Writer: Lord Shepherd
Date:Friday February 6 2009
7 February 2009
The Toon are in town this Saturday for a crucial relegation battle. Win this game and the Baggies could see themselves outside the bottom three for the first time since November. Both teams have their injury problems and neither team has been playing well of late but Newcastle will start as favourites as the Baggies injury list is the more severe.
Tony Mowbray recognised the importance of the match: 'A victory would put us above Newcastle. We can't determine what happens elsewhere. I don't think we're jittery. We are enjoying the challenge of trying to stay in this division.
'It's a tight division and there are a dozen teams who will feel concern and a few above that who realise they probably need another win or two to put some space between them and teams at bottom end. We need to keep the momentum we've had recently.'
Meanwhile Joe Kinnear appears confident that his team can do the double over the Baggies:
"We did OK in the first game against them but we are looking for three more points now.
"I`m confident we can do it."
The Baggies are definitely missing, Jonas Olsson, Neil Clement, Leon Barnett, Ishmael Miller, Jonathan Greening, Craig Beattie and doubts remain over record signing Borja Valero, Robert Koren, Jay Simpson, Luke Moore, Abdoulaye Meite, Ryan Donk and Pele. £3 million summer signing Gianni Zuiverloon is suspended having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Hull.
New loan signings Youseff Mulumbu and Juan Carlos Menseguez could feature at some point.
West Brom from:
Carson, Kiely, Hoefkens, Pele, Donk, Meite, Robinson, Cech, Morrison, Koren, Brunt, Do-Heon, Bednar, Simpson, Fortune, Valero, Menseguez, Hodgkiss, Teixeira, Mulumbu.
West Brom's top scorer Bednar will be itching to get on the score sheet after missing several easy chances in recent games.
Newcastle welcome back Obafemi Martins, Mark Viduka and Alan Smith, however, Newcastle's main creative threat Jonas Gutierrez is suspended. Doubts remain over Andy Carroll but with Martins returning he is unlikely to be missed. Joey Barton and Michael Owen definitely miss out with long term injuries and Coloccini is struggling to be fit.
Harper, Forster, Krul, Enrique, Bassong, Coloccini, S Taylor, R Taylor, Edgar, Duff, Nolan, Lovenkrands, Geremi, Smith, Martins, Viduka, Ameobi, Carroll, Xisco, LuaLua, Ranger.
Martins sccored against the Baggies earlier in the season and the Toon faithful will be banking on him to do so again.
2-1 to the Baggies
Away to Fulham on Sunday, 22 February.
Date:Friday February 6 2009
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