West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United Team News
Newcastle will hand late fitness tests to a number of players ahead of Tuesday night's FA Cup fifth round clash against West Bromwich Albion.
The Magpies are keen to lift the ‘doom and gloom’ that surrounds the club when they take on the Baggies at the Hawthorns and boss Steve Bruce is likely to field his strongest possible side.
Bruce has done just that throughout the competition, in stark contrast to some of his predecessors, who were under strict instructions from above to prioritise the league.
His team could be affected by injuries to key players though.
French winger Allan Saint-Maximin is a doubt with a sore hamstring and back, while Javier Manquillo, Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle will be assessed after starting Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Burnley after lengthy absences through injury.
Wing-back Valentino Lazaro is available after suspension though and could come straight back into the side.
Asked what it would mean to him to take his home-town club to the last eight, Bruce admits it would be huge and just what the club needs.
“Not just for me, but for everybody. Let’s have something to look forward to rather than doom and gloom. Let’s embrace it,” he said.
West Brom boss Slaven Bilic is keen to see how his side will measure up against a Premier League team ahead of a potential top-flight campaign next season.
West Brom are flying high in the Championship, although they did suffer a shock 1-0 home defeat against Wigan Athletic at the weekend and need to bounce back.
Centre-back Ahmed Hegazi limped off during that game and has been ruled out against the Magpies, while Grady Diangana and Nathan Ferguson are on the sidelines with hamstring and knee injuries respectively.
Recent signings Callum Robinson and Kamil Grosicki are both cup-tied so cannot play, while midfielder Romaine Sawyer misses out through suspension.