Caleb Taylor could be handed his first Championship start for West Brom when the Baggies face Coventry City on Monday 30 October.
The 20-year-old was a late substitute against Queen’s Park Rangers after Cedric Kipre picked up a “very serious” injury that will see him ruled out of Albion’s trip to the CBS Arena and could well continue in defence given the French defender’s absence.
Carlos Corberan will also be without Semi Ajayi with the West Brom boss claiming that it will “be a miracle” if the Nigerian defender is declared fit for Monday’s meeting with the Sky Blues [Birmingham Mail, 24 October]. Alongside Taylor, it seems likely that the Spanish boss will refresh his midfield with Alex Mowatt returning in the second of two changes.
Although he didn’t have a save to make in the clash with QPR in midweek, Alex Palmer will be certain to continue for the Baggies’ between the posts against Coventry having impressed in recent weeks, including six clean sheets in his last eight matches.
Kyle Bartley and Erik Pieters will continue in the Baggies’ back three, but given the news about Kipre’s injury and Ajayi’s continued absence, they will have a new partner at the heart of the defence. To avoid too much disruption we reckon that Taylor could replace the former Cardiff loanee in the backline.
The 20-year-old came off the bench to replace Kipre late on against QPR and could be given his first Championship start having impressed on loan with Cheltenham Town last season. While Okay Yokuslu could play in defence given his versatility he has struggled to perform consistently when deployed further back the pitch for Albion.
Matt Phillips and Darnell Furlong have been in excellent form and for much of the season have been regular fixtures as the Baggies’ wingbacks and is unlikely that Corberan will look to change that pairing against Mark Robins’s side.
In midfield Nathaniel Chalobah has now been dubbed as undroppable given his recent impressive performances against Plymouth Argyle and QPR and with almost a whole week to rest before the clash with the Sky Blues he will more than likely continue in midfield alongside the returning Mowatt. The former Middlesbrough loanee has been in excellent form this season and would be the ideal partner for Chalobah on Monday.
That would see Yokuslu drop to the bench, but Corberan has shown in recent weeks he is not afraid to rotate his midfield, so there is every chance he opts to start the Turkish midfielder instead of one of Mowatt or Chalobah.
Corberan is unlikely to stray too far away from the attacking trio that served him so well against Gareth Ainsworth’s side, with Grady Diangana and Jed Wallace expected to keep their place either side of Brandon Thomas-Asante in attack.
Diangana scored his first goal of the Championship campaign at The Hawthorns against QPR and will be looking to build upon that performance having created an exceptional three chances for his teammates and on another day he would have scored twice as he rattled the woodwork.
Wallace didn’t have the best evening against Ainsworth’s side but has started 12 of Albion’s 13 Championship matches so far this season so Corberan is unlikely to change that now. Thomas-Asante is almost a shoo-in upfront as Josh Maja and Daryl Dike continue their recovery from injury.