The highlight of our 3-1 win at West Brom last season was Jermain Defoe’s confident run and explosion of a finish that gave us the lead for the first time in the match. Oh what we would give for more of the same on Sunday. When he’s not scoring goals the little man’s influence on games is negligible and lately, with one goal in his last nine, his anonymity has hit new peaks. He’s got an injury of sorts, how serious we don’t know as the lack of alternatives means that Elland Road has been his only chance of a rest but it’s that same paucity of strikers that means he’ll have another chance to prove his worth to the side this weekend. If he continues to fluff his lines as per Norwich and Man Utd then Adebayor can expect to be back in the team as soon as hit plane hits the tarmac at Heathrow.
Lewis Holtby should make his full debut but where he’ll start is a bit of a punt. He’ll either be off the aforementioned Defoe, off Dempsey if AVB thinks JD’s injury needs more of a rest or very possibly alongside Dembélé in the centre in place of Parker. Wherever he plays, on twenty minutes evidence, he looks like he’ll add at least some of the momentum and creativity we’ve been sorely missing.
West Brom started the season superbly but since the end of November it’s all gone very poor with only two wins in thirteen games. Odemwingie’s antics this week won’t have improved morale. It’s a bit of a puzzle why they’ve gone off the boil to quite such an extent, in Morrison, Dorrans, Lukaku and Brunt they have a decent core of attacking players and Steve Clarke seems like a wise old head in charge. Perhaps the dispatching of the relegation threat so early in the season caused some unwanted relaxing of attitudes, who knows? Not me, that’s for certain.
We had just one league win in January; our last three games have ended in draws. Other team’s inconsistencies mean that we’re still in a good position but the end of the transfer window sort of signals the start of the run-in and we’ll need to start winning if we’re going to still be anywhere near where we are now at the end of the campaign. West Brom is as good as place to start as any.
Twattenburg is the referee. Oh no. COYS.
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