19 September 2014 19:21
West Brom have an ideal chance to lift the gloom around The Hawthorns when they face a Tottenham side coming off a long European trip.
The Midlands club are still awaiting their first win under new head coach Alan Irvine and have taken just two points from their four Premier League games under the Scot’s stewardship, leaving them second bottom in the English top flight.
They travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday, a venue where they have not tasted victory since 1984, however, Irvine’s men can have cause for confidence versus a Tottenham side that struggled for consistency following midweek exertions last season.
Six of Spurs’ 12 games after European ties ended in defeat last season, including shock losses to West Ham and Norwich City and a 5-0 thumping at the hands of Liverpool.
Mauricio Pochettino made 10 changes for Thursday’s trip to Partizan, and his side put in an uninspired showing in response to draw 0-0 in a scrappy affair.
Irvine was without the services of a number of key players for last weekend’s 2-0 loss against Everton, with Stephane Sessegnon, Youssouf Mulumbu, Victor Anichebe, Joleon Lescott and Boaz Myhill all missing the encounter.
However, that quintet have returned to training, giving the Scot a full complement of players as West Brom prepare to try to end their 20-year hoodoo in north London.
“For the first time, we will have all 25 training and that is great news for us,” Irvine told West Brom’s official website.
“It means we’re getting closer now to having the full range of options open to us.
“It’s important that everyone is aware there’s a difference between not being injured and being fit to play.
“But it’s still fantastic news to know that we don’t now have to make decisions based on who we think is the most ready to play.
“Some players are still needing to do ‘top up’ sessions after the group training sessions because they are still some way behind the rest of the squad.
“Their levels of fitness need to improve still.
“But it’s very encouraging that the treatment room is empty for the first time since I arrived.”
Andros Townsend is the hosts’ sole doubt due to a leg problem sustained in the stalemate with Partizan, but Kyle Walker remains sidelined after undergoing pelvic surgery.
Changes are likely to be afoot for Spurs regardless after Danny Rose, Emmnauel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul, Moussa Dembele and Nacer Chadli were all left out of the squad for the Partizan clash.
Eric Dier and Christian Eriksen were unused substitutes on Thursday and should also be fresh as Tottenham aim to get back on track after claiming just one point from their last two Premier League outings.