West Brom will be looking to return to the top of the Championship when they welcome the visit of Swansea City to The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon.
Slaven Bilic’s men left it very late to grab three points at Preston to keep themselves clear of the chasing pack, but they will now be looking for their sixth straight victory after Leeds knocked them off top spot yet again, having beaten Huddersfield 2-0.
This is another crucial game early on in the season to get three points out of, given that this is another opponent like Albion, who will be aiming to return to the Premier League this year.
This will be another massive test in front of the Albion faithful for the hosts, as the Swans are the only team in the whole of the EFL to not yet lose away from home all season. However, they haven’t won a game in their last four and most recently they were beaten 2-1 at home by promotion rivals Fulham.
In contrast, the Baggies are making The Hawthorns a fortress, and are now unbeaten at home in 15, having won ten and drawn five. Another three points would really send a statement to the teams around them and show that Albion are not backing down in their quest for promotion this season.
For team news, Slaven Bilic has again got a fully fit squad to choose from for this crunch fixture.
Here’s how we think WBA will line-up:
GK: Sam Johnstone
Produced a stunning save last week to earn Albion three points and showing why he is one of the best goalkeepers in the Championship. Will surely start again.
RB: Darnell Furlong
Been very unfortunate to lose his place due to the return of Gibbs and Ferguson. Has been a terrific signing so far this season and I would like to see him return to the starting XI.
CB: Semi Ajayi
Was not at his normal best last week but will surely have another chance to rectify that as he is forming a brilliant partnership with Bartley.
CB: Kyle Bartley
Another solid showing from Bartley shows why he deserves to be ahead of Hegazi at the moment. Another start for him is likely.
LB: Nathan Ferguson
Man of the Match performance last week. Added much needed steel to the backline in making a match saving block. With Furlong returning in to the side, Ferguson would have to switch to left back, which he is more than capable of doing from his showings so far this season in that role.
CM: Jake Livermore (C)
Personally I didn’t think he was great last week, but throughout the campaign so far he has been a far better player compared to last season. He adds the much needed grit to our midfield and shall surely lead the team out once again on Sunday.
CM: Romaine Sawyers
Sawyers is developing a fantastic partnership with Livermore. His presence is much needed for the composure and passing he brings to control the game at home and he should be in line to start again.
CAM: Matheus Pereira
Arguably one of the best players in the league. His creativity in the final third is what this team heavily depends on and the Brazilian should be in line for another start to weave his magic.
RW: Matt Phillips
Was one of the better players on the pitch last week but was surprisingly taken off just after the hour mark. Should start again though, as on his day can be a force.
LW: Grady Diangana
Wasn’t his night at Preston like it was for many, but on his day, Diangana is unstoppable. His trickery and pace is what we depend on in our attack and we will need to rely on that again to unlock Swansea’s defence on Sunday.
ST: Charlie Austin
Three goals in three games has seen Austin hit a bit of form. It was a rare off night for Hal Robson-Kanu last week, and with Austin getting Albion three points at Preston from the penalty spot, he could be in line to return to the starting line-up.