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Di Matteo backs Vela to boost Baggies' battle

West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo believes newcomer Carlos Vela will be perfectly suited to the team's style of play and will help them climb clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

Vela has signed on loan from Arsenal for the remainder of the season and is poised to make his debut in this evening's home clash with Wigan.

He should have no difficulty slotting in, with West Brom accustomed to playing the same kind of passing game as the Gunners.

Di Matteo will hope the Mexican can inspire Albion to end a run of six defeats in their last seven league encounters.

"Carlos has got great technical ability. He's got fantastic pace and he is a great attacking option for us," the Baggies boss said. "We are very pleased and delighted he has chosen to come and play for us.

"It suits him very well the way we play football. That's the main reason he came here. He can fit in very nicely in the way we play and be a big threat for us.

"I think Arsenal were happy for him to come here and he was happy. I think they were pleased that he chose us."

West Brom's only win since early December was a 3-2 home success over Blackpool and Di Matteo knows the clash with the Latics is of similar significance.

"It's quite obvious it is a big game for both clubs. It's similar to the Blackpool game here," Di Matteo said. "We lost 1-0 at their place and it will probably be a similar sort of game. It was a very balanced game and I didn't think we deserved to lose. It will be a similar affair tomorrow night."

Albion utility player Steven Reid is available again after recovering from knee surgery and is realistic about the club's current plight.

Reid, who tonight faces off at midfield with a fellow Irishman who has overcome injury in James McCarthy, said: "We'd be lying if we said we weren't in the relegation battle. It's important you win the games against the teams around you. Any result you get against a top-six side is a bonus.

"It's vital you get results in the home games against your competitors."

West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans is still sidelined with an ankle problem.

West Brom v Wigan Athletic,

Live, Sky Sports 2, 8.0

Irish Independent