West Bromwich Albion will know tomorrow if they have been successful in overturning a red card for the second time this season.
The faltering Champion-ship promotion-chasers have appealed against Paul McShane's dismissal which helped turn a 2-0 lead into a 3-2 defeat at Burnley on Monday.
McShane has already been red-carded once this season and as things stand, he faces a four-game ban for the aerial challenge which put former Baggies midfielder James O'Connor in hospital.
Given that captain Curtis Davies is sidelined through injury and Neil Clement is serving a three-game ban, that would cause manager Tony Mowbray massive problems in the middle of his back four.
But McShane's case is due to be go before a Football Association disciplinary panel in London tomorrow and Albion have until 1pm today to mount a defence which hopes to prove that referee Michael Jones' reading of Monday's incident was wrong.
McShane was shown a straight red card, a minute before half-time, for the challenge on the diminutive O'Connor which, although clearly not malicious, was over-physical. Jones' report refers to a "late and reckless aerial challenge with significant excessive force on an opponent".
It was the Championship bad boys' tenth red card this season, the last seven of which have come in just 13 games. It was also the second time this season that a Baggies player has put an opponent in hospital, Paul Robinson having broken Birmingham City defender Damien Johnson's jaw in October.
However, the club successfully appealed against Robinson's second red card of the season, against Sunder-land in March.
Albion's chief defence appears to be that the referee's version of events detailed in his report is "markedly different" to the conversation Mr Jones had with Albion secretary Dr John Evans immediately after the game.
From the moment when a visibly upset McShane realised how much damage he had caused, the Baggies have been suitably respectful. Dr Evans said: "Paul very clearly showed his concern about James' condition immediately after the incident.
"After James had been taken to hospital, Paul waited around in the tunnel after the game to get further news from the Burnley play-ers. He also went out of his way to get James' phone number so he could wish him well.
"As for the red card, we feel the video evidence clearly shows Paul had his eye on the ball all the time and that it was an accidental clash of heads. We feel we have very strong grounds for appeal."
That assessment was backed up by McShane's team-mate, Jason Koumas. "The referee let us down big time," said Koumas. "Macca's gone in full-blooded but there was no elbow. He's mistimed his header and to send him off was harsh.
"It's just a shame it wasn't 11 v 11 for 90 minutes because there is no way they would have beaten us 3-2 but it's all hands to the pump now. We're hoping we'll start
getting a bit of luck and we know we need to go to Coventry on Saturday and get three points. We'll have 5,000 or 6,000 fans there and, on a nice pitch, that will be good for us."
If McShane's red card is upheld, it will leave Albion desperately short. "The sending-off was disappointing because there is not a player with more honesty than McShane," said Mowbray.
"But we're pretty thin on the ground in defence as we were already without Curtis, Neil and Sam [Sodje]. We'll have to wait and see if Sam's right for the weekend."