Graham Potter will make changes when Albion kick off their third FA Cup campaign under his leadership.

The Seagulls have players who could do with game time at West Brom.

Potter is always ready to make alterations, be it to personnel or set-up.

He did so to great effect in the big week which saw wins over Brentford and Everton and a draw at Chelsea. Some between games, some within games.

There are clear candidates for playing time in the Black Country.

They include Shane Duffy, Pascal Gross and Solly March while Jason Steele is expected to start in goal and Danny Welbeck is likely to get minutes.

Evan Ferguson might get a chance to show his promise up front at some stage in the tie.

Potter does not mind changing things around.

But it might come as a surprise to learn that he has made fewer changes to his teams at this juncture in the season than we saw from his predecessor Chris Hughton.

Last season, Albion went to Newport in the third round.

The game followed a 3-3 draw at home to Wolves and came just three nights before the ultimate Prem test at Manchester City (in turn followed by Leeds away).

Perhaps surprisingly, Potter limited himself to four outfield changes in the cup tie and sent some pretty big-hitters out on to the Gwent mud.

Defensive kingpins Ben White, Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk all retained starting places.

Yves Bissouma, March and Neal Maupay were also in the side having started against Wolves.

Leandro Trossard and Joel Veltman, who both started the Wolves game, were sent on as subs at Rodney Parade.

Alongside the change in goal, with Steele in for Robert Sanchez, Potter also promoted Gross, Alexis Mac Allister, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Andi Zeqiri to the team for five changes in total.

Potter made seven changes for the third round two years ago – but not the one most people had expected.

Jahanbakhsh had just scored his sensational overhead kick at home to Chelsea and was put up for a well-attended press conference ahead of the home tie against Sheffield Wednesday.

But he was again among the subs for the Owls’ visit.

Bissouma, Webster and Maupay were all again retained for the cup with Steven Alzate the other to keep his place.

Potter gave starts to David Button, Gaetan Bong, Duffy, Leon Balogun, Ezequiel Schelotto, Dale Stephens and Gross in a grim 1-0 defeat.

Neither of the third-round line-ups sent out by Potter to date can match the EIGHT changes Hughton made at this stage three years ago.

Albion travelled to Bournemouth three days after a 2-2 draw at West Ham in the league.

Hughton retained only Duffy, Stephens and Locadia in his team.

The latter selection might have been down to the fact it seemed Locadia was just playing his way into form with goals at home to Arsenal and Everton over the Christmas period.

With Maty Ryan unavailable due to the Asia Cup, Button had been starting in goal in the league.

Steele was handed his Albion debut between the sticks at the Vitality Stadium.

Hughton also brought in Bruno, Balogun and Bong at the back to replace Martin Montoya, Dunk and Bernardo.

Bissouma, who had been on the bench, was a starter along with Beram Kayal in midfield as Gross and Davy Propper stepped down.

In attack, there were chances for Anthony Knockaert and Florin Andone, both on the bench in the previous game, as March and Glenn Murray stepped down.

Hughton also gave a brief run out to young striker Viktor Gyokeres, who went on as sub late on.

Knockaert, Bissouma and Andone all took their opportunity with goals to send the Seagulls on a run which ultimately took them to a Wembley semi-final.

Hughton also made eight changes the previous year.

The only players to start both the New Year’s Day 2-2 draw with Bournemouth and the 2-1 FA Cup win over Crystal Palace which followed were Schelotto, Stephens and Jose Izquierdo.

Stephens, who scored the opening goal, went off after an hour and Murray, who had dropped to the bench, went on late to nudge home the winner.

In the 2016-17 promotion season, Hughton went for a full house of 11 changes in the starting line-up.

The home tie against MK Dons followed a dramatic 2-1 comeback win at Fulham in the Championship.

Among those called in were largely untried full-backs Rob Hunt and Sam Adekugbe.

Kayal enjoyed a first outing after injury and celebrated with some emotion when his first-half goal sent Albion on the way to a 2-0 win.

There were some big names on the bench but they stayed there with Rohan Ince the only sub sent on, to replace Kayal late on.

Hunt now plays for Swindon Town while Adekugbe, the Canadian defender, is with Hatayspor in Turkey.

Richie Towell was among those given a rare start.

He went on to score in the fifth round defeat at non-league Lincoln City in which Fikayo Tomori made the first senior start of a career which has taken him to Milan and the England squad.

The records show just the seven changes on third round day in the first complete Hughton season back in 2015-16.

Dunk, Inigo Calderon, Connor Goldson and Andrew Crofts all started the league defeat on New Year’s Day at home to Wolves and the cup tie which followed at Hull.

But Hughton also changed things tactically with Calderon and Adam Chicksen operating as a wing-back pairing.

Towell and Liam Ridgewell were given debuts for the club and Elvis Manu led the attack.

The tie was also seen as a good chance to give Sam Baldock and Kazenga LuaLua some action after injury-enforced absences.

They went on in the closing stages as Albion tried in vain to stave off a 1-0 defeat.

Hughton, a traditionalist and twice an FA Cup winner as a player with Tottenham, happily used third-round day to help the league campaign.

Even though the current Premier League campaign is going well, Potter may well do something similar at the Hawthorns this weekend.


Hull 1 Albion 0 (2015-16)

Team: Maenpaa; Goldson, Dunk, Ridgwell; Calderon (LuaLua 63), Crofts, Ince, Chicksen; Holla (Baldock 57), Towell; Manu (Hemed 76).

Albion 2 MK Dons 0 (2016-17)

Team: Maenpaa; Hunt, Goldson, Huenemeier, Adekugbe; Murphy, Kayal (Ince 78), Sidwell, March; Towell; Hemed.

Albion 2 Crystal Palace 1 (2017-18)

Team: Krul; Schelotto, Goldson, Huenemeier, Bong; March, Kayal, Stephens (Propper 61), Izquierdo; Brown (Baldock 6); Hemed (81).

Bournemouth 1 Albion 3 (2018-19)

Team: Steele; Bruno (Montoya 87), Duffy, Balogun, Bong; Stephens, Kayal, Bissouma; Knockaert (Gyokeres 89), Locadia (March 74), Andone.

Albion 0 Sheffield Wed 1 (2019-20)

Team: Button; Duffy, Webster, Balogun (Connolly 46); Schelotto, Stephens, Bissouma (Jahanbakhsh 63), Bong (Bernardo 71); Alzate, Gross; Maupay.

Newport 1 Albion 1 (2020-21)

Albion won 4-3 on penalties

Team: Steele; White (Veltman 108), Dunk, Webster, March (Bernardo 89); Jahanbakhsh (Tau 71), Bissouma, Gross, Mac Allister (Propper 63); Maupay, Zeqiri (Trossard 63).