Today is the day that Lord Gary Megson returns to the Hawthorns the scene of his greatest triumphs as a Manager. Who can forget the way he managed to achieve promotion to the Premier League by overhauling the Baggies’ local rivals Wolves? Since then Megson’s managerial experiences have been rather less exciting. A failed attempt at reviving Nottingham Forest’s fortunes and then a very brief spell in charge of Leicester City before ending up at a club that was made for his style of play, Bolton Wanderers. However, Bolton fans are a little less enthusiastic about his reign despite managing to keep them up last season. The Wanderers fans are becoming increasingly disillusioned about the style of play but also the way the club is being run from the top down. There has been talk of protests by the away fans at today’s game and that could well play into Albion’s hands.
This game is a must win for the Baggies, even more so after Monday night’s insipid performance against an understrength and frankly awful West Ham side.
Tony Mowbray’s style is somewhat different to that employed by Gary Megson yet the outcome this season looks to be the same as in Megson’s first season in charge, relegation to the Championship.
Tony Mowbray’s comments are becoming more and more bizarre as the season goes on so I won’t be including them here!
West Brom Team News:
The Baggies will be without Abdoulaye Meite and Leon Barnett so Jonas Olsson and Shelton Martis are likely to continue as centre backs with Paul Robinson and Gianni Zuiverloon playing as full backs. The midfield and striking positions are more of a conundrum as Tony Mowbray has tended to mix up formations and personnel recently. The 451 against West Ham clearly didn’t work, with regards to creating chances, so will Mowbray revert to 442?
West Brom from: Carson, Zuiverloon, Olsson, Martis, Robinson, Morrison, Dorrans, Koren, Brunt, Greening, Fortune, Teixeira, Simpson, Moore, Kiely, Hoefkens, Cech, Bednar.
Player to watch: Graham Dorrans
After an impressive first start against the Hammers Dorrans will be looking to build on that with an impressive game at home.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Bolton are missing January signing Mark Davies and Joey O’Brien will also miss out.
Bolton (from): Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O’Brien, Samuel, Riga, Taylor, McCann, Muamba, Gardner, Kevin Davies, Elmander, Al Habsi, Hunt, Puygrenier, Makukula, Shittu.
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
The aerial prowess and strength of Davies will surely test the Baggies backline. It remains to be seen whether the new defensive line up will have any more success in standing up to the physical and set piece battle than its predecessors.
2-1 to the Baggies
Another bruiser against Stoke City on 4 April 2009 at the Hawthorns.