Westbromwich Albion

West Brom’s anticipated starting lineup against Middlesbrough features Jeremy Sarmiento starting and John Swift being benched

When West Brom welcomes Middlesbrough to The Hawthorns on Saturday, August 26, Jeremy Sarmiento may have the chance to start for the club for the first time in the Championship.
The West Brom loanee, who has only played as a late replacement in the last two games, might be ready to contribute straight away in an effort to increase the goal threat for the Baggies.

Conor Townsend would replace Matthew Phillips in the midfield, and John Swift would be moved to the sidelines.

Alex Palmer will want to keep the score clean against Michael Carrick’s team, but he will be up against some difficult competition. With three saves, two good run outs, and seven accurate long balls against Leeds on Friday, August 18, he stood out for Carlos Corberan’s team. (SofaScore)

The three normal defenders hold their positions in front of him. Corberan could have identified his permanent backline in Semi Ajayi, Cedric Kipre, and Erik Pieters until at least January after starting the last two Championship matches.

View: Sarmiento to start, midfielder to be axed - West Brom predicted XI v Middlesbrough

This back three should suffice for the time being, but the Baggies must yield fewer goals than they have if they hope to at least secure a playoff berth. Last time out, Kipre played very well against Leeds, with one block, six clearances, and going the entire 90 minutes without fouling.

Corberan might feel the need to replace Matthew Phillips with Connor Townsend farther up the field. The 32-year-old did not perform well at Elland Road, and in the Baggies’ quest for their second victory of the year, he ought to be benched.

The Express & Star reported on August 22 that Corberan was quick to laud the veteran, saying: “He is a player who is key to have at the club and in the squad because his level of commitment is the maximum he can have.”

West Brom

But his numbers don’t lie, and this weekend, three points are required, therefore he might lose his job. Townsend feels like the obvious replacement to return to the starting lineup after starting in the 3-2 triumph over Swansea. With just 53% pass accuracy and one accurate cross offering absolutely nothing going forward.

However, the rest of the midfield might not change. In the centre of the park, Jayson Molumby and Okay Yokuslu are essential for maintaining possession, and Darnell Furlong’s regular positioning gives the Baggies the necessary breadth.

If Corberan gives Sarmiento a deserving start on Saturday, he might be a contented man. Swift’s prior appearances haven’t exactly gotten West Brom fans enthused, but his lackluster performance last week makes the Brighton player a better choice.

Jed Wallace, the team’s captain, is still in the starting lineup because Corberan appreciates his leadership both on and off the field. Naturally, Brandon Thomas-Asante keeps his place after scoring against Leeds. He will be counted on to score goals throughout the season and will have been delighted to get this season started.


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