'Huge decision for Slaven' - Exclusive: Phillips makes West Brom XI suggestion for Man Utd clash
We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Kevin Phillips has suggested West Brom manager Slaven Bilic needs to find a way to incorporate Grady Diangana, Matheus Pereira and Callum Robinson in his starting line-up ahead of the trip to Manchester United this weekend.
Diangana and Pereira missed out on the starting 11 against Tottenham in Albion’s last match as Bilic opted to bring Robinson in for the ex-West Ham winger and Pereira was ruled out due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Robinson impressed for the Baggies despite their 1-0 defeat to Spurs and even though he caught the coronavirus last week, he should be available in time to play at Old Trafford on Saturday night.
According to FBRef, West Brom have the lowest xG in the league this season at 4.7 and Phillips believes that his former club can score more goals if Bilic finds a way to play all three of Diangana, Pereira and Robinson in his side.
Speaking exclusively to West Brom News, Phillips said: “Slaven’s trying all sorts of things to get a result which is understandable because you have to do that in the Premier League.
“I revert back to when I was a coach at Leicester and we were cut adrift at the bottom, we were trying all different systems, different players to try and find the right 11.
“That’s what managers have to do. You can’t just stick with your philosophy and the same 11 that keeps on getting beat. You have to swap and change it.
“Robinson came in and had an opportunity – maybe that was because Pereira was out – and he took it. That’s all you can ask for.
“West Brom need to score goals so could you find a position for Robinson, Pereira and Diangana in the same team? It’s a huge decision for Slaven in the next game.”
Robinson has averaged a goal every 146 minutes this season [BBC Sport] with the Ireland international scoring three times in nine appearances across all competitions.
Pereira was involved in more goals than any other player at The Hawthorns last season and has been involved in three in the Premier League this term by scoring one and assisting two.
Diangana has also scored once so all three players have shown they are capable of scoring goals in the Premier League – they just need to all do it more regularly.
And if Bilic can find a way to play them as an attacking midfield trio behind striker Karlan Grant, he could greatly improve Albion’s chances of finding the back of the net.
In other West Brom news, this Albion player was torn to shreds for his international performance last week.