West Brom v Stoke preview
Last Updated: 31/08/18 11:44am
Tyrone Mears could make his Sky Bet Championship debut for West Brom after coming through 90 minutes unscathed against Mansfield in midweek.
The former Derby and Marseille right-back, 35, signed for the Baggies on a rolling contract until January earlier this week and went straight into the team that beat Mansfield 2-1 in the Carabao Cup.
Next up are Stoke, and West Brom boss Darren Moore will be unable to deploy Nacer Chadli as the Belgium winger is still battling his way back to full fitness. He has been linked to Monaco in recent days. Jonathan Leko and Kyle Edwards might hope to feature against Stoke after both forwards scored their first senior goals in the win against Mansfield.
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Gary Rowett will resist the urge to rush Tom Ince back into the Potters' starting XI. The manager described Ince as having a "slight chance" featuring at The Hawthorns, stressing however that recovering from a hamstring strain in time to face the Baggies would be "ambitious".
Rowett revealed his squad "picked up a couple of knocks" in the League Cup victory over Huddersfield, although he declined to name names, instead taking time to give credit to ex-Albion striker Saido Berahino, who scored his first goal in two and a half years to help Stoke progress. Julian Ngoy is no longer available after the Belgian forward moved to Grasshoppers on loan.
West Brom have won three of their last four home league matches against Stoke, drawing the other.
These sides haven't met in the Championship since December 2007, a 3-1 win for Stoke with Ricardo Fuller scoring a hat-trick.
West Brom have won two of their last three league games at the Hawthorns (L1), as many as they'd won in their previous 22 combined.
Stoke have only lost one of their last 23 league matches against West Brom outside the top-flight (W15 D7), a 1-0 defeat in September 2003 in which Stoke had two players sent off (John Eustace and Marcus Hall).
West Brom's Jay Rodriguez has netted 11 goals in his last 14 Championship starts, including four in five this term.
Stoke have won one of their last 16 away league matches in the month of September (D8 L7), winning 2-1 at Newcastle in September 2010.
West Brom will have been so disappointed to lose the way they did at Middlesbrough last week, battling for so long before conceding from a late set-piece.
Stoke, meanwhile, have had a great week in league and cup to ease some of the pressure on Gary Rowett, and even Saido Berahino got on the scoresheet on Tuesday night! That being said, I think West Brom's attacking firepower will see them through at The Hawthorns.
David Prutton predicts: 2-0 (15/2 with Sky Bet)