Everton - West Brom Preview: Toffees look to boost top-four hopes against out-of-form Baggies
Despite drawing their last two league matches, the hosts sit just outside the Champions League spots and will be hoping for a victory against Steve Clarke's side
By Shane Farrington
Neville, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines
Naismith, Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar
Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell
Morrison, Dorrans, Yacob, Brunt
Everton boss David Moyes is set to make a couple of changes from the side that overcome Bolton 2-1 in the FA Cup on Saturday. Goalscorer Johnny Heitinga could come in to add fresh legs to the backline in place of Sylvain Distin.
Belgium international Kevin Mirallas was forced off through injury in the first-half at the weekend and is set to miss out with Steven Naismith likely to take his place in the starting XI.
Injured duo Tony Hibbert (calf) and Darron Gibson (groin) are both closing in a return to action but remain unavailable.
As for the visitors, Steve Clarke’s players head into the match fresher having not played at the weekend. They drew 2-2 in their last league match after coming from 2-0 down against Aston Villa.
Clarke is unlikely to tinker with his starting line-up too much - the only change could be to bring in Shane Long after his return from injury, possibly in place of Peter Odemwinge with the striker continuing to chase a move to QPR.
Steven Reid is close to a return after being sidelined with a shin injury, but long-term injury absentee Zolton Gera is out for the season.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Everton have the third-best defensive record in the Premier League this season having conceded 26 times - only Manchester City and Chelsea have let in less.
- Marouane Fellani is the Toffees’ top scorer with nine goals in all competitions for the club so far this season.
- The meeting between the two sides earlier in the season finished in a 2-0 win to West Brom - thanks to second half goals from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley, (pictured right).
- The Baggies have not been placed any lower than ninth spot at any point in the league this season - they currently sit eighth.
- They are winless in their last six matches in all competitions - losing four and drawing two.
- Romelu Lukaku is West Brom’s leading scorer after finding the back of the net nine times this term.
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Top 3 Predictions
Everton 2-1 West Bromwich Albion
- 21.21 %
Everton 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
- 15.53 %
Everton 3-1 West Bromwich Albion
- 14.77 %
|Premier League (EPL)||20 Jan 2014||West Bromwich Albion 1 - Everton 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||24 Aug 2013||Everton 0 - West Bromwich Albion 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||30 Jan 2013||Everton 2 - West Bromwich Albion 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Sep 2012||West Bromwich Albion 2 - Everton 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||31 Mar 2012||Everton 2 - West Bromwich Albion 0|
|1 Mar 2014||Everton 1 - West Ham 0||EPL|
|22 Feb 2014||Chelsea FC 1 - Everton 0||EPL|
|16 Feb 2014||Everton 3 - Swansea City 1||FA|
|9 Feb 2014||Tottenham 1 - Everton 0||EPL|
|1 Feb 2014||Everton 2 - Aston Villa 1||EPL|
|-||Sebastien Gabriel Tamaş||Defender|
The Croatia international has struggled at times this season to replicate the blistering form he showed following his arrival from Rangers during last season’s January transfer window. He still remains one of the club’s greatest goal threats and a goal against the Baggies could spark him into some goalscoring form with the club targeting a Champions League spot.
The powerful Belgium international has impressed since joining the club on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea. His strength and power make him a tough opponent for opposition defences to stop. With the Baggies playing style including whipping balls in the box, his strength in the air has seen him thrive and he will be hoping to add to his goal tally at Goodison Park.
Everton will be favourites to overcome a West Brom side struggling for results after an impressive start to the season. The Toffees have drawn their last two Premier League games but should have enough to grab a narrow win.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed