Tony Pulis remains hopeful that West Bromwich Albion duo Jonas Olsson and Victor Anichebe could play some part for the club during their Premier League clash against Chelsea this week. The Baggies travel to Stamford Bridge on 13 January searching for a third consecutive top-flight victory, although they required a late goal from James Morrison to force an FA Cup third-round replay with Championship strugglers Bristol City at the weekend.
Both players have been absent with hamstring problems since the 1-0 win over Newcastle United in late December. Olsson lasted just 17 minutes of that contest before being replaced by Craig Gardner, while striker Anichebe produced a man of the match display on a rare outing but was substituted shortly before full-time.
Addressing his latest injury situation in a pre-match press conference, Pulis said: "We have been steady with the players in training today ahead of the trip to Chelsea. We are hoping both Jonas Olsson and Victor Anichebe will be close to being ready for the game."
West Brom have no new fitness concerns ahead of their visit to west London. First-choice goalkeeper Ben Foster had previously been sidelined for 10 months after requiring surgery to correct anterior cruciate ligament damage sustained, but he finally made his long-awaited return against Bristol City.
Saido Berahino scored only his fourth goal of the season in that eventful draw at The Hawthorns. The controversial striker has struggled to replicate his impressive 2014/15 form so far this term, making just eight Premier League starts since August following a protracted transfer saga that saw him publicly register his frustration at being denied a move to long-term suitors Tottenham Hotspur.
With the transfer window now open for business again, the 22-year-old has quickly become a regular fixture across the gossip columns once more. Pulis revealed last week that he believes four or five teams might be trailing his signature amid rumours of new interest from the likes of Stoke City and Newcastle, but insists his relationship with Berahino has not suffered in recent months.
"Has it ever been anything but well? I have no problems with Saido, I have said that all along," he was quoted as saying by the Press Association. "At times he is misguided in the way he has acted around the club.
"He has never held a grudge against me. I have certainly got tremendous respect for him. I do care for him and worry about him at times because he is still a young lad and he can be very immature but that is the process of growing up.
"Saido took a turn for the worst, we have to deal with it, have to work with him and make sure we get him through it."