Everton v West Brom - Preview: Martinez to strike early in making Goodison a fortress?

Odds: Everton 8/13, Draw 10/3, West Brom 57/10

Last season’s meeting: Everton 2-1 West Brom – Goodison Park, 30th January 2013

West Brom had a poor start to the season losing to Southampton at home, after last season’s performance there is much expected of the Baggies and they could fall victim to failing to live up to the pressure.

Everton will get their Goodison campaign underway and new manager Roberto Martinez will be looking for a good start in front of his own fans.

Everton had a mixed performance against Norwich, drawing 2-2 was by no means a bad result but he would have liked his defence to be a bit more solid. The Toffees are usually very strong at home so it will tough for their opponents. Martinez has a few injuries to deal with but he’ll be very pleased to still have the services of Baines and Fellaini after they were both subjects of a bid from Manchester United.

West Brom didn’t expect to start with a loss at home but they will want to take advantage of a team that is still settling in to a new manager's style of play. I can see this one ending in a draw as both sides are very evenly matched, a low scoring affair as both sides take pride in their defensive abilities.

Last season’s reverse fixture: West Brom 2-0 Everton – The Hawthorns, 1st September 2012

Goals from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley gave Steve Clark’s team an excellent that confirmed their best start to a Premier League ever. This was the start of a superb campaign for the Baggies that saw them finish 8th having been in the top four up until December.

image: © fabiopao

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