View: Slight West Brom change could finally bring back the best of Matheus Pereira
Slaven Bilic has a number of different decisions to make in his West Brom starting XI for the game against Manchester United on Saturday.
Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira are back in training after testing positive for COVID-19 and missing the Spurs game.
Another who will be available is Callum Robinson, with the Irishman recovering from his positive test over the international break.
Bilic changed to 5-3-2 against Spurs, something which looked like this.
Robinson partnered Karlan Grant, with the duo in the final third causing so many problems for one of the Premier League’s best defences.
Jake Livermore holding in-front of a back five gave both Filip Krovinovic and Conor Gallagher the license to free-roam at the Hawthorns.
With Pereira coming back, this formation allows him to finally be played more central – something we have all been begging for.
The Brazilian has been wasted out-wide, but surely Bilic can’t justify dropping either of Krov or Gallagher to bring him back in at Old Trafford.
Another slight formation change could see Pereira flourish, and Robinson only have a couple of days in training could make the decision to switch easier.
It would be classed as a 3-5-1-1 and would look more like this.
Grant would continue leading the line, but Pereira would instead drop into a centre-forward role where he can free-roam against the Red Devils.
No one is completing more shots on goal or key passes per game this season than Pereira according to WhoScored, and this is when he is ‘out of position.’
Imagine if the 24-year-old is pushed back into his favoured role in the middle of the park, and can get on the ball in more dangerous areas.
In a game when Manchester United will look to dominate the midfield with their diamond, it could be smart to drop Pereira into this role where he can frustrate the Red Devils, but also take advantage of any mistakes when in possession.
In other West Brom news, Sky pundit predicts scoreline in Baggies clash v Man United