The final match of Gameweek 7 in English Premier League will see revived West Bromwich play host to in-form Everton, with both sides hoping to build on some very good showings of late. The Baggies are still searching for the first home win of the season, whereas their opponents have already won three away matches this term.
Tony Pulis has become regarded as the manager who virtually guarantees good results over the years and he has done nothing to harm his growing reputation since arriving at the Hawthorns. The former Stoke and Crystal Palace boss led the Baggies to mid table finish last term before getting off to a good start in the new Premier League campaign. West Brom management did a very good job as well having recruited the likes of James McClean, James Chester, Salomon Rondon, Rickie Lambert, Jonny Evans and Serge Gnabry among others, while they eventually persuaded Saido Berahino to continue giving his best for the club despite failing to secure a big club move. And while the team still have problems up front due to star striker Salomon Rondon struggling for form, the back line has been thoroughly impressive of late, keeping five clean sheets in eight games. The Baggies are unlikely to be too concerned by the League Cup loss to Norwich now that their Premier League campaign is going according to plan and they will be looking to extend the unbeaten run in the league when they host Everton. The hosts will have Boaz Myhill back to the side, but Ben Foster remains on the sidelines.
Last season was pretty disappointing for Everton as they could only achieve a bottom table finish following some under-par performances, and another difficult campaign looked on the cards this summer. And these low expectations probably helped manager Roberto Martinez and his players in the opening exchanges, as the absence of pressure allowed the team to play with a lot more confidence. As a result, Everton recorded impressive victories over Southampton and Chelsea, while giving a good account of themselves in games vs Manchester City, Spurs and Swansea, so no doubt the start of the season was very successful. Away wins over Barnsley and Reading saw the Toffees reach the fourth round of Capital One Cup, where they will be vying Norwich City for a place in the next stage. Even with first choice full-backs Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines missing, Everton looked pretty solid at the back, mostly thanks to defensive pairing of Phil Jagielka and John Stones, with three clean sheets in six Premier League games a very good result. Roberto Martinez now have some doubts over the fitness of Coleman and Stones, whereas Kevin Mirallas is banned.
West Bromwich and Everton have both shown a great deal of improvement at the back, while their respective attacks are still not in full working order. And with mere two goals scored in five of West Brom’s last seven fixtures in all competitions, under 2.5 goals should be a relatively safe bet here.
Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 5/8