It’s the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon and the Boing Boing Baggies. Woy took over from Di Matteo halfway through last season with the target of keeping them up, a goal he achieved with some comfort in the end, nicking some notable results along the way including a 2-2 draw at WHL in April. Many saw Simon Cox’s late curled equaliser as the equivalent of time being called at the Hope of Champions League bar for us.
Things haven’t gone quite so well for West Brom this time around but they’re still lying tenth. Injuries plus fewer teams being caught unawares by the prowess of Brunt and Odemwingie mean that good results have had to be fought for, and fight is one thing I’m sure we can expect at the weekend. We will probably face a tougher game than on Monday night when Villa’s defensive approach and set up didn’t appear to have the full backing of the players who like a fighter there just to make the main draw look good did little but roll with the punches until the final bell.
With at least one day knocked off his normal recovery time, it’ll be interesting to see whether Ledley is able to start in this one. If not, then presumably William Gallas will make his first appearance of the season. Elsewhere, Van der Vaart’s hamstring/ankle was clearly bothering him at the end of Monday but like everyone else in the side I’m sure he’ll do his utmost to be fit given how much the players are obviously enjoying playing together at the moment. Kyle Walker needed treatment for his back after being flattened by Heskey but should be fit given that he carried on ok afterwards and played a full part in dismantling Villa’s left hand side.
Sandro must be champing at the bit to be allowed a full 90 minutes but like Defoe, Bassong and indeed the aforementioned Gallas he’ll probably have to wait until Wednesday’s important Europa League game against group leaders PAOK. Harry will want to play a strong team in the European game but not at the risk of chancing three points at the weekend I’m sure.
One bad omen is that Lee Probert is down to referee. This’ll be the fourth time he’s taken us this season and we’ve not won any of them. Oh no! The defeat at Old Trafford was followed by draws at the Britannia and the SportsDirect Arena.
The football was such on Monday that it’s left everyone gagging for more. West Brom will be organised and ready to face up to the challenge. As usual we’ll be looking to start at pace and nick an early lead. If we do that it’s a great chance keep the pressure on those around us. COYS.
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