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Cup tie marks milestone for Greer
Gordon Greer could have a new partner for his 150th Albion appearance.
Head coach Oscar Garcia is weighing up whether to rest the captain’s regular sidekick Matt Upson from cup action again.
Upson has played every minute of every Championship match this season.
The only games the 34-year-old has sat out are the Capital One Cup tie against Newport County at the start of the campaign and the FA Cup third round victory at home to Reading earlier this month.
Oscar is mulling over whether to maintain the pattern by handing Lewis Dunk his first start for 13 months alongside Greer in tomorrow’s awkward fourth round assignment at Port Vale.
Long-serving Adam El-Abd would have been a certain starter at Vale Park before his move to Bristol City last week.
Dunk, for the time being, has moved up to third in the centre-half pecking order, with Albion targeting experienced Northern Ireland international Chris Baird as a potential replacement for El-Abd.
Oscar’s selection is complicated by two tough away trips in the Championship to follow the test in the Potteries, at Burnley next Tuesday and Watford five days later. Dunk, 22, made his only senior appearance so far this season in the last round against Reading as a second-half replacement for Greer on the skipper’s comeback from a calf injury.
Meanwhile, a move on loan to Kilmarnock for the rest of the season is in the pipeline for Albion’s Latvian international Vitalijs Maksimenko. The versatile development squad defender has been out of the first team picture since Stephen Ward was signed in mid-August.
Maksimenko is training with Kilmarnock today and has been lined up to make his debut in tomorrow’s Scottish Premier League fixture at home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle, subject to international clearance.
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