Bilic makes three changes, no Townsend or Willock: Predicted West Brom XI vs Brentford – opinion

West Bromwich Albion return to action this afternoon as we reach the halfway point of the 2019/2020 Championship season.

The Baggies host Brentford at the Hawthorns hoping to extend their run at the top of the table, even more so with Leeds United hot on their heels.

Occupying first place over Christmas is usually a good sign as in the last decade alone, six teams that were top on the 25th of December continued on to win the title while nine won automatic promotion.

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A good omen perhaps, so it’s all the more important that Albion win today.

Grady Diangana’s injured, both strikers are fit and firing and there’s a puzzle at full-back – how will Slaven Bilic line up his side?

This is what we are predicting…

lineup 5 - Bilic makes three changes, no Townsend or Willock: Predicted West Brom XI vs Brentford - opinion

The Croatian could make as many as three changes after his side had to come from behind to clinch all three points last time out. Two key substitutions during the match almost certainly contributed and as a result, they’ll be gifted starts this afternoon.

Charlie Austin will finally lead the line once again in the place of Hal Robson-Kanu. His brace practically won the match for the Baggies as he made it six goals in five sub appearances, via Transfermarkt. The 30-year-old scored an outrageous long-range volley before a sublime piece of movement inside the box allowed him to head home.

Darnell Furlong was the man to provide that all-important cross, 20 minutes after coming off the bench. He comes into the starting line up for Conor Townsend which means Nathan Ferguson slides across to left-back.

While the final change sees Kyle Edwards replace the West Ham loanee ahead of Chris Willock, who is probably in line for an opportunity having not yet featured for the senior side since joining on loan from Benfica on deadline day.

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A place on the bench is probably more likely for the four-goal U23 attacker.

It means the rest of the side remains the same.

In other Baggies news, Bilic could save himself millions of pounds by opting for this Jarrod Bowen alternative…

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