A match that West Brom fans were already desperate to win has become a huge way start to a massive week thanks to events on and off the field at the weekend.
While the FA Cup has become an unwanted distraction for some managers and players, it is the competition firing the imagination for Baggies fans at the start of 2013.
That makes tonight’s third round Hawthorns replay against Queens Park Rangers a game that the home faithful are pinning their dreams on.
But, the remarkable ending to Saturday’s game at Reading combined with a weekend of unwanted emails from Loftus Road have added extra spice to heat up an icy Hawthorns.
West Brom have in their ranks a man who knows about the magic the FA Cup can provide, with Romelu Lukaku having figured briefly in the third round for Chelsea last season.
But Lukaku then watched from the sidelines as his parent club went all the way to Wembley and lifted the trophy.
The in-form 19-year-old is anxious for a taste of glory himself but first he says the Baggies must right the wrongs of Saturday, when they squandered a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 at the Madejski Stadium.
He said: “It will be a big test because we are coming from two losses and a draw. With our home fans it will be nice to see how we react and QPR will have a difficult game at our place, that’s for sure.
“The cup can do a lot but let’s win against QPR and then we will see. You have to move on and look at the next game.
"We have to think about what went wrong, but now it’s all about QPR because we want to get to the next round.
“Then we have Villa again, which is a big game for us and the fans. We have to go on and work hard. Saturday was disappointing.
"You are 2-0 up and cruising and then you concede two goals at the end. That’s really painful.
"But we are grown men and we have to start winning again because that’s the only solution – not drawing, just winning.
“We are sitting well in the league and we have to get back to winning, it’s as simple as that. It was difficult to find an explanation for Saturday.
"After the game, nobody said anything. We didn’t find the words to explain it but we will find a time to have a conversation.”
QPR’s failed bids for both Jonas Olsson and Peter Odemwingie should make for an atmosphere when bosses Steve Clarke and Harry Redknapp chat in the West Brom's head coach’s office over a post-match drink.
While the Baggies have insisted publicly that Rangers’ pursuit of the duo has not affected the mood inside their squad, the persistence of Loftus Road officials has upset their Hawthorns counterparts.
Rangers were told when they made initial enquiries that the pair would not be sold, but opted to lodge formal offers anyway with news of the bids becoming public knowledge through the national media.
There is no sign of the Baggies relaxing their stance on Olsson or Odemwingie, having rebuffed offers of £5million and £2million respectively.
Odemwingie remains out of action with a calf strain but Olsson is expected to figure tonight, while forward Shane Long remains a doubt with a dead leg.
Steven Reid and Claudio Yacob are also struggling, with shin and hamstring injuries respectively.
Redknapp has no fresh injury concerns, but could make a number of changes after his side’s hard-fought 0-0 draw with Tottenham on Saturday.
The Rangers boss is still without hamstring injury victim Junior Hoilett and Samba Diakite, who is at the African Nations Cup.
Defender Ryan Nelsen remains available despite agreeing to become Toronto’s new manager in Major League Soccer.
But forwards Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora are both absent, nursing knee and hip injuries respectively.Subscribe to our Newsletter