Aaron Lennon is likely vying with Gerard Deulofeu for a starting role on the right wing
Everton get their first Monday night date of the season as they travel south for their third successive away game to take on West Bromwich Albion.
The Blues go in search of their third victory of the season in what was regarded as one of the more winnable matches in this tough stretch of 10 fixtures when the schedule was first released. With as many wins as Everton – albeit against Aston Villa and Stoke, both teams that have made poor starts to the new campaign – and Tony Pulis at the helm, the Baggies will be no easy proposition.
They are winless at home, however, having faced last season's top two and Southampton at The Hawthorns so far; Roberto Martinez will be hoping to become the latest manager to leave this part of the Midlands with all three points.
He will likely be forced into some changes from the team that started at Swansea in the Premier League last weekend, however, with a question mark over the availability of John Stones who, like Seamus Coleman, will be given every chance to prove his fitness but might not be risked.
The 21-year-old seemed to aggravate a minor knee injury he sustained at the Liberty Stadium in the midweek win over Reading and was substituted early in the second half. The six days in between may not have given him sufficient time to fully recover and, with one eye on the Merseyside derby next Sunday, his manager may elect to withhold him from the action against West Brom.
Coleman, meanwhile, strained a hamstring against Chelsea a fortnight ago and hasn't played since; Martinez appeared to hint in his pre-match press conference on Friday that he wouldn't be taking any chances with the Irishman either.
That will likely mean a recall to the side for Tyias Browning, who deputised superbly at right back against the Swans, and a possible full League debut for Ramiro Funes Mori at centre-half alongside Phil Jagielka. The Argentine made his first start in the League Cup win last Tuesday, albeit initially at left back where he looked less comfortable than when he moved into the centre later in the game. Brendan Galloway, a second-half substitute at the Madjeski Stadium, is a shoo-in to return at left back.
In midfield, Gareth Barry's impressive performance off the bench on Tuesday will almost certainly see the restoration of his central midfield partnership with James McCarthy and, with Kevin Mirallas suspended, Arouna Kone and Romelu Lukaku could find themselves leading the line again in front of Ross Barkley.
The remaining slot could go to Aaron Lennon, back in a more familiar right-wing role after being deployed in a hybrid fullback-wingback role at Reading, although Gerard Deulofeu also pressed his claims for a second start of the season with another crucial intervention in the same game. Ultimately, Lennon's defensive discipline may get him the nod but Evertonian minds will be preoccupied with the fact that, facing a Pulis team, the need for creativity to break down a well-organised defence is going to be important.
One of the bigger spotlights will be Lukaku, though, and not only because he will be returning to the ground where he first burst onto the scene in England. The Belgian scored 17 goals for the Baggies and followed it up with 16 and then 20 in all competitions for Everton but, since a brilliant two-goal display at Southampton in August, he has struggled to live up to his lofty ambitions and the expectations of him as the Blues' leading man.
He hasn't scored in the league since that win at the St Mary's six weeks ago and his last two outings have been poor, so he will be hoping for a repeat of his last visit to the Hawthorns in Everton colours when he scored in a 2-0 win.
With the teams hoping to be fighting out the top six or seven places in the Premier League continuing to take points off each other, earning maximum points from those expected to finish in the bottom half is going to be imperative. The Blues dropped a couple of places following the results earlier in the weekend but a win in this one could push them into fifth place and underscore their credentials as contenders for the European places this season.
Kick Off: 8pm
Referee: Robert Madley
Predicted line-up: Howard, Browning, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Galloway, Barry, McCarthy, Lennon, Barkley, Kone, Lukaku
Reader Comments (78)
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1 Posted 27/09/2015 at 17:20:41
I hope Deulofeu gets the nod for this game; I think he's earned the right after his displays in the League Cup. He's always a threat going forward and he makes things happen. His work-rate and final ball seems to have improved from couple of years ago.
I don't think there's any need to rush any of the injured players back as we have plenty of options in defence. We have an Argentinian International CB who we paid ٧.5 million for who we are all looking forward to see play.
It's really time for Lukaku to knuckle down and start putting in the performances we all know he's capable of, a la Southampton (a) this season.
I would play (assuming all the injured players aren't fit to return):
Browning Jagielka Funes Mori Galloway
Deulofeu Barkley Kone
2 Posted 27/09/2015 at 17:48:13
Hopefully Barkley maintains his good start to the season and Deulofeu provides some ammunition for Lukaku. It's a pity we don't have more striking alternatives but there it is... we have to get on with it, we should have enough to win.
