West Bromwich Albion have received a huge injury boost concerning Kyle Bartley ahead of their upcoming Championship fixture.
What’s the latest?
In recent comments cited by Birmingham Live, Valerien Ismael suggested that, after missing the Baggies’ 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers last weekend with an ankle injury, the centre-back could be in line for a return to first-team action this Saturday, when Peterborough United make the trip to The Hawthorns.
Speaking about the recovery of the 30-year-old, the Frenchman said: “We hope he comes back next week. Normally the injury is seven to 10 days so we hope he comes back next week to have another possibility.
“Cedric Kipre will be back, but it’s not enough – we need every player, a strong team and a strong bench, and when you have that you can compete in a top game like that with the best XI, but at the minute we have to find solutions.”
Are you confident of a result this weekend?
Fans will be buzzing
Considering just how impressive Bartley has been for West Brom this season, in addition to the fact that Ismael is currently experiencing something of an injury crisis at the back, the news that the centre-back looks likely to make a return to first-team action this weekend is sure to have left fans of the club buzzing.
Indeed, over his 24 Championship appearances in the current campaign, the £2.25m-rated defender has helped his side keep nine clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.3 interceptions, one tackle, 4.3 clearances, and winning a whopping 8.9 duels – with a success rate of 67% – per game.
The £15k-per-week man has also chipped in for his side in an attacking capacity, scoring two goals, registering one assist and creating one big chance for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.6 shots and making 0.3 key passes per fixture.
These returns have seen the 30-year-old average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.13, ranking him as Ismael’s third-best performer in the second tier of English football so far this season.
As such, it is clear for all to see that it is a case of the sooner Bartley returns the better for West Brom, with the centre-back’s reintroduction to the side undoubtedly providing the Baggies’ chances of picking up all three points this weekend with a substantial boost.