Shane Long is amongst the goals as West Brom ease past Forest to extend their unbeaten run to five games. Michael Kightly notches for Stoke on his debut as the Potters register their fourth consecutive 1-1 draw, while West Ham produce a similar scoreline at FC Braga thanks to a last-gasp equaliser from Winston Reid:
Nottingham Forest 0 West Brom 2
Steve Clarke welcomed back Chris Brunt and Steven Reid as the Baggies extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a comfortable cruise at the City Ground. Liam Ridgewell is a concern, though, after limping off at half-time with a thigh problem, while Jerome Thomas missed out with a niggle picked up in the previous match. In terms of formation, West Brom rolled out a 4-3-3 with Shane Long flanked by Peter Odemwingie and Zoltan Gera, with James Morrison the most advanced of the central midfielders. Morrison was a threat early on and teed up Youssouf Mulumbu for the opener before Long dusted himself down to slot home a spot-kick after being fouled in the box; the goal, his second of pre-season, the perfect response to the recent arrivals of Markus Rosenberg and Romelu Lukaku as the competition for striking berths heats up.
West Brom Starting XI: Foster; Reid (Jara 69), McAuley (Dawson 62), Olsson (Tamas 62), Ridgewell (Jones 46); Yacob (Hurst 81), Mulumbu (Thorne 81) Morrison (El Ghanassy 66); Odemwingie, Long (Fortune 66), Gera (Brunt 69).
Greuther Furth 1 Stoke 1
Tony Pulis handed new boys Michael Kightly and Geoff Cameron their Stoke debuts against the Bundesliga newcomers last night. Both players showed their versatility in the 1-1 draw; Kightly started on the left wing before switching to the right later on, while Cameron began the game in central midfield but shifted into the heart of defence after the Potters boss made a host of changes. Kightly was the chief protagonist for his new club; the former Wolves man scored with his first touch and teed up Ryan Shotton, only for the latter to hit the post. Asmir Begovic and Thomas Sorensen were handed a half apiece between the posts, while Matthew Upson continued alongside Ryan Shawcross at centre-half due to Robert Huth’s absence. Upson hardly covered himself in glory though; he gave away the spot-kick that led to the home side’s equaliser before making way on the hour mark.
Post-match, Pulis revealed the club are expected to sign Dynamo Kiev left-back Goran Popov on a season-long loan on Monday; a move that will surely place real question marks over the game of Marc Wilson in the Potters’ backline next term. The Stoke boss also gave an update on Robert Huth – the German has returned home after being hospitalised with viral meningitis earlier this week and is expected to return to light training at some point in the next few days:
It’s a massive bonus that he has recovered so well because we were really concerned that it was the serious strain at one point. He’s a bit weak at the moment, so it’s too early to say when he will be back. We’ll have to take it one step at a time, but he’s a tough character and I know he won’t want to miss out on the start of the season if that is at all possible.
Stoke Starting XI: Begovic (Sorensen 46); Wilkinson (Jerome 60), Shawcross, Upson (Palacios 60), Wilson; Pennant, Whelan (Whitehead 46), Cameron, Kightly (Delap 76); Walters (Ness 65), Crouch (Jones 65).
Braga 1 West Ham 1
Sam Allardyce rolled out a 4-3-3 formation last night, with Ricardo Vaz Te and Modibo Maiga swapping wings on either side of Carlton Cole up front. Elsewhere, James Tomkins started in central midfield, with James Collins continuing alongside Winston Reid in the heart of defence. Matt Taylor came on as a sub midway through the second half and was handed a role on the left of the front three, with Maiga moving centrally. Intriguingly, Vaz Te shared direct free-kicks with Noble, while Tomkins grabbed an assist for Reid’s late, late equaliser after nodding down a Taylor corner.
West Ham Starting XI: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Collins (O’Neil 76), O’Brien, Tomkins, Diame (Moncur 84), Noble, Vaz Te, Maiga, Cole (Taylor 71)
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
|Up||Robles||WIG||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Lloris||TOT||C, Vs|
|No Change||Foster||WBA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Vorm||SWA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Mignolet||SUN||B, Vs|
|No Change||De Gea||MUN||A|
|Up||Boruc||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Kompany||MCI||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Vertonghen||TOT||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Luiz||CHE||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Boyce||WIG||C, Vs, OoP|
|No Change||Cuéllar||SUN||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Rangel||SWA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clyne||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Mata||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Hazard||CHE||B, Vs, Rest, Inj|
|Up||Maloney||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, Vs|
|No Change||Silva||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Tevez||MCI||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Koné||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
|Up||Lukaku||WBA||B, Vs, Rest|
|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Rodriguez||SOT||A, Vs, £|
|Up||Defoe||TOT||B, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Ba||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
|OoP||Out of Position|
“I am happy with the way I’ve started, but on the other hand, I should have scored four or five more, so that’s something for me to work on.”Robin Van Persie talks about his early form at United ahead of his first Manchester derby