Carlos Corberan has offered an update on the fitness of vital West Brom defender duo Erik Pieters and Semi Ajayi, who have both trained with the squad ahead of Saturday’s trip to Preston.

Pieters had been an injury concern after being substituted in the 77th minute of West Brom’s 0-0 draw with Millwall, but the manager reassured fans at the time that it was simply a tight muscle, and he has since returned to training.


Meanwhile, Ajayi is scheduled to return to full training on Friday, September 29, after missing the previous two days due to an ankle injury suffered against Millwall.

Corberan issued an update on their fitness to the official West Brom website on September 29th, revealing: “We will train on Friday with every single player, apart from the players who have been out for a long period of time.”

“Semi Ajayi is the only player who hasn’t had a full and normal week.” Erik Pieters has only missed one practice session this week.

The star interview: Semi Ajayi | West Bromwich Albion

“On Friday, Semi Ajayi will train as usual.” He had been practicing separately with the physios for the previous two days due to an ankle injury sustained in the last stages of our encounter against Millwall.”

Good news from the practice field

The fact that both defensive players are scheduled to return to the team for Saturday’s match at Deepdale is tremendously encouraging for everyone connected with West Brom. If they are to halt Preston’s unbeaten run, they will need to field as strong a team as possible.

Last time this duo was forced to miss a game came in the defeat to Huddersfield at The Hawthorns, with the visitors snatching a last-minute winner. Corberan had slightly tweaked his system to make up for the losses, which contributed to their poor performance.

Pieters and Ajayi both played 90 minutes on either side of a solid back three in the 4-2 victory over Middlesbrough at The Hawthorns, allowing Darnell Furlong and Matt Phillips to push forward as wing-backs and create further up the field.

West Brom's Erik Pieters focused on Premier League promotion | Express &  Star

The absence of both players against Huddersfield appeared to be the impetus for Carlos Corberan’s decision to switch to a back four, with the aforementioned wing-backs dropping deeper as full-backs and Conor Townsend replacing Phillips in that position, limiting their influence in the attacking phase of play.

Following the 0-0 draw with Millwall the previous time out, the return of both players should allow for stability in both performances and the system.

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