West Bromwich Albion travel to the Walker Stadium tomorrow facing the prospect of having to chalk off the duty roster up to nine members of the first team squad.
Goalkeeper Dean Kiely and defender Carl Hoefkens each face late fitness tests on toe and hamstring injuries respectively, adding their two names to the seven already definitely ruled out.
There is some good news from the treatment room, however, with Kevin Phillips completing his first week of training and fellow knee injury victims Martin Albrechtsen, Neil Clements, James Morrison and Ishmael Miller all set to resume full training next week.
While the news will bring some cheer for manager Tony Mowbray at the end of a difficult week, it does nothing to ease the selection headache he faces for the Leicester trip.
Defenders Bostjan Cesar and Paul Robinson miss the Leicester game serving one-match suspensions.
If Kiely and Hoefkens fail to come through their fitness tests then Albion will end up fielding what would probably be the least experienced back four in the history of the club.
Luke Steele, Jared Hodgkiss and Shelton Martis would, if named in the starting line-up, be making their full League debuts. Miguel Tininho would be making only his second League start and Pedro Pele his third.
Leon Barnett, at 21, would be the defensive daddy with 15 games under his belt.
On the prospect of making his full League, 20-year-old rookie right back Jared Hodgkiss told the club’s official website: ‘We’re not sure what’s what on the injury front at the moment but if I do get a start I’ll relish the opportunity. It would be my first League start and I’ll be ready for the task. You have to be ready whenever your chance comes.’
Leicester City Team News:
Leicester City have had injury problems of their own in recent weeks but expect James Wesolowski and former Albion utility player James Chambers to return to their line-up.
Chambers has missed the last five Foxes games with a thigh injury.
Ian Holloway`s side are light on strikers, with Matty Fryatt suspended and DJ Campbell, Collins John and Elvis Hammond all sidelined with injuries.
Carl Cort is expected to lead the attack alongside Ian Hume.
Player to watch: Marton Fulop
A young goalkeeper who is being likened in some quarters to the young Peter Shilton in his Leicester days.
West Bromwich Albion Team News:
Who’d be a manager? Tony Mowbray’s brow will be even more furrowed than usual when this game kicks off.
Albion (from): Kiely or Steele; Hoefkens, Hodgkiss, Barnett, Pele, Martis, Tininho; Gera, Koren, Greening, Brunt, Chaplow, Teixeira, Bednar, Beattie, MacDonald.
Player to watch: Leon Barnett
Responsibility for marshalling the defence will rest on his young shoulders.
Match Facts & Stats
Albion and Leicester City have clashed 97 times in all competitions since their first meeting in Division Two way back in the 1901/02 season, the Baggies winning 3-0 in Leicester.
The all-time record between the two clubs gives Albion 45 victories to Leicester`s 31. There have been 21 draws.
Last season the teams drew 1-1 on Albion`s first visit to the Walker Stadium, while the Baggies won at The Hawthorns 2-0.
West Bromwich Albion v Charlton Athletic
Saturday December 15th
Kick off: 12.45pm