West Brom will know the challenge they face but they will be eyeing up a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup tomorrow afternoon when Brighton & Hove Albion visit The Hawthorns.
The Baggies, who find themselves in the Championship play-offs at present, have the FA Cup as a distraction this weekend, with Premier League opponents standing in the way of progression to the next round.
Ismael has had to contend with several injuries to key players already this season but his latest update suggests that they are in a good place.
Speaking to Birmingham Live, Ismael provided a squad update ahead of their FA Cup clash: “Matt Phillips is back in training with the squad, so he will be available for the game.
Quiz: Can you name which club West Brom signed these 28 midfielders from?
“Dara O’Shea looks very good, so actually he’s back in training normally with the squad from next week.”
O’Shea, who started the campaign in excellent form, has not played since late August and will be eager to return and play a part in West Brom’s expected promotion push.
O’Shea returning will be a massive boost for Ismael and the Baggies, and given the length of time he has spent on the sidelines, it will feel like a new signing when he eventually gets back out on the pitch.
Having O’Shea back in the line up could certainly bolster the club’s promotion chances, with the 22-year-old proving to be dominant in the air at both ends of the pitch.
O’Shea has missed a lot of football and it is likely that it will take him a while to re-adapt, however, he will be confident that he can play his part in what is shaping up to be an exciting second half of the Championship season.