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Premier League

  • 23 October 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 25625
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West Bromwich Albion - Fulham Preview: Jerome Thomas a doubt as Peter Odemwingie could return while Danny Murphy and Moussa Dembele miss out for visitors

West Bromwich Albion - Fulham Preview: Jerome Thomas a doubt as Peter Odemwingie could return while Danny Murphy and Moussa Dembele miss out for visitors

TEAM NEWS

West Bromwich Albion


Last weekend's unbelievable 2-2 draw with Manchester United contained just one negative with the calf strain picked up by Jerome Thomas.

The winger damaged the muscle despite being a late substitute in the contest that was all the more remarkable considering top scorer Peter Odemwingie's absence. However, the Nigeria international looks set to be ready for first team action against Fulham.

Marek Cech is the only other absentee manager Roberto Di Matteo's has to consider when he chooses his 18-man selection.

Probable starting XI: Carson; Jara, Olsson, Tamas, Shorey; Morrison, Tchoyi, Mulumbu, Scharner, Brunt; Odemwingie
.

Fulham

Manager Mark Hughes is counting the cost of last weekend's defeat to Tottenham after Danny Murphy and Moussa Dembele both picked up injuries and are out until November.

Both were removed early as the side slumped to a 2-1 loss. Dembele's knock has been compensated by the possible return of Andy Johnson, who is an outside shot for a place on the substitute's bench after nine months out following knee surgery.

In net, David Stockdale is fit again after being sidelined since September. While Mark Schwarzer is expected to remain No.1, the Rochdale-born player's presence will increase competition.

Both Bobby Zamora and Philippe Senderos remain months away from pulling on the Fulham jersey again.

Probable starting XI: Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido; Davies, Etuhu, Greening, Gera; Dempsey; Kamara.

Cottagers to curb Baggies' bravado

West Brom's flying start to the season kicked up another gear last weekend with the stunning come-from-behind draw at Old Trafford.

Following on from the win away to Arsenal, Di Matteo's side look perfectly suited to the Premier League. Hughes must now travel to the Hawthorns and try to take the wind out of their sails after the disappointment of the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham that left a bad taste in the mouth.

A win for the Cottagers would see them draw level with Saturday's hosts on 12 points and propel them away from mid-table. The chance to join West Brom in an unlikely Europa League qualification spot even this early in the season would see the managerial duo's stock rise even further.

Too close to call


The previous meetings between the two teams has seen neither claim a regular spot in supremacy.

Victories have been traded between them, with the 2008-09 season - the last time West Bromwich Albion were in the top flight - seeing the hosts claim all three points each time.

Hughes will have his fingers crossed, however, that a repeat of the 6-1 thrashing nearly four years ago could be on the cards.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
22Scott CarsonGoalkeeper
36Gonzalo JaraDefender
3Jonas OlssonDefender
30Gabriel Sebastian TamaşDefender
20Nicky ShoreyDefender
11Chris BruntMidfielder
7James MorrisonMidfielder
21Youssouf MulumbuMidfielder
33Paul ScharnerMidfielder
14Jerome ThomasDefender
28Marc-Antoine FortuneStriker
13B. MyhillGoalkeeper
2Steven ReidDefender
17Graham DorransMidfielder
-Simon CoxStriker
-Pablo IbáñezDefender
9Roman BednarStriker
5Somen TchoyiMidfielder
23Mark SchwarzerGoalkeeper
2Stephen KellyDefender
18Aaron HughesDefender
5Brede HangelandDefender
3C. SalcidoDefender
22Zoltán GeraMidfielder
6Chris BairdDefender
27Jonathan GreeningMidfielder
2Clint DempseyStriker
30Mousa DembeleStriker
-Diomansy KamaraStriker
13David StockdaleGoalkeeper
5Rafik HallicheDefender
8Kagisho DikgacoiMidfielder
7Eddie JohnsonStriker
8Andy JohnsonStriker
17B. RiiseMidfielder
4John PaintsilDefender
Players to Watch
Chris Brunt
Chris Brunt
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Not many West Bromwich Albion players can claim to have terrorised Sir Alex Ferguson in recent years, but Chris Brunt was unplayable last week.

Although good fortune was required to put the ball in the back of the net from both his centres, right-back Rafael Da Silva was given a torrid time. The Northern Irishman must be at his most accurate again to unsettle Brade Hangeland and Aaron Hughes.
Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 2
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With Zamora on crutches, Eddie Johnson out of his depth, Andy Johnson not match sharp, Dembele nursing a msucle strain and Dioumansy Kamara not up to task, much will rely on Clint Dempsey.

The utility attacker can expect to be utilised as the lone striker for this weekend's fixture. The American's eye for goal and ability in the air make him perfect for the role, with a repeat of his header against Blackburn Rovers just what the manager requires.

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