3 Posted 27/09/2015 at 18:05:44
4 Posted 27/09/2015 at 18:06:25
5 Posted 27/09/2015 at 18:16:08
6 Posted 27/09/2015 at 18:48:31
As stated, a very winnable game so let's have a bit more adventure.
7 Posted 27/09/2015 at 19:03:58
Tomorrow is really a game we need to be winning in my opinion if we are to seriously stamp home our intentions of drastically improving on last season's meek efforts.
We got a decent result at Swansea but after the game had finished probably realized we had missed a great opportunity after continuously fluffing our lines in front of goal...ahem, Mr Lukaku!
We are likely to encounter a really well drilled defensive unit as is always the case with Tony Pulis sides so the few chances we do eek out are going to need clinically taking and it's about time the strikers like Lukaku and Kone stepped forward and started putting these chances in the back of the net.
It's a tough game, yes; it will probably be a very close game decided on one goal maybe but it's imperative we start racking up some wins. Despite the great win over Chelsea, we have still only won two matches so failure tomorrow night leaves us with just two victories heading into a difficult month on paper anyway.
Be clinical Blues, performance levels have been decent so far but tomorrow just be clinical and kill them off when the chances arise.
8 Posted 27/09/2015 at 19:30:52
9 Posted 27/09/2015 at 20:02:03
10 Posted 27/09/2015 at 20:35:17
11 Posted 27/09/2015 at 20:44:59
Can't say I'm familiar with West Brom this season but Pullis will try to shackle Barkley and we'll need the ref to be strong and fair. Martinez will have a plan. Let's hope it comes off.
12 Posted 27/09/2015 at 20:50:56
13 Posted 27/09/2015 at 21:08:30
It is time that Kone and Rom were used as the rotation strikers to keep Rom and Kone fresh.
14 Posted 27/09/2015 at 21:10:43
I'd like to see the 4-1-4-1 shape against these; the last thing we wan't to do is leave Browning and Galloway exposed. I'd start Lennon and Naismith on either wing and bring Kone and Deulofeu on if and when necessary!
15 Posted 27/09/2015 at 21:32:59
If we are to open up West Brom I believe it would have to be with pace and purpose. I would therefore rest Kone for this one and play either Deulofeu or Lennon in that order of preference. Barkley seems to link well with Deulofeu and Lukaku.
The back six seem to pick themselves normally but, with Coleman and Stones in doubt and Bainesy unavailable, we need careful consideration.
The big advantage of Browning and Galloway is that they are both big lads for corners and free kicks which is usually the Pulis main tactic for goals. Funes Mori is a relatively unknown quantity.
However... needs must, and there is no time like the present for proving you are worth ٧.5 million.
So I would go with:
Browning Jagielka Funes Mori Galloway
Deulofeu Lukaku Naismith
16 Posted 27/09/2015 at 21:54:29
I agree with you, basically there are no easy away games in the Premier League these day's and frankly Everton Football Club have always made difficult work of winning "winnable" away games at the best of times.
We need a win though and I don't care how it comes or what score it is or who scores, we just need to stamp our authority on fixtures like this, it's something we didn't do enough last season and if you want to aspire to be a team that's really going places, no disrespect to West Brom but it's a game we need to take the three points from.
17 Posted 27/09/2015 at 22:06:01
Defence looks good and Naismith and Delboy will give the legs and energy around Rom and Barks.
18 Posted 27/09/2015 at 22:30:37
19 Posted 27/09/2015 at 22:51:54
I'd go 4-3-3 and go with :-
4-3-3 is attacking and we'd have pace going forward, but with Lennon in there, he works hard and gets back behind the ball and drops in and gives us 2 banks of 4 when off the ball and defending.
Tbh though, it wouldn't surprise me to see one of either Kone or Naismith come in for possible Deulofeu?! I wouldn't bring either in, Kone as done well in parts but not offering us enough of a goal threat and Naismith got a great hat trick the other week but started at Swansea and wasn't has effective and could be more of a weapon for us from the bench?!
