As stated last week West Brom’s season seems to be petering out and while their recent run of poor results will have taken none of the shine away from their overall performances this season it is rather frustrating for fantasy managers.
That frustration will not have eased after last weekend’s defeat at the hands of Arsenal but rather than the result being the overall problem it will have undoubtedly been the absence of Romelu Lukaku that will have caused fantasy managers the most grief.
Having started nine of the previous 10 matches Lukaku looked to be odds on to start against the Gunners at the Hawthorns on Saturday but Baggies boss Steve Clarke though otherwise and rolled out a 4-2-3-1 with Shane Long leading the line.
It would seem that having failed to register in his previous two outings the big Belgian was relegated to the bench with West Brom hopeful that Irish international Shane Long could cause the Gunners rear guard problems and too a large extent he did, picking up an assist after he was brought down in the area to give the Baggies a penalty.
This latest rotation will have done Lukaku’s fantasy prospects some serious damage heading into the final week’s of the season and with many wondering prior to round 32 whether to sell him or not it would seem that that decision has been made for them by the Baggies boss.
West Brom like Swansea do not feature in round 33 of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League and with fantasy managers unable to carry any passengers over the coming week, we can expect a fire sale from Lukaku owners over the coming days.
It is worth noting that while Steve Clarke maintains that the switch was for tactical reasons, Lukaku is in the midst of trying to free his father from jail after he was jailed for 15 months for assaulting a woman and keeping her in the boot of his car (a charge which is denies).
So with this going on we could see the Chelsea loanee rested and given more and more time away from the pitch as the appeal draws closer.