Alan Smith will be the captain of Newcastle today in the absence of Nicky Butt who misses out because of the hand injury picked up during the pre-season victory over Darlington.
If we were to be completely honest we have no idea how Newcastle will fair this afternoon at the Hawthorns.
Of course the last time we were there was dramatics with then manager Joe Kinnear taking sick before the game with heart trouble, no doubt caused by the stresses of the job as Newcastle manager.
The lads went on to win that game 3-2, and that was one of only two times this year we won a game in the Premier League, along with the 3-1 Middlesbrough home win in the 3rd last game of the season. But both sides, WBA and Newcastle, ended up relegated, along with Middlesbrough.
Newcastle will be missing Nicky Butt and Danny Guthrie through injury but most of our other players that are left after the departure of Martins, Bassong and Beye over the last week.
We expect Chris to field the following Newcastle side:
Taylor R Coloccini Taylor S Enrique
Duff Barton Smith (c) Guttierez
Subs: Krul Tozer Kadar LuaLua Geremi Ameobi Ranger
We have seen Kadar play exceptionally well at center-back and we’d really like to see him start in place of Coloccini but we think Chris will plump for the Argentine because of his experience.
And we’d be surprised if Andy Carroll gets the start in front of Shola Ameobi, but that’s what we’d like to see.
We also hope that young Nile Ranger is on the bench today, and gets to make his debut for the club, as this lad can help us this season, if he continues his phenomenal development of last year, after we signed him from Southampton.
West Brom striker Ishmael Miller is out with a cruciate problem, while midfielder James Morrison is doubtful with a heel injury, and winger Chris Brunt is also a doubt after picking up a thigh injury in training.
But both sets of fans will no doubt be united in the tribute being held to the great footballing life of the late, great, Sir Bobby Robson, who of course managed Newcastle for 5 years and played for the Albion.
Sir Bobby spent six years, between 1956 and 1962, at West Bromwich Albion, and managed Newcastle to great success from 1999-2004.
Former Albion team mates will be at the game today to honor Sir Bobby, and tributes will be led by Don Howe, Graham Williams and Derek Kevan. Also present will be Brian Whitehouse, Roy Horobin, Alec Jackson, John Lovatt, Brian Macready, Stuart Williams, Stan Jones, Keith Smith, David Burnside and Chuck Drury.
There will be one minutes applause for Sir Bobby before the game and the pre-match music will be changed to feature the tunes chosen by Sir Bobby when he appeared on Desert Island Disks.
A fitting tribute indeed to the great man, who died on July 31st.