West Brom v Blackburn
1 November 2008
So October has ended in the worst possible way for the Baggies. Three defeats out of the last three games. The defeat at Manchester United was expected, the defeat at home to Hull was embarrassing and the performance and result at Newcastle were disappointing.
Now that Halloween has gone hopefully the horror stories will end.
With Blackburn visiting the Hawthorns the Baggies faithful have every right to expect an end to their nightmare and three points in the bag. Managed by the ineperienced Paul Ince Rovers are one of the teams that many neutrals would expect to be fighting it out to avoid relegation.
However, the Baggies need much improved performances from the whole team to take the three points. Defensively in the last game and a half West Brom have been truly awful with the main protagonists being the young Dutch pair Ryan Donk and Gianni Zuiverloon. With the latter producing the worst performance as a right back for West Brom that I can remember in Tuesday night's defeat at Newcastle.
The Baggies have been so ponderous in their build up of late that they are so easy to defend against. If that doesn't change then the best the faithful can hope for is a goalless draw.
An injection of pace and increased tempo is desperately needed to create pressure on the opposition defence. So far this season Tony Mowbray has been reluctant to break away from the considered build up from midfield that to me seems so easy to defend against if you play with two banks of four in front of the keeper.
What is clear from the last three games is that Albion create more chances when Ishmael Miller is on the pitch and he should start more games than he misses. Perhaps Luke Moore should also be given a chance to start also as Roman Bednar is starting to show signs of tiredness.
No doubt the Manager's thoughts on team selection will be different to most fans and most pundits for that matter.
Tony Mowbray says:
"No-one is getting depressed by the fact we have lost three defeats on the bounce.
"It is water off a duck`s back because there are other teams bigger and with more money spent who have been in this league a lot longer than us who are sitting there with five or six defeats.
"We have just got to focus on the games we think we can win - as we have done already this season.
"If you get sucked into the negativity that can comes your way, you have got to fight against it. We are still doing pretty well and we have got to go into the next game confident, believing we can win."
West Brom Team News:
Do-Heon Kim could make a surprise return to the starting line up but the game comes too early for Meite and Teixeira.
I expect the Baggies to play a 442 with Miller to start, partnered by Bednar up front.
From: Carson, Kiely, Zuiverloon, Donk, Olsson, Robinson, Brunt, Greening, Valero, Koren, Morrison, Bednar, Miller, Moore, Hoefkens, Cech, MacDonald, Pele, Do-Heon
Player to watch: Ishmael Miller
With Miller having got off the mark against Newcastle expect him to score again today.
Blackburn Team News:
Roque Santa Cruz is out for Blackburn so Jason Roberts could start against his old club.
From: Robinson, Simpson, Samba, Nelsen, Ooijer, Emerton, Tugay, Warnock, Villanueva, Roberts, Fowler, McCarthy, Derbyshire, Pedersen, Olsson, Andrews, Brown, Khizanishvili, Treacy
Player to watch: Jason Roberts
Jason Roberts return could spell trouble as Murphy's law dictates your old player always scores against you!
3-2 to the Baggies
Away at Liverpool. Another game on Setanta but don't expect any analysis of the Baggies if the Man United games is anything to go by!