View: Jordan Hugill could start v Derby after Grady Diangana bursts in 1-1 draw v Millwall
West Brom could hand Jordan Hugill his full debut on Tuesday for the visit of Derby County to The Hawthorns.
Hugill, 29, joined on loan from Norwich City last month but has been restricted to just two substitute outings so far.
However, he played the duration of the second half in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Millwall, coming on for Grady Diangana at half-time.
Despite Diangana being withdrawn for the Albion loanee, we actually think the two could form an effective pairing in Valerien Ismael’s attack against Wayne Rooney’s outfit on Tuesday.
Diangana has been criticised in some quarters for his performance against Millwall, and indeed he only completed two passes, but he was defended by Express and Star journalist Luke Hatfield after the match on Twitter.
Hatfield said he was unlucky to make way for Hugill in a tactical change, and we concur.
The following images evidence why we think Hugill and Diangana could prosper together on Tuesday.
In the first image, the ball is lofted aerially, with Karlan Grant competing with a Millwall defender.
Diangana and Matt Phillips are positioned behind him, waiting for any flick-ons.
The ball drops in midfield and is then played into the vast space behind the Millwall defence, something which Diagana exploits by sprinting into.
The ex-West Ham winger then shows great strength and resilience to get into a shooting position before hitting the ball narrowly wide.
That was an example of his abilities, and he may well have had a better sight on goal, much earlier, if a strong centre-forward like Hugill was there to head the ball behind for him.
Indeed, Diangana also won a penalty which Grant saw saved, highlighting his threat in the first half.
Hugill then showed what he was all about during the latter stages as Albion went in search of a winner.
This example below shows the ball lifted long towards Hugill as his teammates looked to take advantage of his aerial abilities.
Hugill caused chaos in the Millwall defence, with the striker and his marker sent crashing to the floor, leaving Darnell Furlong one-on-one.
Furlong fashioned a shooting chance but his effort went wide as Albion failed to score a winning goal.
However, the signs are there that the direct route to goal could be the best one for Ismael’s charges.
Diangana and Hugill may have a lot to prove to Albion fans, but we think they could be an effective pairing in attack against Derby on Tuesday, particularly against ageing defenders like Phil Jagielka and Curtis Davies.
In other West Brom news, Reading star reacts to ‘nuts’ Albion tweet on Saturday.