Anelka's time at the Hawthorns has been beset by injuries, and rumours have hinted he may be willing to call it a day and reach a compromise on a £2.5million-a-year deal that still has six more months to run.
But Downing said: "Nicolas is preparing for the two games. He will have some kind of important part.
"The misconception is that he is a quiet man and moody but he speaks well to youngsters such as Saido Berahino.
"He wants to do well and play his part here. He has been nothing but supportive. We have looked after him and managed him. However, how can you not keep him involved?"
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