On the 28th of September, Everton travel to the Hawthornes to take on West Bromwich Albion. Despite their League Cup exit midweek, the Baggies will come in on a high after beating rivals Aston Villa in their last league match. Their first victory at Villa Park since 2011 kept their clean sheet streak away from home going and lifted them four points clear of their rivals. Everton will be in good spirits going into this one as well. The Blues have not lost since their 2-0 defeat to Manchester City, and are yet to concede away from home this season. These two teams have both started the season well, and will look to continue their good starts with three points today.
The Baggies only have one injury concern going into this match. Ben Foster will continue to miss out with his torn ACL, and a recent setback will reportedly keep him out until Christmas.
On the other hand, Everton have a laundry list of injury issues. Steven Pienaar and Tony Hibbert are both out with long term injuries with no return in sight. Both Leighton Baines and Tom Cleverley are will both miss out until November, while Bryan Oviedo and Muhamed Besic will be out for at least another week or two. John Stones and Seamus Coleman will both be game time decisions.
West Brom are winless in their last five matches against Everton. While they are yet to concede in three away games, the Baggies have conceded six goals at the Hawthornes, which is the joint most goals allowed at home in the Premier League. These two sides are the only two sides in the Premier League to have not conceded away from home, after Tottenham put five past Manchester City at White Hart Lane.
West Bromwich Albion: Saido Berahino
Despite the fuss he kicked up on Twitter this summer, Saido Berahino is still playing for the Baggies. His goal against Villa proved why the club were so desperate to hold on to him this summer. On his return to the side, the Englishman popped up with a strikers goal, redirecting a shot past Brad Guzan to give his side a 1-0 lead. His ability to get goals is why West Brom demanded £25m for him this summer, and it could be worth even more to them if he is the difference between them going down and staying up.
Everton: Romelu Lukaku
Everton are a team with some quality players, but not a lot of depth. If they are to succeed, they need certain players to be in form. One of those players is Romelu Lukaku and, so far, he is in the form they need him to be in. The big Belgian has scored four goals in five matches, with braces against both Southampton and Barnsley. Lukaku is far and away Everton’s best option, and, if they are to have a chance of getting into Europe, they’ll need him to score goals consistently this season.
I see Everton getting a win from this one. Since the game is at the Hawthornes, West Brom will have to come out and play a bit more, which could lead to some dangerous counter attacks from Everton. While Tony Pulis’s side is very well disciplined, Everton have a bit more quality in their side and that should lead to a victory.
Prediction: 2-0 Everton