Question of the Week
What should happen to the EFL Trophy next season?
West Brom Preview
By: Stephen Bateman
The Baggies come bouncing back to Blundell Park on Sunday with a Zebedee-like spring in their step, while the seemingly posessed Mariners are looking to bag an improbable fourth win from their last five matches!
The Mariners are currently riding high upon the crest of a wave, having just achieved their first away win since February with a solid team effort against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night. Manager Lennie Lawrence's decision to play with three strikers reaped it's rewards when Bradley Allen sealed the points with his 18th minute winner.
West Brom's main concern, however, must lay with inventing a way to get the ball past a rejuvenated Danny Coyne. The Welsh 'keeper is enjoying a purple patch in the Town goal and produced a string of top class saves to keep the Mariners in front against Palace. Another first-rate performance in front of the live Sky cameras on Sunday will doubtlessly enhance Coyne's prospects of a recall to the Welsh national team. We can expect him to be tested to his maximum once more against the Baggies with Lee Hughes and Jason Roberts firing the bullets at him.
Wayne Burnett's lack of match fitness continues to hamper Town's progress, with him failing to even make the sub's bench on Tuesday night, and Alan Pouton is still out through injury. Meanwhile, Burnett's midfield compadre Stuart Campbell continues to impress, turning in what many described as his best performance in a black and white shirt on Tuesday night.
Grimsby Town (from): Coyne, McDermott, Butterfield, Raven, Handyside, Groves, Gallimore, Donovan, Coldicott, Campbell, D Smith, Allen, Livingstone, Nielsen, Croudson, Clare, Jeffrey, Burnett.
Since taking over the reigns at The Hawthorns Gary Megson (pictured) has turned West Brom. into genuine promotion candidates. An impressive 3-1 midweek win against Wimbledon will have bolstered their confidence further and Albion fans are beginning to expect great things from Megson's men. Anything less than a play-off place will be a disappointment, and the early indications show that they are likely to figure in the end of season shake-up.
Strikers Lee Hughes and Jason Roberts, a summer signing from Bristol Rovers, are forming a productive strike partnership with a combined total of 14 league goals this season. If the West Brom. midfield are able to generate enough chances then it is unlikely that this duo will fail to capitalise.
A possible weak-link in the Baggies armour may be found in the shape of former Lincoln City and Derby County central defender Matt Carbon. Questions have also been raised as to whether or not 'keeper Brian Jensen is really up to the job.
West Brom (from): Jensen, Clement, McInnes, Butler, Carbon, Fox, Sneekes, Hughes, Roberts, Van Blerk, Jordao, Chambers, Adamson, Lyttle, Taylor, Burgess
Looking at recent matches between the two sides at Blundell Park it is clear that the Mariners have the upper-hand with the Baggies winning in just one of their last eight visits to Cleethorpes. That said, we are all aware of the meaning of such statistics after Town's long overdue win at Selhurst Park.
West Brom. have been impressive away from home this season, and are unbeaten in their last five trips from the Hawthorns, while Town have just begun to find their feet at Blundell Park.
This should be a tight match that could go either way. It's difficult to see Town winning this, but that's not to say that it's impossible either. Okay, I'll get off the fence and predict a 1-1 draw!
Gally from 30 yards...top-right corner. WALLOP! GET IN!
Comprehensive directions to Blundell Park for Baggies fans can be found here
West Brom's preview of Sunday's game can be found here
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