West Brom will be looking for only their second home win of the season when they face Aston Villa in a West Midlands derby, with the visitors hoping to move into the top half.
Avoiding defeat at Hull City last time out was important for the Baggies, but it could have been a much-needed victory had Graham Dorrans converted a first half penalty, leaving Head Coach Alan Irvine with more than a tinge of disappointment at the final whistle.
Top scorer Saido Berahino was dropped to the bench, the latest decision by Irvine to be met with scepticism by the supporters, particularly with West Brom currently suffering from a chronic lack of goals at present, so they must find some invention if they are to be involved in a relegation dogfight.
Two consecutive wins have lifted Villa to 11th and six points clear of the drop zone, a feat made all the more impressive by the absence of three key central defenders, but Ciaran Clark and the injury-plagued Jores Okore have made for a very competent pairing.
The Irishman was on the scoresheet in the last game against Leicester City, as they recovered well from an early setback to claim a handy home success, another 90 minutes which showed that Christian Benteke brings a much-needed focal point to the Villans’ attack.
Chris Brunt and Jonas Olsson are both definitely out for West Brom, who have slight doubts over Victor Anichebe and Stephane Sessegnon. Midfielder Claudio Yacob is back from suspension.
Villa could be without Nathan Baker and Philippe Senderos again, while Ashley Westwood is set for a month out. Ron Vlaar and Fabian Delph have an outside chance of making their comebacks at the Hawthorns.
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