West Brom-Leicester City Preview
Confidence will be low for both teams when Leicester City host West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Alan Irvine’s West Brom (2-4-3) have impressed at times in the early months of the season, but have had a disappointing week with a draw with Crystal Palace in the league and a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth in the League Cup on Wednesday evening. The Baggies boss rang the changes for the cup game, but was disappointed that the reserve players didn’t step up with any performances that would have challenged the places of the Premier League regular starters.
"I was disappointed by the performances of some players," Irvine said. "We did enough to get back into the game but we needed to do more to win the game. I’m absolutely devastated for the fans who travelled in great numbers. They deserved better than that. It was really poor on our part."
"I have to look after the players who have played a lot. And I also have go to give players who were desperate to play a platform to impress. Some of the players did, but not enough of them. I don’t regret the 10 changes."
Saturday’s hosts Leicester City (2-3-4) have gone four league games without a win since their dramatic 5-3 victory against Manchester United, and last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Swansea City was arguably the low point of an otherwise encouraging start on their return to the Premier League.
"It’s really frustrating," said midfielder Andy King, who agreed a new four-year contract with the club on Thursday. "We know we can play a lot better than that. We haven’t really done ourselves justice today – maybe we could have got something late on with a couple of chances but ultimately we didn’t start well.
"The manager has got every confidence in us – we’re a confident group, we’ve got good players and we’ve shown that so far this season. But over the first nine games I think we’ve played well and maybe not got as many points as we should have – that’s the nature of this league – it’s the toughest in the world.
"They’ve (the fans) been brilliant so far this season. They’ve been outstanding so it’s down to us now to try and put on a performance and get back to winning ways."
King came on as part of a triple change by Pearson against Swansea, and is in line to start against the Baggies after his impressive impact off the bench. However, the Foxes remain without Matthew Upson (ankle) and Ben Hamer (wrist).
West Brom will recall star striker Saido Berahino after he sat out the cup defeat, but are likely to be missing Jonas Olsson due to a calf injury.
These teams haven’t met in the league for five years, but in the last three meetings West Brom have won all three by a combined score of 9-2. This season is the first year that both clubs have been in the Premier League at the same time, despite one of them competing in the top-flight for 16 of the last 20 seasons.