Tottenham travel to the Hawthorns this Saturday, for an afternoon kick off against West Brom.
The Baggies have just one goal to show, in their three matches, this season. That came in their home match against Sunderland, thans to a late strike by Nigerian import, P Odemwingie.
The Baggies lost their away match at Anfield 1-0, revealing a fairly defensive mindset, in the process. That game came after a 6-0 thrashing from defending champions Chelsea.
Spurs on the other hand have been aggressive, and despite their loss to Wigan, the signs are there that the White Hart Lane squad want a repeat of their 4th place finish of last year, and the Champions League qualification that goes with it.
But Spurs are beset by injury woes, going into Saturday’s match against West Brom. Dawson, Bentley, Crouch and Modric are all likely to sit out, even as there’s good news in the form of the return from injury of ‘keeper Gomes, along with defender Corluka.
Redknapp’s squad could rely on Defoe and Pavlyucenko to lead the attack, although theres a question mark over Defoe’s fitness, in which case Keane could start in Defoe’s place.
The real weakness is in central defence, where Dawson’s absence is sure to hurt Spurs. An out-of-form King is a poor replacement, while Bassong is not certain to start.
After their accidental loss to Wigan, Tottenham will look to set things right against the Hawthorn’s squad, in what could be a one-sided encounter.
That said, West Brom have done reasonably well against a much stronger Tottenham. Since 2002, in ten matches West Brom have won two against Spurs’ five matches won.
De Matteo’s squad have won their last two home matches against Redknapp’s side. Spurs fans could blame it on the chilly winter weather, they encountered in their last visit in December.
So it will be left to spurs to break the ice in what is likely to be a watchful defensive game by West Brom.
The probable starting eleven for West Brom are: Kiely, Jara, Olsson, Shorey, Tamas, Mulumbu, Brent, Dorrans, Morrisson, Odimwingie and Scharner.
The starting eleven for Spurs are likely to be: Gomes, Kaboul, Corluka, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Huddlestone, Palacios, Bale, Keane, and Pavlyuchenko.