20 Posted 27/09/2015 at 22:53:46
Browning Jagielka Funes Mori Galloway
Deulofeu Barkley Lennon
Stones in of course if fit. Tired of the Kone experiment like Tony Marsh. He is halfway a decent backup striker if all you want is someone to hold the ball up but anything else he ain't! Shoehorning him into every starting lineup is getting tiresome. Lennon offers more in attack and defence.
21 Posted 28/09/2015 at 00:44:59
Admittedly Geri is a weak reed to put in front of an inexperienced Browning, but Macca can slide over if the Baggies decide to play Rondon or Berahino out left to try and attack the youngster.
22 Posted 28/09/2015 at 01:14:51
Also, although he been getting a few plaudits on this site I thought Browning looked a bit lost at times last week , I am not totally convinced but if Coleman is out what options do we have in that particular position?
Browning/Coleman - Jagielka - Funes Mori - Galloway
McCarthy - Barry
Kone - Barkley -Deulofeu
23 Posted 28/09/2015 at 01:16:03
24 Posted 28/09/2015 at 04:07:02
If WBA are going to drop deep and clog the central area then, no I wouldn't start Lukaku either. Naismith or Kone will offer better movement and slightly better build up play. And our pacy wingers should have better penetration.
Can't claim to know enough about WBA as to how we can expect them to play.
26 Posted 28/09/2015 at 07:29:09
28 Posted 28/09/2015 at 07:40:55
29 Posted 28/09/2015 at 07:50:30
And of course his overall goal scoring record is top notch....
1-2 to Everton.....
30 Posted 28/09/2015 at 07:57:05
31 Posted 28/09/2015 at 08:12:13
They have some decent forwards so expect an open game which may suit us if we can hit them on the counter-attack.
32 Posted 28/09/2015 at 08:35:19
33 Posted 28/09/2015 at 08:54:43
Southampton failed to score against West Brom. Only Man City and Chelsea have scored against them this season.
That said, a win would be huge.
Another thing to note is West Brom has only managed to score 4 goals this Premier League season. They are dead last in goals scored.
I look for a very defensive minded game. I expect Everton to easily win the possession battle, but West Brom will be happy to sit back and wait for counter attacks. The Blues have to be careful not to get caught on the break.
Based on form a draw would be a good result (this is an away game). I'm hoping that the Blues can manage a 1st half goal and open things up some. If the game is scoreless at halftime I look for West Brom to just sit back and wait for opportunities and not commit many men forward.
Cheers (is that a British way to end a posting)?
34 Posted 28/09/2015 at 09:06:17
I would definitely play an attack-minded team with Deulofeu and Lennon on the wings.
35 Posted 28/09/2015 at 09:12:04
36 Posted 28/09/2015 at 09:22:58
West Brom are a well-drilled side and playing at home. On their day, they're capable of beating anyone.
37 Posted 28/09/2015 at 09:26:33
Even though WBA are at home, they will play a bit like the away team and sit deep and frustrate us so it'll be up to us to get on the ball, get at them and open them up. That's why I think we should at least start with either Deulofeu or Lennon, if not both!
Usually WBA have Brunt or McLean at LB so I'd definitely have either Deulofeu or Lennon up against either of those and target that area to get at them and possibly do damage.
It'll be a close game but I reckon 2-1 and Lukaku will be back on the score sheet tonight.
38 Posted 28/09/2015 at 09:33:01
39 Posted 28/09/2015 at 09:45:35
40 Posted 28/09/2015 at 09:45:59
Yes, we're on Sky.
41 Posted 28/09/2015 at 10:47:18
If that is indeed how they setup then it's a huge test for us and a measure of how we have progressed from last season's struggles when pretty much every average team had that tactic against us.
If that's the case then I would certainly have Del and Lennon in the side. That's exactly what we bought them for isn't it?
42 Posted 28/09/2015 at 10:48:13
We need someone who can hold it up and play that role better. For the same reason, Deulofeu has to start as he could be the one who unlocks them and gets us the win.
43 Posted 28/09/2015 at 10:51:50
I'm not certain of Berahino's full scoring record in they time but I've counted Lukaku's record as 6 goals in the last 30 league appearances with just 4 from open play. The record stretches back to 4 December 2014.
I know people keep harping on about Lukaku's full scoring record in his career but there's no doubt he's been in a very barren run in the Premier League for too long now, there's no European matches this season to boost the tally so the majority will need to be scored in the league.
It's about time Lukaku got himself back to where he was two years ago, he needs to go back to basics because at the moment he's flailing poorly and has done for nearly 12 months give or take the odd good game.
