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Why Daniel Farke is wary of West Brom – even without Harvey Barnes


Daniel Farke is too familiar of West Bromwich Albion’s exisiting qualities to believe that Norwich City can turn up at The Hawthorns and expect a straightforward match after the departure of Harvey Barnes.

Second meets fourth at B71 on Saturday, but Albion have been dealt the blow in the build up that Barnes has been immediately recalled by parent club Leicester City.

Barnes, who netted nine goals and provided eight assists for the Baggies, scored in the crazy 4-3 win at Carrow Road in the reverse fixture back in August.

Farke, though – who has led City to the automatic promotion places despite selling James Maddison and Josh Murphy in the summer – is wary of the threats other Albion figures pose.

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Dwight Gayle is fit and available, while Jay Rodriguez and Matt Phillips have also been among the goals this term.

“Harvey Barnes is a brilliant player and has had a really big impact for West Brom, but that’s what you have to handle in this business and I don’t pay too much attention on what is happening with the opponent,” Farke said at his press conference.

“Of course I prepare the team for our opponent, but if someone is not available it’s always an opportunity for another player to shine. I don’t expect them to be less motivated or with less quality.

Darren [Moore] has done a fantastic job and all the players have adapted to this league.

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“Our performance at the beginning of the season was on a really good level, but we have improve our consistency. When I think back to our game with them at the start of the season it seems crazy we didn’t get any points as we started so well.

“Each game has it’s own story and there are always different topics. Of course it’s important to be there against such a good side and if you can win one or three points against them it’s more like a bonus point.

“It’s important not to be too addicted to one game, but we will invest everything.

“It is one of 46 games and each and every point is important. But when you win such a game it means the opponent doesn’t get any points and that is important when they are in your region in the table.

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“It’s important we travel in a good mood and don’t feel too much pressure. It’s not too big but like each and every game it’s important.”

This weekend’s meeting could see the first reunion of Norwich with Wes Hoolahan.

The Irishman, who impressed in the FA Cup win over Wigan last weekend, made over 350 appearances for the Canaries and could be involved.

Hoolahan, 36, is set for talks with Moore over his future with his contract up this month.

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“Wes Hoolahan was there with a really good performance in the FA Cup,” Farke added. “It’s strange to see Wes not in a yellow shirt, but you have to handle it and we are looking forward to seeing him as he is a good friend of this club.

“We will treat him like each and every other player during the game, but after the game we will invite him in our dressing room and we can chat.

“But when he has the ball we will want to get the ball.”



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