West Brom Prediction: Probable XI to face Barnsley
West Brom reclaimed top spot in the EFL Championship with a 1-1 draw against Brentford at the weekend, thanks to Darnell Furlong’s equalizer in first-half injury-time.
The Baggies are currently three points clear of automatic promotion rivals Leeds United and Slaven Bilic’s side will be strong favourites when they make the trip to Oakwell to face relegation-threatened Barnsley on Boxing Day.
Gerhard Struber’s side have breathed some life back into their campaign with back-to-back wins against QPR and Millwall but the Tykes could have their work cut out when they play host to West Brom, who have lost only once in the Championship so far this season.
West Ham loanee Grady Diangana and left-back Kieran Gibbs are doubtful to play a part due to hamstring injuries. Apart from that, Bilic has a fully fit squad at his disposal ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Oakwell.
West Brom Prediction: Probable XI
Sam Johnstone (GK)
The 26-year-old made a couple of good saves against Brentford to deny Mbuemo and Benrahma and he has always been the first choice for the Baggies between the sticks.
Darnell Furlong (RB)
The former QPR man capped off an impressive display with a goal on Saturday and he is expected to retain his place in the eleven.
Semi Ajayi (CB)
The Nigerian had a few slip-ups against Brentford in the last game but he has largely been a commanding presence at the heart of the defence for the Baggies.
Kyle Bartley (CB)
The former Arsenal man has impressed with several commanding shifts at the back for the Baggies this term and he should once again be amongst the starters on Boxing Day.
Nathan Ferguson (LB)
The teenage sensation seems to be growing in confidence with each passing game and he continues to be one of the first names on the manager’s team sheet.
Romaine Sawyers (CDM)
The former Brentford star has emerged as a reliable figure for the Baggies in the middle of the park this term and his superb all-round game could once again make all the difference on Thursday.
Jake Livermore (CDM)
The England international has been a regular fixture in Bilic’s double midfield pivot alongside Sawyers and his experience continues to be a huge asset to West Brom.
Matt Phillips (RW)
The veteran teed up Furlong for the equalizer against Brentford and has always been an influential creative outlet down the right flank.
Kyle Edwards (LW)
The youngster showed glimpses of his ability in the absence of Diangana last week and he is expected to continue if the West Ham loanee doesn’t make it back to the matchday squad.
Matheus Pereira (CAM)
The Brazilian has been instrumental in the Baggies’ surge for promotion in the Championship this term and he will need to rise to the occasion once again when they make the trip to Oakwell on Thursday.
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Charlie Austin (ST)
Hal Robson-Kanu didn’t do anything noteworthy against Brentford, so Bilic might just opt to rotate his squad and give the former Southampton man a nod after his heroics against Birmingham City.