Behind Enemy Lines: West Bromwich Albion

MILLWALL travel to West Brom this weekend looking to make it two wins from two at the start of the season. The Baggies will also be aiming for back-to-back wins to start their campaign.

The Lions were victors over Preston last Saturday while the Baggies won 2-1 at Nottingham Forest. Slaven Billic’s side will be targeting a place in the top two or in the play-offs this season as they aim for a return to the promised land.

Alex Grace spoke to Baggies fan Alex Mayston this week.



Twitter: @AlexMayston

Why do you support West Brom?

My Dad gave me little choice, to be honest. Forced West Brom onto me since I was a baby



What has been your favourite season following the Baggies?

2012-13. Eighth in the Premier league, record points tally, nice attacking football, beat Liverpool 3-0 on the opening day, drew 5-5 with Manchester United in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game.

And the worst?

2017-18. Dinosaur football with Tony Pulis, then sack him and get Alan Pardew as a replacement. Lose eight games in a row, players steal a taxi while in Spain. Darren Moore the only good thing to come out of it, but then we sack him the next season anyway.

Do you think Slaven Billic is the right man for the job?

Only one game in so it’s too early to tell for me. But my first impressions are certainly good. Style of play is good and he’s definitely saying the right things.

What have you made of West Brom’s summer business?

We're definitely signing the right sort of players, young players with potential, and in the right positions. Lost 50 goals from last season with Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez leaving, but Charlie Austin has just been announced so hopefully he'll be able to get the goals we need.

Were there any areas you feel should have been strengthened but weren’t?

Holding midfield. Gareth Barry was one of our best players last season and he’s almost 40. We released him at the end of last season and haven't replaced him, and I don't think Jake Livermore is that good either.

What are your expectations for the season?

With the signings we've made, I think promotion has got to be the goal. Be it via play-offs or the two automatics, as long as we get there.

What have you made of Millwall’s summer business?

Matt Smith seems like a good player. I’ve always liked him, the type of player you know is gonna give it his all every game.

Luke Steele is a decent keeper as well. Sad to see Steve Morrison go, though, always associated him with Millwall. Seems a bit odd to see him in a different football shirt

What are your thoughts on Millwall boss Neil Harris?

Very good manager. He has done a very good job at The Den.  Millwall always seem to operate on a shoestring budget and he always seems to get the best out of his players

If you could sign one Millwall player who would it be and why?

Ben Thompson in midfield. He is a very good young player. He’s a good ball-winner and would give us extra legs in midfield that I think we badly need. He would fit right in here at West Brom.

Who do the Lions need to watch out for on Saturday?

Filip Krovinović and Romaine Sawyers, they are our two creative players in the midfield. Those are the two that are going to create the chances that get us the goals this season and fire us up the league table. If you mark them out the game, I can’t see us scoring.

Will you be at the game on Saturday afternoon?

Unfortunately, no, I won’t be at the game.

What is your predicted West Brom starting XI and formation?

I can see Slaven Billic keeping it the same as on the opening day, but we could see new signing Charlie Austin go straight into the side.

4-2-3-1: Johnstone; Ferguson, Ajayi, Bartley, Gibbs; Livermore, Sawyers; Phillips, Krovinovic, Edwards; Zohore

Finally a score prediction?

2-0 Albion.

Graphic: @jay_taylor18

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)