James Morrison was right this week when he said that Albion's next three games will define their season. The difference between clinging onto a chance of Europe, or fading away into mid table mediocrity. The problem is, all three opposing sides are above them in the table.
To repeat Roy Hodgson's feats would be quite the achievement for debutant boss Steve Clarke. Very good business was done in the summer, although don't expect much to be done between now and Thursday.
Everton, meanwhile, have positioned themselves nicely for a European push over the coming months. They progressed in the FA cup on Saturday and look set to add Holland international Leroy Fer to their ranks in the last couple of days. The stereotypical Everton tradition of recent seasons where an impressive second half of the campaign makes up for an average first seems to be a thing of the past.
This should be quite a test for the visiting side, as - a common theme in the Premier League these days - two Scottish managers go head to head.
Kevin Mirallas' return seems to have been short lived. The Belgian made his comeback against Southampton last Monday night only to hobble off with a hamstring problem against Bolton on Saturday. Darren Gibson and Seamus Coleman are expected to miss out with thigh injuries, while the game comes too soon for Leroy Fer.
The Baggies will nurse quartet Marc-Antoine Fortune, Shane Long, Claudio Yacob and Steven Reid, hoping that the 11 days since their last game has had a positive effect. Zoltan Gera is out for the season and Youssouf Mulumbu should be available for Sunday, after DR Congo were knocked out of the AFCON.
- In the 13 Premier League meetings between these two clubs, Everton have prevailed victors in 7, and West Brom have won 5. There has been one draw.
- Player to have played for both clubs: Steve Watson
- The previous meeting was 2-0 to the Baggies (Long, McAuley)
- Everton beat Albion 2-1 (AET) in last season's Carling cup.
- West Brom's 4-0 win over the Toffees in November 2005 remains their joint biggest ever Premier League win.
- Everton have completed three Premier League doubles over Albion (2002/03, 2008/09, 2011/2012).
Everton have Midlands duo Albion and Villa back to back at home now, and will see this as an opportunity for 6 points, and by doing so keeping the pressure on those above.
Match score: 2-1.
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