West Brom latest news: 'Surprising' Ismael decision failed to pay off

West Brom manager Valerien Ismael claps the club's fans

The Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield was "surprised" that West Brom manager Valerien Ismael changed his starting XI for his side's clash with Fulham on Saturday.

The previous weekend, the Baggies had swatted aside Bristol City 3-0 at the Hawthorns, but Ismael decided to alter his line-up against Marco Silva's men at Craven Cottage.

What changes did Ismael make against Fulham?

After losing to Stoke and Swansea last month, it seemed that West Brom were back on track when they eased to victory against the Robins, and there appeared very little need for Ismael to tinker with his line-up.

However, he decided to make one adjustment to his team by bringing Jake Livermore back into the fold following his suspension at the expense of Jayson Molumby.

The move backfired badly, as Fulham cruised to a 3-0 win thanks to an Aleksandar Mitrovic hat-trick. That result leaves West Brom in third place, now four points behind Fulham in the table.

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What did Hatfield say about Ismael's big call?

Hatfield has admitted that he was taken aback by Ismael's decision to drop Molumby, especially given how well he had teamed up with Robert Snodgrass at the heart of the midfield the week before.

When asked if he was stunned by Ismael's big call, Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: “Yeah, I was. Livermore obviously missed that 3-0 win through suspension, and that midfield two of Molumby and Snodgrass really worked well against Bristol City. So, I was surprised to see it changed.”

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Will Ismael change his starting XI again vs Hull City tonight?

Ismael will have to make at least one change to his starting XI for tonight's match with Hull City after Darnell Furlong was sent off on the weekend. He will now serve a suspension, meaning Ismael needs to replace him with an alternative right wing-back.

All eyes will be on central midfield, though. West Brom were unable to gain any control in the middle of the pitch on Saturday, so it will be tempting to bring Molumby back into the mix. 

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However, Livermore is the club captain, so to leave him when he is fit and available would be a bold move.

Furthermore, Snodgrass is now 34, and expecting him to start twice in four days may be a tough ask. Therefore, it appears more likely that he could make way for Molumby, with Alex Mowatt set to be sidelined until after the November international break. 

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