West Brom face Stoke City at the Hawthorns in the Premier League

Steve Clarke: West Brom boss hopes to bounce back against Stoke

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Steve Clarke's West Brom side will hope to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat away at Swansea during midweek as they welcome Stoke City to the Hawthorns on Saturday.

Albion have been this season's surprise package in the Premier League; maintaining a place in the top four of the division recently.

They had won their previous four games on the bounce before meeting Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday night. If the Baggies had triumphed over the Welsh side it would have been the first time they had won five in a row in England's top division in 34 years.

The impressive loan forward Romelu Lukaku will hope to continue the form that has seen talk of a return to parent club Chelsea whilst Shane Long and James Morrison hope to combine to cause Stoke problems.

Stoke have won three of their last four games ahead of the clash, which has seen the Potters rise to ninth in the table just six points behind West Brom.

They showed fantastic spirit to come from behind to beat Newcastle in midweek as Jonathan Walters and Cameron Jerome struck in the last 10 minutes to cancel out Papiss Cisse's opener.

Pulis will see the trip to the Hawthorns as the ideal time to face West Brom and come away with all three points to potentially move as high as sixth.

West Brom midfielder Zoltan Gera has recovered from a groin injury and is included in the squad for the game.

The Hungarian international was ruled out of the 3-1 setback against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium in midweek.

Baggies head coach Steve Clarke has a full squad to choose from with the exception of goalkeeper Ben Foster, who is recovering from a groin operation.

That means Boaz Myhill will continue in goal for Albion, while Jonas Olsson and Steven Reid are also in contention to feature.

Michael Owen and Andy Wilkinson could return for Stoke. Owen has had problems with his hamstring which has limited his playing time since joining the club. Wilkinson should recover from a back problem which kept him out of action midweek.

Peter Crouch won't feature after losing three teeth in a challenge with Fabricio Coloccini in the midweek win against Newcastle.

Marc Wilson and Rory Delap remain long term absentees whilst Cameron Jerome will push for a start after scoring the winner against Newcastle.

OPTA FACTS

  • Stoke have won four and lost just one of the six Premier League meetings with West Brom
  • This is West Brom's best start to a Premier League season by 10 points from their previous best of 16 in 2010-11.
  • Cameron Jerome and Charlie Adam have both scored in two of their three Premier League appearances against West Brom