Classy Everton look to continue winning ways against West Brom
Everton to win 1-0
For a team who have been inconsistent in recent seasons, Everton now look like a team who can challenge further up the Premier League table.
They have invested wisely, with legendary manager Carlo Ancelotti persuading big name players to join him at Goodison Park. As a result, they were impressive as they beat Spurs and will look to continue that against promoted West Brom.
Unfortunately for The Baggies, they like Fulham are favourites to go straight back down this season. Unlike Everton, their squad lacks players with creative flair and scoring goals could be a problem for them this season.
Having said that, they will be looking to bounce back from their defeat last weekend and will try to make it harder for Everton than they did for Leicester.
Predicted 2020/21 finish: 8th
Reasons to be cheerful:
New signing James Rodriguez started very positively in first match
Only lost once in previous 11 league games against West Brom
Reasons to be fearful:
Inconsistency has been problem for them in the past
West Brom will be desperate to improve from last weekend
So far so good for Everton. They are a club, similar to Arsenal, who appear to be on the rise this season with all the noises coming out of the club positive at this stage.
They have a great manager, who has experience of winning the Premier League with Chelsea. They have also strongly recruited this summer – the marquee signing of James Rodriguez has been backed up by sensible spending on the likes of Brazilian Allan as well as Doucoure from Watford.
Everton’s midfield is now arguably stronger than most in the league.
They also have quality up front. Richarlison started brightly against Spurs, whilst Calvert-Lewin is now scoring with more regularity.
The judge of how high they can go in the league this season will be consistency. Can they string a run of wins together to challenge the top six and above?
They should have too much for West Brom.
Star Man – James Rodriguez
The former Madrid player was everywhere against Spurs, running the midfield with a quality that few players possess.
Predicted 2020/21 finish: 19th
Reasons to be cheerful
Manager Slaven Bilic has proven Premier League experience
New signings are lively if not superstars
Reasons to be fearful
Only managed one shot on target vs. Leicester
Unclear where goals will come from this season
Of the teams predicted to be fighting for survival this season, West Brom have one advantage in the sense that manager Slaven Bilic has seen and done it all before with West Ham. His record of 1.33 points per game at The Hammers is the best of any West Ham manager.
He’s taken West Brom to the Premier League, so he’s clearly doing something right.
However, the players at his disposal will have to improve rapidly if they are to avoid relegation this season.
They have spent around £28m on new attacking players this season – Pereira, Diangana and Robinson were all on loan last season before making permanent deals over the summer. They only managed one shot on target in 90 minutes against Leicester, however.
Unless they toughen up and improve their chance conversion, Everton’s powerful midfield could dominate them this weekend.
Star Man – Hal Robson-Kanu
Their joint-top scorer in the Championship last season, he may be able to pop up with a goal for The Baggies
Everton’s midfield will control the match
James Rodriguez will look to create assists for Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin
West Brom must create more attempts on goal
On paper, this looks a straightforward task for Everton.
If they play with the same intensity and quality that they had against Spurs, West Brom could struggle.
Everton now boast an exceptional midfield with the right balance of technical ability and physical presence and if West Brom are not sharp enough they could have to play long periods without the ball.
It is hard to imagine West Brom as bad as they were against Leicester last week, but Everton are still likely to have too much for them this time around.
Everton to win 1-0