OUSSAMA ASSAIDI is likely to miss this weekend’s final Premier League fixture of the season against West Bromwich Albion, boss Mark Hughes has confirmed.
The on-loan Liverpool ace produced arguably his most impressive performance during last Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Fulham – a game in which he netted his fifth goal of the term.
However, his hopes of participating in the 2013/14 curtain closer at the Hawthorns on Sunday have been dashed after suffering a reaction to the knee injury he sustained in February during the latter stages of the triumph over the Cottagers.
“The likelihood is that Ozzie Assaidi won't be available,” the Welshman revealed to Stoke City Player
on Friday morning.
“Unfortunately, he had a setback on Saturday which is disappointing because he performed so well in that game for us.
“We have a number of other options available to us so we will explore them and then make the decision on the team that we think will be able to go out there and pick up the three points.
“Other than him I think we should be OK - and everyone else will be available, all being well.”
Meanwhile, Hughes has confirmed that Peter Odemwingie is likely to retain his spot in the starting eleven against the side he controversially left almost twelve months ago.
“Peter is an experienced player and he is used to playing under pressure,” he added.
“There may well be some focus on his presence on the day, but you would like to think there would be some recognition from their supporters because he made a huge impact there.
“It didn't end in the manner that he or anybody else would have liked there, which was incredibly unfortunate.
“Not playing him won't come into my mind because of the reception he may get. He is playing well so he is firmly in my thoughts for the game.”
Hughes’ only dilemma will be whether to thrust Peter Crouch straight back into the team if Moroccan international Assaidi is deemed unfit to feature.
The England front-man was forced to watch on from the side-lines last Saturday with Hughes opting to go with Odemwingie in attack, with Assaidi and Marko Arnautovic occupying the wide berths.
Another option would be to hand Jonathan Walters his first start since the 1-1 draw at Norwich in March, after he stepped off the bench to score his fifth goal of the campaign last time out.
Skipper Ryan Shawcross is also available again after serving his one-match suspension, and he is likely to return to the eleven to partner Marc Wilson in central defence.