Injuries mount up in draw

Posted by Matthew Evans

Paul Thomas/Getty ImagesThe injury bug continues to riddle Steve Clarke's West Brom.

It was the one result both Harry Redknapp and Steve Clarke did not want, as Kieron Dyer's late goal secured a replay for QPR at the Hawthorns. Albion's injuries are beginning to mount up and this cup tie added further injury worries to their ranks.

- Match report: QPR 1-1 West Brom

Goran Popov, Jonas Olsson, Steven Reid, Claudio Yacob, Youssuff Mulumbu and Peter Odemwingie all missed out on the clash through injury with Albion picking up a further two injuries in the game as Zoltan Gera was first to go off, replaced by Marc Antoine Fortune who then had to leave the pitch himself before halftime.

Depending on the severity of the injuries, Steve Clarke's hand may be forced somewhat in the January transfer market as he would be left with very few wide options, particularly if Graham Dorrans leaves as expected. Jerome Thomas and Yassinne El Ghanassay have both been out of favour, while James Morrison is far more effective in the central role, this would leave only Chris Brunt and Peter Odemwingie to fill the wide positions. Even this is not ideal, as Brunt has had to play centrally lately while Odemwingie's preferred role is clearly the central striker role.

The only real plus point to emerge from the draw at Loftus Road was that Shane Long managed to get himself onto the scoresheet and showed signs of developing a decent partnership with Romelu Lukaku. Although Long's finish was heavily deflected, it was good for him to get on the scoresheet again as he had been struggling for form lately, especially compared to Lukaku's recent goal-scoring form.

A switch to a 4-4-2 might be something that Clarke considers to provide the Baggies with a bit more of a goal-scoring threat, and it does place less emphasis on the wide players than the 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 that Clarke has favoured so far this season.

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