West Brom - Stoke Preview: Baggies hope impressive home form will help them bounce back
Steve Clark's side suffered a demoralising defeat in midweek but have the opportunity to rectify that against a Tony Pulis team lacking in ambition going forward when on the road
By Arthur Virgo
Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell
Odemwingie, Morrison, Brunt
Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Cameron
Walters, Whelan, N'Zonzi, Adam, Etherington
West Brom will continue with Boaz Myhill in goal in place of regular keeper Ben Foster (groin), while right-back Steven Reid (hamstring) and centre-back Craig Dawson (eye injury) are also unavailable.
Steve Clarke could return forward Shane Long to a lone striking role in place of Romelu Lukaku after he was rested on Wednesday against Swansea, with Peter Odemwingie to his right. Chris Brunt could retain his place on the left flank, with Zoltan Gera doubtful (groin).
Stoke are without defenders Marc Wilson (ankle) and Andy Wilkinson (back), so Ryan Shotton is likely to retain his place at right-back with Geoff Cameron again at left-back.
Matthew Etherington has been preferred to Michael Kightly on the left flank of late, while Rory Delap (hernia) is unavailable.
In attack, regular lone striker Peter Crouch (mouth) is unlikely to feature after losing three teeth in midweek, while Michael Owen (hamstring) is doubtful. Kenwyne Jones and Wednesday's goal scorer Cameron Jerome are therefore in contention for their first starts this season, but each could feature at some point.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- West Brom had collected four consecutive league victories until Wednsday when the side were defeated 3-1 by Swansea, but still occupy fourth place in the table.
- The Baggies have a formidable home record this season, having won six of their last seven at the Hawthorns in the Premier League.
Albion are 8/1 to win 2-0 with bet365 .
- Stoke are unbeaten in four games and have won their previous two, having conceded just two goals at home and 12 in the Premier League so far this season. Only champions Manchester City have conceded fewer (10).
- The Potters are weak away from the Britannia Stadium, however, and have failed to win in their last 16 Premier League away games, a run stretching back to January 2.
- Stoke have won their last three matches against West Brom at the Hawthorns, keeping a clean sheet in each match.
- The Baggies won the last time the two sides met after a winning goal in stoppage time from Graham Dorrans (pictured) cancelled out Cameron Jerome's late equaliser.
- Saturday's game will see several men playing for the same nation line up against each other after. West Brom striker Shane Long will face Republic of Ireland team-mates John Walters and Glenn Whelan, while Scotland international playmakers James Morrison and Charlie Adam will be on opposing sides.
- Former England international Peter Crouch is crucial to Stoke's aerial game and has started every match this season, scoring or assisted seven goals so far this season, over half Tony Pulis’ side’s 13, but is likely to miss out after three of his teeth were knocked out in a collision on Wednesday.
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Top 3 Predictions
West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Stoke City
- 17.79 %
West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Stoke City
- 16.56 %
West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Stoke City
- 8.59 %
|Premier League (EPL)||16 Mar 2013||Stoke City 0 - West Bromwich Albion 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Dec 2012||West Bromwich Albion 0 - Stoke City 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||21 Jan 2012||Stoke City 1 - West Bromwich Albion 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Aug 2011||West Bromwich Albion 0 - Stoke City 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Feb 2011||Stoke City 1 - West Bromwich Albion 1|
|West Bromwich Albion|
|19 May 2013||West Bromwich Albion 5 - Manchester United 5||EPL|
|12 May 2013||Norwich City 4 - West Bromwich Albion 0||EPL|
|7 May 2013||Manchester City 1 - West Bromwich Albion 0||EPL|
|4 May 2013||West Bromwich Albion 2 - Wigan Athletic 3||EPL|
|27 Apr 2013||Southampton 0 - West Bromwich Albion 3||EPL|
|30||Sebastien Gabriel Tamaş||Defender|
The 25-year-old will be keen to claim the place as his own and add to the five goals and five assists he has grabbed already in the Premier League this season, by capitalising on any defensive mistakes and on any occasion his team-mates get the ball in the penalty area.
The giant pair are highly capable in the air but will take on the pace of Long, Peter Odemwingie, and Romelu Lukaku on Saturday when the Baggies launch their quick counter-attack. Coping well with the task could help the 25-year-old retain his place in the England set-up following his call-up to the most recent squad.
Tony Pulis' team are resolute in defence but lacking in confidence away from the Britannia Stadium, and with striker Peter Crouch set to miss out, they could struggle against the Baggies.