West Brom were unlucky in their FA Cup fourth round replay on Wednesday, losing 3-1 to Brighton in a 120 minute thriller.
The Baggies fielded a team built mainly out of youngsters,with some experience woven into the team through Wes Hoolahan and Jay Rodriquez.
West Brom fought valiantly throughout the game creating well-devised set pieces and working through the Brighton back line. Rekeem Harper dictated play in the first half, 16 year old Morgan Rodgers danced round defenders, and Rayhaan Tulloch made blistering runs off the ball.
Although the game was promising for the West Brom youth, it wasn’t how Darren Moore wanted to prepare for the clash with Stoke City, with Hal Robson-Kanu suffering an injury, in addition to Sam Field and Rekeem Harper gasping for air. It will be interesting to see what changes Moore makes and I predict we will see a few new faces added to the side.
Here’s how I think West Brom will line up:
GK: Sam Johnstone
No surprise here. Sam Johnstone has started every West Brom league game since the start of the season, and conceded an average of 1.3 goals per game.
LB: Kieran Gibbs
Kieran Gibbs has been ol’reliable for the Baggies this season. Scored three, and has played a vital role in the back line. Well rested, I can’t see him being left out against Stoke.
CB: Craig Dawson
Mr Albion. Craig Dawson hasn’t been enjoying his football as much as he has in the Premier League where he belongs. Dawson can be prone to mistakes but he has put in a top shift game in game out.
CB: Ahmed Hegazy
Can’t go without Hegazy. Has his edgy moments, but all in all, Hegazy is a very calm and collected character much improved when alongside Craig Dawson. A pair that’s not to be messed with!
RB: Mason Holgate
Holgate has made a smashing start to life at West Brom. Despite having only been at the club for a few games, he hasn’t put a foot wrong.
CM: Gareth Barry
Captain Barry always positively affects the game and has been a force in the Championship this season.
CM: Jake Livermore
Livermore only just came back from a four match ban against Middlesbrough and looked very unfit. Hopefully he will be back tomorrow, looking sharper and match ready.
CM: Rekeem Harper
Dictated play in the first half of the game against Brighton. Looks a promising young lad but needs to work on fitness, as he was left well out of gas after the 70th minute on Wednesday. May be replaced with a new face tomorrow but Darren Moore isn’t keen on change and Harper has earned his place in the starting XI.
LW: Jefferson Montero
Will be exciting to see this attacking menace appear tomorrow. With Hal Robson-Kanu out due to injury Montero may have the chance to showcase his talent in a big game. Darren Moore has a big decision to make!
ST: Jay Rodriguez
Rodriguez is the Baggies’ joint top scorer. He has been a crucial player to the first team and was brought off half way through the game against Brighton to rest for Stoke. Will hope to see him in good form!
RW: Dwight Gayle
Whenever Rodriguez strikes, this man always strikes back. Gayle has been a great swap for Rondon and has made all the Albion fans delighted with his performances. But he will need to pull something magical out of the bag if he wants to get through Stoke tomorrow.