Albion v Palace Preview
By Anglesey Baggie
Saturday 26 Sep 2009 02:00:00
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Albion welcome Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace side to the Hawthorns tomorrow, (Kick Off 3pm).

Fresh from the 0-5 rout of Middlesbrough last Saturday and the slightly more humbling 2-0 defeat by Arsenal on Tuesday there could well be a mixed mood amongst the squad.

Albion are piling up a list of missing players, already so early in the season.  Our free gift from Pompey, the wiley wing wizard Jerome Thomas is banned for 3 games for a straight red, received for bitch slapping a free diving expert in Jack Wilshere on Tuesday. He needs to learn not to react to gobby kids if he’s to make it as a successful footballer.

Also probably missing will be Joe Mattock but his fellow ankle knack victim, Marek Cech could be available. Chris Brunt is doubtful as well.  The long term injuries still stand including James Morrison, who’s gammy heel refuses to heal.  Seems he got the stitches wet after the operation and it’s flared up again.  Daft lad!

Albion are looking to match the club record of nine unbeaten games to start a season, achieved for the first time in 1953/54 by Vic Buckingham’s team, which included Ronnie Allen, Ray Barlow, Joe Kennedy and Len Millard in an FA cup winning year.

A nine game unbeaten start was also equalled by Brian Little’s team in 1999,  however they only drew seven and won two of their first nine games, compared to seven wins and two draws for Buckingham’s men, a record Di Matteo could equal.

He says that despite the occasion he has only one aim:

"All I'm interested in is to get the club back into the Premier League to be honest."

"All these records and awards don't mean much to me.”

"I'm interested in the end result, that's all that counts to me.”

"People expect us to win every game we go into but as I always said, football is unpredictable.”

"As long as our players give 100 per cent and put the effort and commitment in, that's all I can ask for as a manager.”

"At the end of the day if the other team has been better, or had a bit of fortune on their side or whatever, then you have to hold your hands up.”

"But we're always going to go home knowing we've done our job the best we can in that game."

He clearly isn’t expecting Palace to roll over and give us the points, we all know the qualities that Neil Warnock brings to the game!

"Away from home, because the home team needs to be a bit more positive, sometimes it makes life a bit easier because we get more space and we know how to utilise that space,"  he said.

“At home it's a bit different because it's easier to defend rather than attack and create.”

 

"It's easier to close spaces down.”

 

"We know that and we have to live with that, and be prepared for these games because we know it's going to happen every home game we play.”

 

"Palace had a difficult start to the season, which is probably related to their financial problems.”

 

"They've found a little bit of form lately and produced a couple of good results.”

 

"They brought in a few loan players towards the end of the transfer window and Neil Warnock's teams are always difficult to play against, and difficult to beat.”

 

"We are missing a few key players as well, which will make it a very difficult afternoon."

Palace striker Freddie Sears is doubtful due to an ankle problem and one of their centre backs, Claude Davis is out with a hamstring problem.

If Robbie is positive and starts with Moore and Bednar in attack, it’ll be Romans’ 100th appearance in British football.

Midfield has to include Dorrans then probably Koran, Mulumbu and maybe Tex.  The back four pick themselves really, with Carson in goal, Zubi at RB, Jonas and Shellie in the middle and Jara on the left.

If all goes to plan we’ll be three points better off and still top of the League come 5pm tomorrow.

 

Come On You Baggies!

 

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