By Daniel Feliciano

28th Apr, 2022 | 7:40pm

View: West Brom predicted XI vs Reading

West Brom head into their penultimate Championship game of the season and Steve Bruce arguably still doesn’t know his best side.

The Baggies saw their playoff hopes dashed after a 4-0 thrashing at Nottingham Forest before being held to a 0-0 draw with Coventry last time out.

Now Bruce looks ahead to the new season slightly early and that means some changes are likely to be made to the starting lineup.

As the club prepare for the exit of Sam Johnstone, David Button gets the chance to make the number one jersey his own and should start in goal once again.

In defence Bruce is likely to persist with a back-three, but the personnel could change slightly again.

Matthew Clarke’s future is up in the air but he has been a mainstay on the left of the three under Bruce and should start, while Kyle Bartley should get the nod through the middle with Dara O’Shea on the right ahead of Semi Ajayi.

At wing-back Adam Reach filled in on the right for the suspended Darnell Furlong against Coventry, but he could move over to the left ahead of Connor Townsend having earned the trust of the boss.

In midfield captain Jake Livermore should continue in his holding role having proven his importance to the side since Bruce’s arrival.

Either side of the skipper will likely see Taylor Gardner-Hickman in his midfield role once again, where he has hugely impressed this season after breaking through into the first team.

Alongside him will be Alex Mowatt, who has been rather disappointing since joining from Barnsley last season. He is the most creative midfielder the club have though, and should get the nod ahead of Jayson Molumby.

In attack Andy Carroll deserves to keep his place, with his performances earning plaudits from fans and calls for him to earn a new contract so far going unheard.

Alongside him though could see fan favourite and top goalscorer Karlan Grant dropped after a series of below par performances, with Callum Robinson brought in.

His ability to drift wide and link with the midfield could be key to getting Carroll into more dangerous positions and could be something for Bruce to experiment with.

Predicted West Brom XI v Reading – Button; O’Shea, Bartley, Clarke; Furlong, Gardner-Hickman, Livermore, Mowatt, Reach; Carroll, Robinson.

In other West Brom news, West Brom leave first team ace out of Player of the Season awards, should be ashamed

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