Club News

Injury headache for Baggies

Likes of Rosenberg and El Ghanassy on Reds alert

KEITH Downing has revealed Albion could have up to nine players out for tomorrow’s Capital One Cup clash with Liverpool (ko 8pm).

The Baggies will be without the suspended Peter Odemwingie for the third-round tie as he serves the second game of his three-match ban.

Jerome Thomas (knee) is also ruled out, while the likes of James Morrison and Steven Reid (both hamstring), and Goran Popov (groin) are doubts.

“We’ve got nine players out at the moment, including Peter Odemwingie,” said Downing.

“That’s obviously going to have some effect on our selection.

“We’re hopeful one or two who are 50/50 for tomorrow will come through.

“James Morrison came off with a hamstring strain on Saturday, so he is doubtful.

“Steven Reid and Goran Popov are among the nine players also.

“We’ll check on one or two players tomorrow.
“But if there is an element of doubt over any player I think they won’t play.”

He added: “Jerome is rehabilitating well and it is probably another week or two before he gets back on the training field.

“There’s no major problem with him.”

Albion’s injury problems mean summer signings Markus Rosenberg and Yassine El Ghanassy will come into the frame for selection.

And youngsters George Thorne, Scott Allan, Saido Berahino and James Hurst are also likely to make the squad.

“With Yassine it’s just about acclimatising to the British game," said Downing.

“He has that ability with the ball but he just needs to learn about the other side of the game.

“Although, he’ll be chomping at the bit to play it’s important he takes these two or three months just to learn about the game.

“Markus is one who brings international experience and he’s another one we’re optimistic about.

“Hopefully, he’ll get some part of it tomorrow.

“George Thorne, Scott Allan and Saido Berahino, and James Hurst, who has a little knock, are all likely to be involved in the squad.

“We’re optimistic about all these youngsters and it’s about when you blood them.

“The difficulty at Premier League level is the standard is so high and the average age of a debutant now is 20 to 21.”

On-loan Romelu Lukaku is eligible for selection for the League Cup.