44 Posted 28/09/2015 at 11:05:28
I'd love to see Deulofeu live on Monday night football, but I expect him to start on the bench.
45 Posted 28/09/2015 at 11:08:20
Unleash Del and tell Lukaku in no uncertain terms that, when Del gets the ball, he is to be physical and get himself half a yard at the front post area of the 6-yard box.
46 Posted 28/09/2015 at 11:17:37
He showed a glimpse of those performances again at Southampton in August but there's been nowhere near enough of them. He's basically stopped doing the simple things that should come easy to a guy that big and strong.
Someone, either Martinez or Ferguson, needs to sit down with Rom and show him DVD re-runs of those early games when he arrived and loan and say
"Come on Rom, where have these day's gone? You start playing like that again then you can achieve anything you want in this game."
It's up to Lukaku but, beginning tonight and with the month we have coming up, now is a good time to start.
47 Posted 28/09/2015 at 11:39:34
I think this will be a tough game and that they've got better players than last year and their manager is very good tactically. Still very hopeful of a win though.
48 Posted 28/09/2015 at 12:04:21
"Tell Lukaku in no uncertain terms that when Del gets the ball he is to be physical and get himself half a yard at the front post area of the 6-yard box."
49 Posted 28/09/2015 at 12:18:55
Seriously, it's daylight robbery by Chelski to get £28M from us for this guy... I dunno why our scouting team doesn't find the likes of Gomis, Bony, Ighalo, Mane etc.
50 Posted 28/09/2015 at 12:48:59
If he's as poor as he's been versus Spurs, Swansea and Reading, then don't be shy in dragging him off at the hour mark and giving some one else a chance... maybe the young lad from South America. We are playing with ten men at the moment, the way Lukaku has been performing (or not performing).
51 Posted 28/09/2015 at 12:56:20
Since he first arrived, Deulofeu must have smacked more than a dozen balls along the goal-line but no-one is ever there to tap them in. I sometimes wonder if Martinez, Lukaku. Naismith and Co are living on another planet with half a brain between them.
52 Posted 28/09/2015 at 13:02:03
There seem to me 3 options re this:
He's been told to not to do this; the mind boggles.
He can't do it - doesn't see the ball / option; again with the boggling.
Won't do it... more than one person needs a severe arse kicking.
That said, I hope the 'Do well versus old club' syndrome kicks in and he bangs in 3, all from Del's hard and low crosses.
53 Posted 28/09/2015 at 13:03:03
54 Posted 28/09/2015 at 13:03:32
In Martinez's first season, had we got a striker in January (like Negredo as was being rumoured at the time), we may well have got 4th that season. We instead loaned an injury prone player and have since failed to adequately reinforce. That's around 4 transfer windows not to get another striker.
We've all seen that Rom, great as he is, blows hot and cold and only responded last season when dropped. Who can we honestly drop him for now? The unproven Rodriguez? The other unproven youngsters? The non-goal scorer Kone (who plays anyway) or the sporadic scoring Naismith?
There's no viable options. So I'm sorry chaps but either Rom hits form again or kiss any chances of top 4 goodbye.
55 Posted 28/09/2015 at 13:05:38
Kone absolutely useless? This is a bit harsh. Have you been watching the last few games? Kone is player I would pick in the side over Rom at the moment. He can hold up the ball better and links up the play. Considering we are playing a manager who is likely to park the bus, tonight we need him in.
56 Posted 28/09/2015 at 13:54:08
It's the bloke up front doing an impression of someone "trying" to look interested that is a concern.
57 Posted 28/09/2015 at 13:56:25
If we're quite pedestrian on the ball, then we'll end up playing a lot of the time in-front of WBA and they'll settle for that all game but we need to be playing players like Lennon who will run beyond Rom and try and stretch teams or Deulofeu who can beat men and get us in behind that way to break these down.
At times, when we play both Kone & Lukaku, neither run in behind enough and give us that out-ball to play so we go square or backwards. At least with both or either of Lennon & Deulofeu, we'll have players willing to run in behind or make things happen in tight games due to coming up to a stubborn and compact team.
But if we have intelligent movement and pace in the final third, and are sharp and incisive with our play as we were at Southampton, then we can easily win this game tonight.
We've just got to go about the game with the same spirit and manner as most of our away games and take our chances this time and we'll get the 3 points.
