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Record-breaker Thievy could start

10 February 2014

And Mel reveals injury headache over defender

PEPE Mel could hand new loan signing Thievy Bifouma his first start against Chelsea tomorrow (ko 8pm) after seeing him set a new Barclays Premier League record on Saturday.

The Baggies striker scored the fastest debut goal by notching just 36 seconds after coming on as a half-time substitute against Crystal Palace.

His goal beat the previous best set by Kepa Blanco for West Ham against Liverpool in January 2007 by 29 seconds.

The first nine of the top ten fastest goals by debutants in the Barclays Premier League are by substitutes (N.B. in the table with the times below, the timing of goals before 2003 have been rounded up to the nearest 30 seconds).

The fastest by a debutant starter was Samir Nasri’s goal for Arsenal v Albion at the start of the 2008/09 season after 3min 41sec.

Aside from his decision on whether to elevate Thievy to the starting XI, Mel is also sweating on the fitness of Billy Jones (knee).

“It is possible Billy Jones won’t be able to play, and if so it will be Reid," said the Baggies boss.

“Billy has a problem in his knee.
 
“Thievy is a young player who is hungry to be a big player in the Premier League.

“The last match was good for him and it’s possible he will be in the line-up.”

Jonas Olsson (hamstring), Nicolas Anelka (knee) and Stephane Sessegnon (groin) remain sidelined.

Top ten fastest Barclays Premier League debut goals:

Time

Player

Date

Half

Team

Opponents

0-1min

Thievy Bifouma

08/02/2014

2nd

WBA

C Palace

mins
1-2

Kepa Blanco

30/01/2007

2nd

West Ham

Liverpool

Mathias Svensson

21/10/2000

2nd

Charlton

M'brough

Matthew Phillips

25/09/2010

2nd

Blackpool

Blackburn

mins
2-3

Tore Andre Flo

09/08/1997

2nd

Chelsea

Coventry

Paul Simpson

17/08/1996

2nd

Derby

Leeds Utd

Alan Smith

14/11/1998

2nd

Leeds Utd

Liverpool

Roque Santa Cruz

11/08/2007

2nd

Blackburn

M'brough

mins
3-4

Ilan Araujo

06/02/2010

2nd

West Ham

Burnley

Samir Nasri

16/08/2008

1st 

Arsenal

WBA


Copyright 2014 WEST BROMWICH ALBION FOOTBALL CLUB LTD. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.wba.co.uk as the source.

West Bromwich Albion, WBA and Baggies are registered trademarks of West Bromwich Albion Football Club Ltd. The club is also known as West Brom.

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