed glimpses of at Liverpool but it's a player whose been on Baggies' books for a while who has caught the eye of most. Craig Dawson has played very well so far this season having finally broken into the first team and if Irvine persists in keeping Jonas Olsson out of the team then the Lescott/Dawson partnership may prove a very solid central defensive pairing.

This isn't a six pointer and I'm not going to tell you it is for dramatisation's sake. That said, another Palace defeat and all of the enthusiasm and positivity that was abound after back to back wins against Everton and Leicester in September could begin to turn into apprehension and negativity.

So, a bit more Goodison Park than KC Stadium, please lads.


Knowing me, knowing you

Josh Esaw takes a look at players who have played for both Chelsea and West Brom.


From the other side

Baggies fan Richard Dayus answers some of our questions about Saturday's game. 


Prediction

Not gonna call it a six pointer but basically it's a six pointer. Palace's defence is a worry but the return of Chamakh will help going forward. A high scoring draw, we reckon.

West Brom 2-2 Crystal Palace


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