West Brom V AFC Bournemouth at The Hawthorns : Match Preview

24 February 2017 07:34
West Brom V AFC Bournemouth - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Defender Jonny Evans and midfielder Claudio Yacob doubts for West Brom

West Brom boss Tony Pulis has "one or two niggles" to assess ahead of his side's first game in two weeks against Bournemouth.

Jonny Evans (calf) and Claudio Yacob (appendicitis) came off the substitutes' bench in the 2-2 draw at West Ham following absences.

The pair could be in contention to start after a period of rest and recuperation.

Pulis has refused to look beyond the clash with Bournemouth, despite his side sitting eighth in the table and pushing for a possible European place.

"I'm just concerned about Bournemouth," Pulis said.

"That's the most important thing, to make sure we're prepared properly for what will be a tough game.

"It's important we focus on them and not the others. We'll wait until we get them out of the way and then take it from there.

"I'm concerned about Bournemouth. The most important thing in my mind now is just winning that game against Bournemouth.

"I'm not concerned about anything else. People who look further than that I don't think are in the mould that they should be in.

"I'm concerned, concentrating on just getting one thing right and that's that game against Bournemouth."

Jack Wilshere will have a late fitness test for Bournemouth.

The on-loan Arsenal midfielder limped out of the Cherries' defeat by Manchester City on February 13 with another ankle problem.

Captain Simon Francis will miss out with a hamstring injury while goalkeeper Adam Federici and striker Callum Wilson (both knee) are longer-term absentees.

While the Baggies are looking up, Bournemouth are only six points off the relegation zone after losing four of their last six matches, conceding 18 goals.

Eddie Howe is not hiding from Bournemouth's problems and accepts recent form has not been good. But the Cherries boss is convinced there is little wrong with his team as he looks to pull them away from danger.

Howe said: "The spell we have been on, you can't hide from. It's not been good, conceding a lot of goals.

"But I think it has been slightly unusual the way that has happened, so I don't think there is anything structurally wrong with us.

"We haven't changed anything from early season, we have just suffered in certain moments. It is up to us to bounce back from that."

Howe kept the club in top flight at the first attempt last season and says repeating that feat was always the chief aim this term.

He added: "I have said a few times, despite the fact our league position was healthy a few weeks ago, we are in a relegation battle. We are not hiding from that.

"We need points, we need wins, we need them quickly. Although people have never included ourselves in that bracket, we have always felt we were in a race to reach that 40-point mark."

Source: PAR