Monday night football in the Barclays Premier League tonight will see Midlands side West Brom host Merseyside outfit, Everton in a 20:00 kick off. The game will be played at the Hawthorns.
The hosts West Brom head into tonight’s clash in good league form, they’ve lost twice this season in the league from 6 games, not great you say, however, the two defeats were against Manchester City and Chelsea. Both clubs very reputable.
West Brom’s last league fixture was a morale boosting one against local rivals, Aston Villa. The game ended 1-0 in favour of Tony Pulis and his team. The only goal of the game came from Berahino, I never thought I would have been writing that a few weeks ago when the transfer window was still open?! Berahino was one of the main names mentioned with a lot of clubs, Spurs being the main one, he said several things to the media regarding the West Brom Chairman which wasn’t very good and he looked set to be on the side-lines until next season! Manager Tony Pulis seems to have settled him down and had a few talks with him, the fans seem to have welcomed him back and that has given him the confidence booster he needed. West Brom now look like a very solid team, Pulis has brought in some very experienced Premiership players over the past season, this added with the flair he has looked to bring in excites me a little and I feel that West Brom are capable of having a good spell under Pulis. If he can keep Berahino and Rondon then they have every chance of finishing in the top half of the table.
West Brom did lose their last competitive fixture 3-0 to Norwich (Cup game), however, this wasn’t their main XI and a few players were rested. The huge defeat however will have no doubt hurt Pulis, he builds his teams on the morals of hard work and sets his starting XI out to give 100% and to make them difficult to break down. I expect he will have been working hard in training this week to ensure that West Brom are prepared for an attacking Everton side tonight.
Although they lost 3-0 in their last game, prior to this West Brom have been hard to break down, take away their 2 league defeats to Chelsea and Man City, and their 3-0 defeat to Norwich in the cup, West Brom’s other 5 games have seen under 1.5 goals in all! They’ve looked a lot better defensively this season and I think this has to be down to Pulis. West Brom don’t have any major injury concerns, the only player absent will be Ben Foster. He will be replaced by either Myhill or Lindegaard.
The visitors for the game are Everton, they too have started the season quite well and find themselves in 9th place, just 1 point and 5 places in-front of West Brom. Everton have also been hard to break down and have lost just once this term and again, like West Brom that was against Manchester City, 2-0. What stands out to me is Everton’s form away from home. They’ve played 3 away games this season (league) and have draw 2 of these 0-0 (vs Tottenham and Swansea). The opening day fixture was away and that was an emphatic 3-0 victory over a poor starting Southampton. Like West Brom, Everton were also in action last week in the cup, however, they had a slightly better result than West Brom, they beat Championship Reading 2-1 with goals from Barkley and Deulofeu. However, they did go 1-0 down.
Everton have been quite an attacking team this year and scored 8 goals from their first 6 league games, however, 5 of these have been at home and just 3 away (all from the first game vs the Saints). Everton do have quite a few players out for tonight’s clash and I think for that reason they may settle for a point, Martinez will set his team up to not lose vs West Brom and for that reason I see a low scoring draw. Stones and Coleman are due to have late fitness tests and may not be risked. Cleverley, Baines, Pienaar, Hibbert, Oviedo and Besic. Also, to makes things worse for Martinez, Mirallas will be unavailable as a result of his red card vs Swansea.
I think both teams will play with caution and therefore I see a low scoring game, I think possibly a draw, however, I’ll be backing Under 2.5 goals at a price of 1.68 with UniBet. Good Luck all.
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