West Brom to ease into Premier League life
Albion have been boosted by the news they will not face a hectic start upon their return to the top flight of English football.
The Premier League has confirmed that just four fixtures will be scheduled between the big kick-off on September 12 and October 16 – the day the transfer window closes.
Slaven Bilic is eager to build his squad for the 2020/21 campaign as early as possible.
But Albion believe more value is likely to be found towards the end of the window – meaning some of their new recruits may not arrive until mid-October.
With the season more congested due to the coronavirus pandemic, there were fears the Baggies may have to play six or seven games before the transfer window closed. But the Premier League has decided there will be no midweek matches in September or October.
It means Albion will play on the weekends commencing September 12, 19 and 26.
They will also play on the weekend commencing October 3.
But the following week is an international break – meaning the Baggies are likely to be next in action on October 17 or 18, after the window closes.
That schedule means there is slightly less pressure on Bilic and technical director Luke Dowling as they work to put the final pieces of the jigsaw together as they build Albion’s squad.
Meanwhile, Celtic are believed to have entered the race for Albion target Shane Duffy.
The Express & Star understands the Baggies have held initial talks with Brighton over a move for the centre-back.
But Celtic are also interested in the Republic of Ireland international, who is believed to have supported the Scottish giants as a youngster.