West Bromwich Albion v Everton

19 Aug

James Morrison


West Brom midfielder James Morrison is pushing for a first start since January after recovering from injury

TEAM NEWS

James Morrison of West Brom could make his first Premier League start in seven months after returning from a hamstring injury as a substitute last weekend.

Jonny Evans is likely to continue at left-back, with Chris Brunt still out with a long-term knee injury.

Winger Yannick Bolasie is expected to feature for Everton following his move from Crystal Palace this week.

Ashley Williams could also make his debut, while Romelu Lukaku is back in training after a heel injury.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

John Roder: “West Brom and Everton have new owners, and both could be extremely busy in the days leading up to the closure of the transfer window.

“One completed move is Yannick Bolasie, who made his final appearance for Crystal Palace as a substitute against the Baggies last weekend. If Bolasie make his Everton debut this Saturday against the same opponents he’ll surely become the answer to a trivia question.

“Ashley Williams could also make a first appearance for Everton, while West Brom will be hoping striker Romelu Lukaku doesn’t score against his old club.

“It could be a fascinating afternoon as West Brom look to build on their opening day victory while Ronald Koeman aims for his first win as Everton boss.”

Twitter: @johnrodercomm

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis on defender Jonny Evans, who has been linked with Arsenal: “The most important thing is that Jonny is with us and we want him to stay because he’s an outstanding player.

“You don’t want to lose your best players, but in football sometimes that happens. If it does happens, you need to make sure you know where your replacements are.”

Everton manager Ronald Koeman wants more goals from £25m new signing Yannick Bolasie: “He has a lot of strengths but he needs to improve in his productivity. Nine goals in three Premier League seasons is not a lot – it is too little.

“If you pay that amount of money for a player it is really an important transfer, and of course we know about his qualities. Really for a long time he was on my list because he is physically strong, fast and has a very good mentality. He is one of the best wingers in the Premier League.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Both sides are a work in progress but I am expecting big things from Baggies striker Salomon Rondon in his second season in the Premier League.

As his manager Tony Pulis would say, Rondon has had a year to get used to English football. He is strong and quick, and a real threat.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro’s full predictions v comedians Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
Salomon Rondon<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • The Baggies are winless in three Premier League games at The Hawthorns against Everton (D1, L2).
  • Everton’s only defeat in the last seven league meetings came in February last season when Salomon Rondon scored the winning goal.

West Bromwich Albion

  • Albion earned their first league win in 10 attempts by beating Crystal Palace on the opening day.
  • They could go five league matches without a win at The Hawthorns for the first time since December 2014 (D2, L3).
  • The Baggies have kept 22 clean sheets in 57 Premier League matches since Tony Pulis took charge in January 2015; only Arsenal (26), Manchester City and Manchester United (both 23) have managed more during that period.

Everton

  • Everton are winless in six away games, their worst run since a 10-match streak without a victory in 2013.
  • They have conceded a total of 10 goals in their three most recent away fixtures, losing 0-4, 1-3 and 0-3.
  • The Toffees have only won two of their last 12 league games, earning just 10 points during that spell (W2, D4, L6).
  • Romelu Lukaku scored 17 Premier League goals on loan at West Brom in 2012-13. He has not scored in nine Premier League appearances since March, his longest goal drought in the division.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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