West Bromwich Albion 

St James’ Park 

Premiership 

Saturday 12th December 2020. 3pm. 

Live on some Skysports channel 

 

In a week that saw ex ‘Allo ‘Allo ham actor, Matt Hancock ‘bubbling’ about a Covid vaccine breakthrough, his favourite team failed their ‘Corona physical’ as the plague hit Darsley Park big style. 

 

After grabbing all three points at Selhurst, a trip to Villa Park was postponed and next up are Slaven Bilic’s struggling West Brom. 

 

The Throstles really do already look in serious strife. I watched them record their only win of the season (thus far) v Sheffield United a couple of weeks back, and it’s fair to say the spawniness on show in this 1-0er would’ve even made Steve Bruce blush. Their last run out saw a 1-5 Hawthorns reverse to Crystal Palace, and they’ll arrive on Tier3side occupying berth nineteen with only six points claimed from a possible thirty three. They’ll also be missing arguably their most influential performer, Matheus Pereira following the Brazilian’s innocuous looking VAR red v the Eagles. 

 

So, this one should be a walk in the park then, yeah? Woah, there Lesley. Hold your Geordie horses. 

 

As I write, it looks as though this match will still be going ahead, however Skysports are reporting that a handful of our squad are still isolating, whilst the Telegraph are putting it out there that as many as twelve Magpies will be forced to sit this one out. Hmmm. Don’t like the sound of that. 

 

The farcical Premier League rules state that fourteen players have to be ruled out for a cancellation to be allowed. Rumours that Mr Bruce has been asking those afflicted to cough on their (as yet) Covid free companions can be neither confirmed or denied at this juncture. However, I’m sure that his love child, Luke Snow will frenzy-tweet when we hit the magical ‘postponement’ number. 

So, who’s actually able to play? You know, if it goes ahead?? The simple answer is, I’ve no idea. Kim Jong-Ashley ain’t the chattiest at the best of times, and there appears to be a ‘three line whip’ pulled on anyone talking about this particular thorny Corona issue. All we can go on is a bit of rumour and hearsay from the likes of the Ronnie Gill. Mint. 

 

It really is an important fixture, too. For both clubs. A home victory would put us eleven points clear of our opponents, but with top 4 opponents gleefully waiting for us in the wings, the Baggies sneaking back to the West Midlands with that gap reduced to five would be less than ideal. 

 

So, what’s gonna happen then? Fux sake, I dunno. Given all the info above, it’d be foolhardy in the extreme to confidently predict any score line. I don’t have the luxury of fence sitting, though. Therefore, plucked from the sky, I’m going to plump for a 2-1 home victory, with goals from those two industrious Steve’s; Agnew & Clemence. Huzzah! 

Fun Fact(s)

WBA were originally nicknamed the Throstles, once they settled for the Hawthorns as their home venue. ‘Throstle’ is a Black Country word for the common-or-garden thrush. This bird likes nothing better than frequenting Hawthorn bushes. So, hey presto – it stuck. Their supporters fucking hate Wolves and like us, hold no truck with those pesky Villans too. Good on them, I say. 

 

Nick Clark 

@Clark5Nick