Wayne Bridge is on course to return to the Albion defence in Saturday’s showdown against arch-rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The former England left-back was missing for the third match in a row against Bristol City last night, due to a calf injury.

Marcos Painter deputised again but was forced off in the closing stages by a recurrence of cramps.

Manager Gus Poyet revealed to The Argus: “I am sure Wayne is going to be fit for Saturday, unless he has a setback.

“I’m looking forward to that because again we had the problem with Marcos and we needed to change him.

“I feel sorry for him but it’s difficult for me, because I need to hold one change back just in case he has the cramps.”

Albion go into the Palace clash undefeated for seven matches and up a place to seventh, a point outside the play-off zone.

Poyet said: “We are on a good run and it’s a great game for us. Motivation is not going to be an issue.”

Gordon Greer praised Painter for his performances as stand-in for Bridge. The skipper said: “We train with each other every day so it should be seamless when people come into the side. Paints has been great.”