The wait for football is finally over!
After a three month absence, West Bromwich Albion will be given the opportunity, on the pitch, to finish what they started and get themselves promoted back to the Premier League.
The last time Albion played a competitive league match was a 0-0 draw against Swansea City back in March, a result which saw the Baggies slip to second place, six points clear of third-place Fulham.
The Baggies were set to meet with Midlands rivals Birmingham City the following week at The Hawthorns, but the season was halted due to the pandemic.
This time around, things will be very different as the remainder of the campaign will be played behind closed doors but with or without fans, Albion will have their sights on picking up from where they left off as they look to revive a brilliant campaign under Slaven Bilic.
It will be an important first match back to try and steer clear in the race for automatic promotion, as Brentford and Fulham will lock horns earlier in the day at Craven Cottage.
In terms of team news, the only injury in the Albion camp is that of Nathan Ferguson who continues his recovery from a knee injury. Other than that, Bilic has a fully fit squad to choose from.
Here’s how we think WBA will lineup on Saturday afternoon:
GK: Sam Johnstone
The Baggies shot-stopper has started all of Albion’s Championship games and is fully expected to start between the sticks again ahead of the restart.
RB: Darnell Furlong
Furlong, at the time of the pause in the action, had lost his place at right-back to youngster Dara O’Shea. In a game where Albion have to win though, Furlong could be brought back in to add some offensive quality down the right side.
CB: Semi Ajayi
Ajayi has been one of the stand out players for the Baggies on their way to success this season. Should start once again.
CB: Ahmed Hegazi
Hegazi, for most of this season, has been behind Kyle Bartley in the pecking order but with games coming thick and fast, rotation is key and Hegazi might come in to add some experience.
LB: Kieran Gibbs
The pause in the action has allowed Gibbs to recover to full fitness as a couple of injuries halted his progress this season. This game could be key to upping his match fitness.
CM: Jake Livermore (C)
Livermore was another who really upped his performances this season as he has shown a more attacking side to his game. The club captain should be in the starting eleven again.
CM: Romaine Sawyers
Sawyers has been another great signing this season for Albion, adding some much-needed calmness in midfield. He formed a solid partnership with Livermore and it should continue against Blues.
CAM: Filip Krovinovic
Krovinovic, before the suspension of the season, was hitting his stride and was starting to get regular game time. He has shown his quality and deserves another start.
RW: Matheus Pereira
Pereira has undoubtedly been Albion’s player of the season so far and he will be looking to continue showing his quality on the ball. He wasn’t at his absolute best when the season stopped three months ago and will be looking to put things right.
LW: Grady Diangana
Diangana is another who has managed to return to full fitness during the suspension of the season which is a huge plus for the Baggies. He’s been part of a lethal attacking trio for most of the season, one which has fired Albion into the automatic promotion places, and he will be looking to return to add the firepower that Albion needs to finish strongly.
ST: Callum Robinson
Robinson has been a big positive for Albion since arriving on loan from Sheffield United and has been linked with a permanent move. It would be interesting to see him in a central role to see what he can do.