Saturday’s match sees a buoyant Everton welcome West Brom to Goodison Park. David Moyes’ side go into the match on the back of, arguably, their two best performances of the season. Following on from their victory over Swansea’s pass masters, Moyes’ boys swept Sunderland aside in the FA Cup replay. The impressive replay victory leaves Everton fans planning their third visit to Wembley in four years.
Focus switches back to the Premier League as Everton look to press on and finish as high as possible. The extra £500,000 per place means a lot to a club with Everton’s lack of resources. The Toffees have already beaten West Brom twice, this season. Everton edged two closely fought games with a Carling Cup win and a last gasp win at the Hawthorns on New Year’s Day.
Everton’s recent home record against West Brom makes for impressive reading. West Brom’s impressive 4 – 1 win at Everton, last season, is their only league win at Goodison Park since 1st May 1979. The Baggies are looking to improve on a run that has seen them win one of their last 13 trips to Goodison Park. The two sides rarely draw with just one of the last 11 meetings ending all square.
West Brom’s task is even harder given Everton’s recent home form. The Toffees have kept clean sheets in three of their last four Premier League home games; those three games were wins over Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham. However, West Brom travel in good form having lost two of their last nine away games. Despite their impressive away form, West Brom are in the midst of a three game winless run.
Both sides are at their best at different times during a match. Everton perform best in the second half of matches with 70% of their goals coming in that period – a league high. The Baggies have their own league high, scoring 19% of their goals in the opening 15 minutes. Everton will need to be wary of West Brom’s aerial threat with the Baggies scoring 22% of their goals from corners – another league high – and the Baggies (53%) have the edge in aerial challenges compared to Everton’s 48%.
Next Page: Passing Breakdown and Creativity Stats on Page 2 – Click Below…
Both sides are similar in terms of passing accuracy; Everton with 76% compared to West Brom’s 77%. The main difference is in the location of passes made with West Brom attempting 420 passes more than Everton. Despite that, Everton have made more passes in the opposition half and in the final third. This suggests that Everton’s style is more progressive with the emphasis on going forward whilst Roy Hodgson’s side adopt a more patient and cautious approach.
Everton can recall Steven Pienaar (cup-tied) and Royston Drenthe could return (compassionate leave). Seamus Coleman (thigh) and Jack Rodwell (hamstring) look set to miss out once more. Darron Gibson will hope to remain Everton’s lucky charm with the midfielder unbeaten in his nine Everton appearances. Overall, the Ireland midfielder is unbeaten is his last 22 Premier League games. Leighton Baines is due to play his 109th consecutive match for Everton, testament to his ability and fitness.
The visitors look set to welcome a number of players into the squad. Graham Dorrans (hamstring), Chris Brunt (illness) and Jerome Thomas (hamstring) are due to return after recent injuries. Steven Reid (ankle) and Zoltan Gera (knee) remain long-term absentees. The Baggies’ most creative midfielder, James Morrison, has also joined the injury list after picking up a severe knee injury against Newcastle.
James Morrison’s absence will surely have an impact on West Brom’s football with the midfielder in fine form of late. The Scottish midfielder is vital to the Baggies and, statistically, he is their most creative player. The table below only serves to highlight this with Morrison ranking highest in several important categories.
Everton will look to continue their recent good form against a West Brom side missing their most creative player. However, with West Brom travelling well, this fixture is by no means a home banker. Everton’s recent home form is impressive but conquering the so-called lesser sides remains Everton’s biggest problem. Everton struggle against defensive visitors but flourish against passing sides and West Brom fall into this category; this should play into Everton’s hands.
- Tim Cahill has scored on West Brom’s last 2 visits to Goodison Park
- There have been 3 red cards in the last 3 meetings
- If Tony Hibbert features, he will be playing exactly 11 years, to the day, since his Everton début
- West Brom have kept one clean sheet in 15 away games
- Marouane Fellaini has played 99 Premier League games for Everton