According to reports in the West Midlands, West Brom will play a weakened side when Newcastle come to town for our FA Cup last 16 clash at the Hawthorns.
This comes from the Chronicle’s Mark Douglas, who claims Slaven Bilic will continue to focus on their promotion push and select several fringe men and a few youngster’s for next month’s game – despite the fact a win could see them move into the cup quarter finals.
The Baggies are currently the Championship leaders and are 4 points clear of third, and it seems the league will continue to be their priority after making EIGHT changes in the last round at West Ham.
Here’s what Mark Douglas has had to say, claiming his sources in the West Midlands have told him WBA will be far from full strength when we face off in on March 3rd:
Newcastle United will not face a full strength West Brom side when the two teams meet in the fifth round of the FA Cup next month.
Promotion-chasing Albion’s selection policy in the Cup so far has seen them freshen up their side and Slaven Bilic made eight changes for the defeat of West Ham. And according to West Midlands sources he has vowed to stick with that decision for the visit of Newcastle, who will have made the Cup their equal priority this season.
That means the team will be “half and half” when it comes to the United game – with a few first team regulars joined by fringe men and young pretenders for West Brom.
Hawthorns bosses are preparing for a massive Newcastle contingent at the midweek fixture, having handed the club almost 5,000 tickets for the game. Truly, United – having faced League One opposition so far – could not have wished for a better chance to make the last eight.
Here’s what West Brom side that has started their last few league games compared with the side that’s started their last two FA Cup clashes:
WBA team in last two Championship games:
2-0 win vs Milwall (4-2-3-1): Johnstone – O’shea, Ajayi, Barkley, Townsend – Livermore, Sawyers – Robinson, Krovinovic, Pereira – Robson-Kanu.
2-0 win vs Luton (4-2-3-1): Johnstone – O’shea, Ajayi, Barkley, Townsend – Livermore, Sawyers – Robinson, Krovinovic, Phillips – Austin.
WBA team in last two FA Cup games:
1-0 win vs West Ham (4-2-3-1): Bond – O’shea, Ajayi, Hegazy, Townsend – Brunt, Barry – Edwards, Krovinovic, Phillips – Austn.
1-0 win vs Charlton): (4-4-2): Bond – O’shea, Fitzwater, Hegazy, Townsend – Brunt, Barry, Harper, Edwards – Austn, Zohore.
We shouldn’t need any help in beating a side in the division below us, but with them in good form and the current favourites to seal a return to the Premier League via automatic promotion, I’m sure there’ll be no complaints on Tyneside should Bilic field a weakened side three weeks today.