Writer: S Wilton
Date:Saturday December 4 2010
5 December 2010
The Baggies host fellow promoted club Newcastle United at the Hawthorns with both clubs hoping to break through the 20 point barrier.
It has been an impressive start by both clubs since they rejoined the Premier League and they are perhaps doing better than most analysts would have envisaged but the fact of the matter is that both teams worked very hard to gain promotion and they have continued with that hard work this season. Relegation from the Premier League has probably done the world of good for both clubs, perhaps Newcastle more than West Brom, they both have realistic expectations and are running the clubs on a sound financial basis. The success of both clubs this season has not been built on luck or spending money they haven't got but sheer hard work and they should be commended for their efforts.
Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo has already singled out Newcastle striker Any Carroll as the big threat for Albion,
'It is difficult to play against Andy Carroll because he is dangerous in the air and he is good with his feet too.
He is almost unstoppable and we have seen it in the Barclays Premier League, so I don't think it is just one person's job, it is for the whole back-four and the team to stop him.'
Albion entered the weekend with worries over several players, obviously Jonas Olsson misses out again with his achilles tendon injury and Mulumbu serves the last game of his suspension but Brunt, Odemwingie, Scharner, Morrison and Nicky Shorey could all miss out through either injury or illness. That's more than half of Albion's best starting line up and that is bound to affect them.
Dorrans' season has yet to take off this season but with the severe injury problems facing the Baggies this could well be the time that he regains his top form.
Kevin Nolan is set to miss the Hawthorns encounter due to an ankle injury. Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini are both suspended.
Is comes as no surprise that Carroll is seen as the big threat and how Albion deal with him will be crucial to the outcome of thee game.
The two sides have met 114 times over the years with Albion having won 43 times and lost 41. Last season's league outings ended in draws with the Baggies triumphing 4-2 in the FA Cup.
Mike Dean, one of the Premier League's better referees takes charge of the game.
It's hard to split these two sides so a 1-1 draw beckons.
It's the local derby for the Baggies next as they visit Aston Villa on Saturday.
Date:Saturday December 4 2010
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