Star West Brom trio set for a return to the pitch

Albion trio Gareth Barry, Chris Brunt and Kieran Gibbs will stake their claim for a first-team spot when they play for the reserves today.

Gareth Barry, Chris Brunt and Kieran Gibbs (AMA)
Gareth Barry, Chris Brunt and Kieran Gibbs (AMA)

The trio are set to feature against Port Vale in a Central League clash this afternoon – a match that will be played behind closed doors.

With Jake Livermore and Romaine Sawyers suspended, the Baggies face Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday with places up for grabs.

For Barry, the game will be his first competitive outing since undergoing knee surgery back in March.

Fellow midfielder Brunt will also be keen to get minutes under his belt as he battles to replace either Livermore or Sawyers in Slaven Bilic’s starting XI.

Gibbs will also feature having now recovered from a broken toe.

And he will compete with Conor Townsend to start at left-back against Garry Monk’s side.

Bilic also has the option of moving Semi Ajayi from centre back into midfield against the Owls.

Should he do so, Ahmed Hegazi is likely to replace him at the heart of the defence. And yesterday, the 28-year-old played for Egypt as they took on Comoros in an African Cup of National qualifier.

Hegazi played the full 90 minutes and helped his team to a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw.

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