Marcus Braddock previews tonight's game with Albion
Tickets for the game are £10 adults, £5 concessions, £1 U11s, buy online at www.shrewsshop.com
Pre season game number two is against Premiership West Bromwich Albion, which is certainly going to test our mettle. Since their 17th place finish in the top flight, Albion’s manager Alan Irvine has made some changes with Liam Ridgewell moving to Portland Timbers, Steven Reid going to Burnley and of course Cameron Gayle, who we know well and arrived last week on a two year contract. Irvine has also brought in with defender Joleon Lescott in from Manchester City, right back Andre Wisdom in on loan from Liverpool, left back Sebastian Pocognoli has joined Albion from Hanover 96, defender/midfielder Chris Baird from Burnley, and midfielder Craig Gardener from Sunderland.
The Baggies had a difficult season last time around, finishing 17th having used three managers during the season (Steve Clarke, Keith Downing and Pepe Mel) The club brought in Alan Irvine on a 12 month rolling contract in May this year. Irvine has managed before for with Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday, saving North End from relegation in the 2007/8 season.
Saido Berahino is one of the Baggies youth products and has spent time on loan with Peterborough, Brentford and Northampton. He was apparently a target of Graham Turner a season or so back, but it wasn't to be and he ended up playing for the Baggies first team last season. In his first game last season, Berahino scored a hat trick against Newport County in the League cup and also scored goals that earned a point at home to Arsenal and three points away to Manchester United. He finished the season with nine goals in 35 games, an excellent return for his first full season.
Our only form to look to is our game against Chesterfield on Saturday. I was impressed with every member of the team that beat Chesterfield, and although it's only a friendly, I was encouraged by the performance and the goals. West Brom though will be a different kettle of fish, according to reports, they started per season training a week after us, so we should have a slight fitness advantage to counter the skills of a top flight team. Although results in pre-season games are supposed to be meaningless, I still want to see a similar performance to Saturdays and I don’t doubt that our players will be up for it. Score wise it's difficult to predict a friendly, teams may be working on certain aspects of their game and not be too bothered with the score. So I'll just pick a number off the top of my head and go for a 2-2 draw!