Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Crystal Palace

Manager Alan Irvine of West Brom looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's Stadium on August 23, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Alan Irvine's West Bromwich Albion and Neil Warnock's Crystal Palace at The Hawthorns.

Two managers who were given unlikely Premier League opportunities meet at The Hawthorns on Saturday as West Bromwich Albion entertain Crystal Palace.

Alan Irvine came out of the managerial wilderness to take the Baggies hotseat this summer, having been coaching at Everton after leaving Sheffield Wednesday in 2011.

The Scot has made a solid start to his first role as a top-flight number one, guiding Albion to nine points from their opening eight games of the season.

Victory at Tottenham Hotspur and a 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Monday will give the Midlanders confidence that they can steer clear of trouble this campaign.

Palace are two places and one point below their opponents in the table, having already been forced into a managerial change when Tony Pulis walked away on the eve of kickoff.

Former Eagles boss Neil Warnock was the surprise candidate chosen as the Welshman's successor and went four games unbeaten at the start of his second coming, before two consecutive defeats.

The 65-year-old was charged with misconduct by the FA this week following comments made about referee Craig Pawson in the aftermath of their 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Selhurst Park last weekend.

His complaints related to the dismissal of Damien Delaney, who will miss the trip to Albion through suspension. With Scott Dann still injured, Adrian Mariappa will come in alongside Brede Hangeland in defence.

James McArthur is also unavailable and so Adlene Guedioura could make his first start of the season in midfield. Frazier Campbell has three goals in seven starts and will keep Marouane Chamakh and Dwight Gayle on the bench.

Irvine will restore Ben Foster in goal after the England international missed the match with his former club, in which attacking pair Stephane Sessegnon and Saido Berahino were both on the scoresheet.

Berahino is the leading English goalscorer in the Premier League with six goals and his form has reportedly attracted attention from Spurs, but his manager has insisted that the Baggies are ready to fight off January interest.

Claudio Yacob, Silvestre Varela and Jonas Olsson are sidelined for the hosts, who have not beaten Palace in the league for eight years.

Recent form

West Brom: DLWWWL

Palace: LLWDWD

Possible starting lineups

West Brom: Foster; Wisdom, Dawson, Lescott, Pocognoli; Dorrans, Gardner, Morrison, Brunt; Sessegnon; Berahino

Palace: Speroni; Kelly, Mariappa, Hangeland, Ward; Guedioura, Jedinak, Ledley; Bolasie, Puncheon, Campbell

Sports Mole says: 0-0

Who will win Saturday's match between West Brom and Crystal Palace at The Hawthorns?

West Brom
Crystal Palace
Draw
West Brom
51.6%
Crystal Palace
25.8%
Draw
22.6%
A dejected John Terry of Chelsea reacts after opening the scoring with an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on March 29, 2014
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