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Match Previews

PREVIEW: BISSOUMA IN THE FRAME FOR CUP RETURN

24 January 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma could return from injury against West Brom.

Brighton & Hove Albion welcome West Bromwich Albion to the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm, as Chris Hughton’s side look to get the better of their Sky Bet Championship opponents to reach the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The Seagulls progressed to the fourth round with a 3-1 victory over AFC Bournemouth earlier this month, when goals from Anthony Knockaert, Yves Bissouma and Florin Andone dispatched the Cherries.

Darren Moore’s team booked their place in the next round thanks to a narrow 1-0 win over Wigan Athletic at the Hawthorns — former Crystal Palace Bakary Sako fired the winning goal in the all-Championship tie.

The Seagulls claimed their first-ever Premier League victory against the Baggies last season, but Saturday’s visitors won 2-0 in the reverse fixture before dropping out of the top flight.

TEAM NEWS

Hughton confirmed that Yves Bissouma (hip) will train on Thursday, which should put the Malian in the frame for West Brom’s visit this weekend. Bernardo (hamstring) will train on Friday, but Saturday’s match will come too soon for the Brazilian.

Jose Izquierdo (knee) remains sidelined through injury, while Maty Ryan and Alireza Jahanbakhsh continue to feature for their nations at the Asian Cup.

West Brom duo Matt Phillips (ankle) and James Morrison (calf) are both doubtful for Saturday’s cup tie, with the former staying in England to receive treatment instead of travelling to Dubai with his team-mates for a mid-season training camp.



FORM


The Seagulls have tasted defeat in consecutive matches since their FA Cup win over Bournemouth, but both matches have been narrowly lost against top-six opposition.

Albion welcomed Premier League leaders Liverpool to the Amex Stadium and Mohamed Salah’s penalty proved the difference, as the Hughton’s men restricted the Reds to few chances on the south coast.

Next up was a trip to Old Trafford, and despite an encouraging display against a Manchester United team that had won six consecutive matches, the Seagulls were edged out 2-1 after Pascal Gross halved the deficit.

The Baggies arrive at the Amex on the back of three unbeaten matches, with four points in their previous two league matches leaving Moore’s side in third position in the Championship table.

Norwich prevented West Brom from taking all three points with a late goal at the Hawthorns, as the teams shared a 1-1 draw, but this weekend’s visitors hit back with maximum points against Bolton Wanderers on Monday evening.

ALBION HISTORY

After reaching the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history, the Seagulls went in search of their first goal and victory after defeats to Manchester City and Leicester City, and a goalless draw against Watford.

Pascal Gross found the back of the net on the stroke of half-time against the Baggies to send the Amex crowd into raptures, before the German added a second three minutes after the re-start.

Tomer Hemed converted a third goal for the Hughton’s side after the hour mark, and despite James Morrison’s reply for the Baggies, Albion picked up their first victory in the top flight since 1983.

LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

MANCHESTER UNITED 2
Pogba 27 pen
Rashford 42

ALBION 1
Gross 72

Albion line-up: Button; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Stephens, Propper, Gross (Kayal 82); March (Knockaert 61), Murray (Andone 60), Locadia.

Subs not used: Steele (GK), Balogun, Bruno, Gyokeres.



LAST TIME OUT: WEST BROM

BOLTON 0

WEST BROM 2
Rodriguez 19
Field 75

West Brom line-up: Johnstone; Holgate, Dawson, Hegazi, Gibbs; Harper (Adarabioyo 90+3), Barry, Brunt (Field 26); Robson-Kanu (Sako 85), Rodriguez, Gayle.

Subs not used: Bond (GK), Bartley, Hoolahan, Leko.



PLAYER TO WATCH: Dwight Gayle

The forward has made a positive start to his Baggies career, firing 14 goals in his opening 23 league matches since dropping down a division from Newcastle United over the summer.

Gayle has played a wider role for Moore’s side in recent games, after beginning the season as West Brom’s central striker, but the 28-year-old scored a hat-trick off the right wing in last month’s 4-0 win at Rotherham United.

The former Crystal Palace striker opened the scoring in West Brom’s 1-1 draw against Championship promotion rivals Norwich City, as the Baggies continued their challenge for a Premier League return.


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