58 Posted 28/09/2015 at 14:07:21
Really?? It's the 7th game of the season!
59 Posted 28/09/2015 at 14:49:05
60 Posted 28/09/2015 at 15:06:03
61 Posted 28/09/2015 at 15:22:03
62 Posted 28/09/2015 at 15:38:09
63 Posted 28/09/2015 at 15:46:23
That's why Cleverley will be a shoe in to start there when he's back, why we have missed Pienaar, and why Kone and Naismith have been playing there of late.
Deulofeu has impressed every time he's come on though, and he deserves a chance. For me, he must start. The other side, I'd actually start Naismith, only because he works harder than Kone, and he deserves the chance to rectify his form after Chelsea, although he wasn't great against Swansea. Kone was also awful against Reading, although credit to him for his resurgence. The rest of the team speaks for itself.
I think the team will be Lyndon's prediction though that Martinez will go with. Especially, as previous posters have said, Brunt will probably start left back, and Lennon can track him. But I think Deulofeu looks a more mature player than 2 years ago, give him a run of games, and then along with Barkley, have a really exciting front line.
64 Posted 28/09/2015 at 15:59:25
I would love us to go for Jamie Vardy in the January window: he works hard, scores goals and runs behind defenders.
65 Posted 28/09/2015 at 16:03:19
Countless games I've watched him make runs and never get the service. I believe it's a myth that he doesn't work hard enough or make enough runs.
The problem is not Lukaku, the problem is the system we play which in and of itself doesn't play to his strengths.
66 Posted 28/09/2015 at 16:12:16
67 Posted 28/09/2015 at 16:51:07
Hope we don't see the headless chicken in the team as, apart from his hat-trick, in one match, has offered little else.
68 Posted 28/09/2015 at 16:52:44
Need to win tonight now !!!!
69 Posted 28/09/2015 at 16:58:33
70 Posted 28/09/2015 at 17:03:15
80% off what he does is "going through the motions"; he resembles a kid washing a car as some form of punishment, lazily slapping a wet sponge against the paintwork.
12 goals in 42 isn't because of his team mates, it's because he's bloody bone idle and couldn't trap a bag of cement.
I really do not know what it will take to get him going. He's getting the sort of stick that usually results in a performance... let's see what he decides.
71 Posted 28/09/2015 at 17:19:13
72 Posted 28/09/2015 at 17:20:26
Defensively they have improved and, like all games, if they can avoid conceding an early goal like at St Mary's, then they should win if they take their chances, unlike the Swansea game. Lukaku may be the key as, when he is at his best, usually Everton get a good result. COYB.
73 Posted 28/09/2015 at 17:20:54
We should taking 3 points home with us tonight. COYB
74 Posted 28/09/2015 at 17:36:35
So, what you're saying is that we have a manager who spunks our biggest cheque ever on a player and then doesn't know what to do with him or how to get the best from him? Sounds about right.
75 Posted 28/09/2015 at 17:47:36
It's no coincidence he scores most of his goals running onto the ball.
I believe he's a good striker who will have a decent career but would score a lot more in the right system. I don't believe he was a waste of money.
76 Posted 28/09/2015 at 17:58:30
Like others above, I get frustrated at the lack of a striker's toe to divert the ball into the net. But when Latchford was scoring he knew where, but more importantly WHEN the ball was going to be delivered by Dave Thomas. A degree of anticipation is needed or the striker is going to be offside, and it is impossible to anticipate at present whether Deulofeu will deliver after his fifth or seventh step over.
This is something which can be coached, or just learnt between good footballers, but they need a bit of playing together on the pitch to understand each other's timing.
77 Posted 28/09/2015 at 18:31:49
For the relationship between Gerard and Romelu to be productive, getting them both on the same wavelength takes time and matches.
I remember first time Gerard was with us, because he was unpredictable, the strikers weren't sure when to make a move. Sometimes they would go for a cross that never came. Other times they would hesitate and then Gerard would ping it over and no-one was there to meet it. Frustrating all around. However, own goals are useful.
Hopefully Gerard will play tonight to get beyond the WBA defence.
78 Posted 28/09/2015 at 18:33:02
80 Posted 28/09/2015 at 18:38:26
Certainly not everyone's favourite including me (from a few years back, but he's a decent squad player).
82 Posted 30/09/2015 at 23:14:04
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