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West Brom v Newcastle preview

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07 Aug 2009 11:43:03

West Brom v Newcastle preview

Managerless Newcastle will travel to The Hawthorns to face West Brom in a battle between two newly-relegated clubs. New West Brom boss Roberto Di Matteo will be hoping for a winning start in front a home crowd against a Magpies side that faces an uncertain future. The former Chelsea player will have to deal with injury problems ahead of the much-anticipated tie on the opening day of the Championship season. Forward Ishmael Miller is ruled out having undergone a second operation on his cruciate knee ligament, while fellow front-man Roman Bednar is suspended pending an investigation into his alleged purchase of drugs. Former Swindon striker Simon Cox is set to make his competitive debut for the Baggies, with either Luke Moore or Craig Beattie alongside him. Midfielder James Morrison and versatile defender Neil Clement are both still struggling with heel and knee injuries respectively, neither having resumed full training yet. Marek Cech is set to take the place of departed left-back Paul Robinson as doubts over his own future at West Brom increase. Di Matteo will have been pleased to emerge from pre-season with no new injury worries, while Robert Koren will be available to play after the recent birth of his second child. Newcastle team newsCaretaker Newcastle boss Chris Hughton will have to do without midfielder Danny Guthrie, who has been forced to sit out with a hamstring problem. Guthrie missed his side's final pre-season friendly with Dundee United as a result of the injury and has not sufficiently recovered in time for the opening league game of the season. Hughton said that resting him was merely a precautionary measure and is confident the 22-year-old will make his return to the side next Saturday. "I must stress it is only a minor problem. We're very hopeful he'll be back for Reading a week on Saturday," he told the club's official website. "It was touch and go and we maybe could have pushed him but decided it was best not to risk him." Central midfielder Nicky Butt will also sit out with a hand injury but Andy Carroll is expected to lead the attack as Newcastle play their first league fixture outside the top-tier for 16 years.


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