West Bromwich vs. Everton: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
One of the more under-the-radar fixtures in the Premier League's second weekend is Everton vs. West Brom.
Everton come into the match after drawing 2-2 with a much improved Norwich City side last Saturday. The Toffees could have easily walked away with three points, as they were the aggressors for much of the match and missed some great chances on goal.
West Brom almost held out for a draw, but a Rickie Lambert penalty in the 90th minute handed the Baggies a tough 1-0 defeat.
Steve Clarke's side was one of the surprises of the season in 2012-13. West Brom finished eighth in the table and managed to play what was a very entertaining, positive style of football.
Much of that success was down to Romelu Lukaku. He and his 17 goals returned to Chelsea in the summer.
One of the players Clarke brought in to try to make up for the loss of Lukaku was Nicolas Anelka. The 34-year-old won't be available against Everton, as West Brom have given the striker some time off for personal reasons. The AFP's Tom Williams reported Anelka is not retiring:
Nicolas Anelka's agent, Doug Pingisi, tells AFP that he has suffered a personal bereavement but says: "Nicolas has not ended his career."— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) August 22, 2013
French football journalist Julien Laurens reported the Frenchman is mourning the loss of a friend:
Anything can always happen with Anelka but I was told again that he is not retiring but is hurt and down after the death of his friend.— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) August 22, 2013
Missing Anelka will undoubtedly be a big loss for West Brom.
Here is a preview for this Premier League clash.
Where: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
When: Saturday, August 24
Time: 10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. BST
TV Info: BBC One (UK)
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Odds (Courtesy of Bloomberg Sports)
Everton Win: 55 percent
West Brom Win: 21.2 percent
Draw: 23.8 percent
West Brom Player to Watch: Scott Sinclair
Scott Sinclair essentially took over the Adam Johnson role when he moved to Manchester City. The club needed a young winger to sit on the bench and hardly ever play, and it found their man in Sinclair.
However, Sky Sports reported the 24-year-old is moving to West Brom on a season-long loan:
West Brom sign Scott Sinclair on season-long loan from Manchester City #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 22, 2013
Given that the move went through on August 22, there's a chance Sinclair will be able to feature for the Baggies as a substitute, at the very least. If he can, he provides some width and creativity, both of which are lacking at West Brom.
Everyone—save Sinclair—could see that his move from Swansea to Manchester City wasn't going to work out well. The club had too many more senior and more expensive players to think that Sinclair would get much of a run out. It turns out, he didn't only making 11 league appearances, nine of which were as a substitute.
Now that he's got a chance for regular first-team football, Sinclair should be able to remind fans just how good a player he is.
Everton Player to Watch: Kevin Mirallas
Hamstring issues limited Kevin Mirallas to 27 appearances in the Premier League last term. When he's fit, Kevin Mirallas is one of the most dynamic players Everton have.
The 25-year-old has blistering pace down either the right or left flanks. As a defender, you can't even give him a yard or two of space. Although he didn't get on the board against Norwich, Mirallas had a couple of chances early on to open the scoring for Everton.
Given how well Mirallas performed last season, he'll be a key player as Roberto Martinez continues getting his players used to the formations and tactics he utilized at Wigan. Martinez always made the most of his wingers, whether they were providing width or cutting inside and having a shot on goal.
Mirallas should thrive under Martinez, and against a suspect West Brom side, he should have plenty of opportunities to make attacking runs down the flanks.
This should be a very entertaining match. Neither side has a major advantage over the other, so it's unlikely you're going to see a one-sided match for 90 minutes. Both Everton and West Brom are going to have spells when they're in control.
What's the result of this match?
The difference will be which club will make the most of those chances.
That's where it's hard to look past Everton. West Brom don't have a wealth of attacking options. Shane Long is only as good as the support he gets from midfield, and you don't know how Matej Vydra is going to take to the Premier League.
On the other side, the Toffees have a solid poacher in Nikica Jelavic, who's made even better by a midfield that has Marouane Fellaini, Ross Barkley and Steven Pienaar.
It won't be too easy, but Everton will walk away with a 2-0 win. They'll get a goal close to halftime, which will make things much easier for the second half. A second goal from the Toffees will put the match out of reach for West Brom and allow Everton to sit back and protect their lead.
Everton 2, West Brom 0
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