Harry Redknapp brings his Champions League bound Spurs to Albion hoping to erase the memory of a home defeat against Wigan Athletic. However, Redknapp will no doubt complain that he will be missing Jermaine Defoe and Matt Dawson following their injuries on International duty. This scenario is perfect for Redknapp, he already has a ready made excuse should his team, who finished fourth last season, lose at West Brom, who finished second in the lower division. If Spurs do manage to get a favourable result at the Hawthorns then it will be as a result of his magnificent management skills in the face of adversity.
West Brom will enter the game confident that they can pull off a result after an impressive display at Anfield before the international break. Di Matteo has had a little more time to work with the new players to the club and it is hoped that they will gel quickly and that they will now be really competitive in the Premier League. Win, lose or draw Albion’s Head Coach will not moan about all of the problems he is faced with, he has too much class, something that Harry Redknapp will never be accused of.
Roberto Di Matteo’s thoughts:
Roberto Di Matteo knows the task facing him against Spurs this afternoon:
‘They have a great squad, Defoe won’t be involved and, if Crouch doesn’t start, behind them is Pavlyuchenko and Keane.
In the midfield they have Modric and Kranjcar, they’ve just signed Van der Vaart.
They have an abundance of quality.
That’s why everyone wants to play in the Premier League so you can face these players.
It’s going to be a tough game but we’re playing at home, and building on the last two performances, I think we’ll have a good game.
We want to be good and strong at home and make life difficult for anyone who plays against us.
We’ve got a good home record.
It’s going to be a big challenge because they finished in the top four last season.
There is quite a big gap to the top clubs in the Barclays Premier League, especially for a newly-promoted club like us.
But football is a beautiful game because it is unpredictable – and we like our chances.’
West Brom Team News:
James Morrison definitely misses out for Albion following his harsh red card at Anfield. Fellow midfielder Graham Dorrans looks set to miss out due to the personal problems that forced him out of the Scotland squad on Tuesday.
Jerome Thomas will return to the squad following his recovery from injury but Cech, Miller and Mattock definitely miss out.
Player to watch: Chris Brunt
Brunt’s form has been good so far this season and he thrived in the Premier League when Fortuné played as the loan striker. Expect him to get his 50th league goal this afternoon.
Tottenham Hotspur Team News:
William Gallas is in line to make his Spurs debut whilst Defoe and Dawson are out through injury. Pletikosa could also make his debut in goal following his loan move. Crouch, Bentley and King are doubts.
Player to watch: Robbie Keane
If Keane plays he will score. Robbie Keane has a knack of always scoring against Albion. Let’s hope he is unavailable.
Match Facts & Stats
Robbie Keane has scored 8 goals in 6 Premier League games against West Brom. However, the Baggies haven’t lost at home to Spurs since 2003.
Howard Webb officiates his first match since the World Cup. No doubt he will not wish to draw any criticism from Harry so the Baggies should expect a frustrating afternoon where little is given to them.
2-1 to the Baggies.
The first of many local derbies against Birmingham on 18 September.