West Bromwich Albion vs Everton preview

Romelu Lukaku

Saturday’s clash at The Hawthorns looks pretty enticing given that both sides have made such impressive starts to the season.

Everton travel to the Midlands having exploded out of the blocks in the Premier League and they look to be finally shedding their tag of slow starters. Their early season fixtures have seen them do more than ruffle the feathers of Manchester United at home and then outclass Aston Villa. Marouane Fellaini was instrumental in both fixtures as the Toffees took maximum points and manager David Moyes will be hoping the big Belgian can continue his intimidating form on Saturday.

Everton continue to make enquiries for additional recruits as Moyes looks to expand his squad in the final hours of the transfer window. The Scot currently has two unfamiliar luxuries at his disposal, firstly some financial assistance is finally available from the sale of Jack Rodwell . Secondly, Everton for once are fairly injury free. Bad luck in this respect has previously stunted them early in the season but if Tony Hibbert can shake off a knock then Moyes will have virtually a full complement of players available

West Brom meanwhile, have so far gained four points from games against Liverpool and Spurs which makes for an equally impressive start to the campaign. The 3-0 home win over Liverpool will have been especially sweet for new Baggies boss Steve Clarke.

West Brom looked full of goals in their last home game and full of fight away to Spurs but it could well be the goals that pose a problem for Clarke as much of his front line struggles for fitness ahead of the Everton clash. Both Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku are doubtful for the game and even if passed fit, the former continues to be linked with a deadline day move away from the club.

Clarke will be looking to Shane Long or possibly Markus Rosenberg to give his side a cutting edge should Odemwingie be unavailable. His only further injury concern is winger Jerome Thomas who has also yet to feature this season.

Given the excellent start made by both sides this season it should be a case of something needing to give at the Hawthorns but that doesn’t look likely. Everton will be far more solid away from home than their Merseyside counterparts and it will be difficult for West Brom to breach their defence, especially if short on attacking options. The battling Baggies though, are solid themselves and should be good for the draw.

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Gareth Mcknight

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