West Brom welcome Champions League-chasing Tottenham Hotspur to the Hawthorns searching to arrest a worrying slump of form that has seen fail to win in seven matches in league and cup since the beginning of 2013.
Indeed, having been as high as third place in the Premier League table in late November, the Baggies have since dropped to ninth and head coach Steve Clarke will be keen to avoid the rest of his side’s season petering out into mid-table mediocrity after such a promising start.
The club were certainly in the headlines on transfer deadline-day but for all the wrong reasons as unsettled striker Peter Odemwingie attempted to force through a move to QPR despite no fee being agreed between the two clubs, nor permission granted to the Nigerian to travel to Loftus Road himself. However, the deadline passed and Odemwingie remained at the club, though he will not take part in proceedings on Sunday after being told by the club not to return to training until next week.
Elsewhere, Clarke is boosted by the return of key midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu to England after DR Congo’s early elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations and his return makes up for George Thorne’s absence, with a cruciate ligament injury set to rule him for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas’ Spurs are looking for a first away victory of 2013 and indeed a first Premier League win since the home success over Reading on New Year’s Day as the Lillywhites look to cement their grip on fourth place.
Villas-Boas could hand a full debut to new signing Lewis Holtby after the German international impressed off the substitutes bench against Norwich in midweek. Elsewhere, Jermain Defoe is fit to start up front in the continued absence of Emmanuel Adebayor due to the Africa Cup of Nations. Younes Kaboul and Sandro remain out with knee injuries while Tom Huddlestone is struggling with a leg problem.