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2 selection dilemmas Valerien Ismael is facing ahead of West Brom’s clash with Barnsley

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West Bromwich Albion will be looking to build upon their recent victories over Coventry City and Reading this evening by securing a positive result in their showdown with Barnsley this evening.

Currently third in the Championship standings, the Baggies will move level on points with AFC Bournemouth if they beat the Tykes at Oakwell.

Whilst West Brom have experienced an upturn in form in recent weeks, Barnsley have struggled to cope with the competitiveness that the second-tier is famed for as they have lost four of their last six league games.

However, despite the fact that the Baggies will enter this particular fixture as favourites, they cannot afford to underestimate their opponents this evening.

Here, we have decided to take a look at TWO selection dilemmas that West Brom boss Valerien Ismael is facing ahead of this particular fixture…

Will Conor Townsend return to the club’s starting eleven?

After missing the club’s recent clash with Reading, Conor Townsend is in contention to feature for West Brom in their meeting with Barnsley.

Utilised as a centre-back and as a left-wing back by Ismael this season, the 28-year-old has managed to produce some assured defensive displays at this level.

Currently averaging a respectable WhoScored match rating of 7.07 in the second-tier, Townsend may be drafted in as a replacement for Taylor Gardner-Hickman who played in his absence last weekend.

By producing an eye-catching performance against Barnsley, Townsend could help his side seal all three points in this particular fixture.

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Who will feature alongside Kyle Bartley in a three-man defence?

When you consider that Matt Clarke, Cedric Kipre and Semi Ajayi were all sidelined for the club’s showdown with Reading after contracting Covid-19, it will be fascinating to see who Ismael decides to turn to inspiration this evening as this particular trio returned to training yesterday and thus are expected to be available for selection.

Kyle Bartley is expected to keep his place in the side after starting in all but two of the club’s league fixtures this season whilst Clarke is likely to return to the club’s starting eleven as he is currently averaging a WhoScored match rating of 7.09 at this level.

Kipre may be given the nod to feature in the other centre-back position as he made six consecutive appearances for the Baggies before missing last weekend’s game.

As for Ajayi, he may need to wait for an opportunity to prove his worth to Ismael as he has fallen down the pecking order in recent weeks following an underwhelming performance during the club’s 3-0 defeat to Fulham.


Freelance writer for Football League World. Previously worked for 90min & GiveMeSport.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 2 selection dilemmas Valerien Ismael is facing ahead of West Brom’s clash with Barnsley

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