By Sam Stone

29th Jul, 2022 | 11:33am

Jake Livermore is a big doubt for West Brom Championship opener v Middlesbrough

West Brom captain Jake Livermore is a doubt for the Baggies Championship opener against Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon (30 July).

The Express and Star’s Joseph Masi revealed (via Twitter) on Friday 29 July that the Baggies skipper has been ill in the lead-up to the fixture.

However, West Brom boss Steve Bruce has said he will give Livermore as much time as possible to be available for their curtain-raiser at the Riverside.

Big blow

These are far from ideal circumstances for Bruce to be heading into the opening day of the Championship season with.

Okay Yokuslu is unlikely to be fit for the match at the Riverside and now another midfield lynchpin in Livermore is set to be unavailable.

Bruce is going to have to be creative in terms of his midfield selection and could be inclined to set up in a slightly more defensive formation to counteract the loss of Livermore.

Middlesbrough is shaping up to be a tough test for the Baggies with the Teesside club enjoying a busy summer transfer window under Chris Wilder.

After their recent injury troubles, it will be a big ask for West Brom to go to the Riverside and get a result on Saturday.

However, with new additions John Swift and Jed Wallace among their ranks, they should hopefully have an added attacking threat.

West Brom struggled badly for goals last season and The Hawthorns’ faithful will be desperately hoping for Wallace and Swift to be the solution to their attacking woes.

In other West Brom news, Chris Lepkowski had some scathing comments for Albion fans after the friendly against Hertha Berlin but then deleted his message.