Ryan Donk will keep his place in Tony Mowbray’s side as West Bromwich Albion bid to end their miserable run against Liverpool.
The under-fire Dutch Under-21 international was hauled off at half-time of Albion’s 2-2 draw against Blackburn after conceding a penalty in the opening minutes, for the second game running.
But Mowbray looks set to keep faith with the centre-half and will be looking for a positive reaction in Saturday’s game at Anfield.
There will be little time for Donk to dwell as Albion try to consign their dreadful Premier League record against the Reds to the history books.
Albion have scored no goals and conceded 19 times in their six games under the re-structured top flight, including 5-0 and 6-0 reversals at The Hawthorns. They have not won at Anfield since April 1967.
Of more concern to Mowbray will be his side’s current League form, which has seen them take one point from their last four games.
The Throstles manager is confident Donk will give a good account of himself in Saturday’s televised game, not least as potential alternatives Leon Barnett and Abdoulaye Meite are both ruled out through knee and calf injuries respectively.
“It’s a tough little period for Ryan and the last thing he needed was what happened on Saturday (the penalty),” said Mowbray.
“He’s got to get his head down and work hard. He’s a professional footballer so there’s nowhere for him to hide.
“Leon is struggling and Meite is struggling, so Ryan has to stand up big and be ready to go again.
“I made the change at half-time not because of anything Ryan had done but because of the way the referee was officiating the game. He had been booked and the official was of a certain mindset.
“I got the impression that just about anything could happen and I didn’t want to give him an opportunity to send Ryan off.
“Ryan’s our best option at this moment, depending how he is in training this week and how it affects him mentally. Hopefully he will react in a positive way and be ready to give us a big performance this weekend.”
Filipe Teixeira could make his return following his long-term knee injury and his recent calf strain, which forced him to abort his comeback a fortnight ago.
But his involvement is more likely to be peripheral.
“If he comes through training this week then he’ll have a fair chance of maybe travelling with the squad,” continued Mowbray.
“He probably pushed himself a fraction too much and stretched a few calf fibres.”