There is an old adage about never changing a winning team, but that does not ring true for West Brom after the performance against Wolves.
The Albion picked up a much-needed win but not without fault, as Sam Allardyce’s side conceded two goals in the process.
Big Sam has warned that a repeat of that is unlikely to lead to a positive result against West Ham on Tuesday, and to ensure that he should make a key change in midfield.
Jake Livermore returned to league action at Molineux following a suspension for his red card against Aston Villa, a development Allardyce said he could not be “anything else but upset with”.
SofaScore rated the skipper as the second-worst Albion player behind Dara O’Shea on Saturday, and with Conor Gallagher back from a suspension of his own Big Sam should consider a change.
Other than two tackles and four clearances the £46,000-a-week midfielder was out of sorts in the BCD.
Livermore failed to provide the necessary cover for the defence as he was dribbled past on two occasions and failed to make a single interception in the 90 minutes.
That is a worrying sign for a player whose main strengths lie in breaking up play, as he faired no better on the ball.
Livermore made just 29 touches compared to Romaine Sawyers’ 53, per SofaScore, and that is why Gallagher should be brought into the starting line-up.
According to WhoScored, the 20-year-old has made more tackles and interceptions per game than his captain, despite him being a forward-thinking midfielder.
West Ham’s midfield duo of Declan Rice and Thomas Soucek will likely sit deep and look to suffocate the Albion attack, so Gallagher could play a vital role.
Unlike Livermore, he should be adventurous in his play and attempt to get in between the lines to provide support for Matheus Pereira and Callum Robinson.
Fresh from missing the weekend’s action, Gallagher should add some energy into the midfield and that could prove vital against a team unbeaten in five matches.
Gallagher’s inclusion will also signal to Livermore that he has to raise his game if he wants to start, and that will hopefully lead to an improvement from the captain.
Big Sam has a big decision to make, but if he wants to improve on Saturday’s performance then he ought to be bold and drop Livermore.
In other West Brom news, Allardyce has heaped praise on three key Baggies players while issuing a stark warning.