West Bromwich Albion will be without two players ahead of meeting with Crystal Palace as Conor Townsend and Sam Field have both been ruled out of the clash at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies could welcome back Kieran Gibbs and Jake Livermore after the pair were in isolation for two weeks, but Slaven Bilic previously hinted they could be short of fitness. Karlan Grant has also overcome a knock and will be available for selection.

Townsend is out with a knee injury picked up in Albion’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United last week and could be sidelined for up to six weeks.

Bilic told the club’s official website: “Conor is out for 4-6 weeks. He usually heals quite well so hopefully it will only be four weeks. It’s a big blow for us because he has been playing really well.”

Field was out with a knee injury but tested positive for Covid upon his return, so he was sidelined in November. Tomorrow’s game has come too soon for the 22-year-old, though, so his return should come against Newcastle United next weekend.

Gibbs and Livermore were isolating after testing positive for Covid but are now able to play. The pair missed Albion’s win over Sheffield United and haven’t trained much in the last week, so they may only make the bench.

Grant picked up a minor ankle injury against the Blades and was a doubt to face Palace, but he has since returned to training and Bilic believes he’s fit enough to feature.

The manager told wba.co.uk: “Karlan had a sore ankle from the game against Sheffield United. He trained on Friday. I spoke to him, he said he’s still a bit sore but no real problems. He is considered fit to play.”


Townsend had started eight successive league matches and was a firm fixture in the team prior to his injury at The Hawthorns last week, so he will undoubtedly be a miss for the next few weeks.

Given that Bilic holds out hope the 27-year-old may be out for “only” four to six weeks, though, the prognosis could well have been a whole lot worse.

In other news, one defender could leave West Bromwich Albion in January