Paul Merson explains why he predicts Everton will drop points

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis

Paul Merson tips West Brom to give Everton a stern test.

Paul Merson - All Stars XI in actionPaul Merson 

Paul Merson has told SkySports he expects West Brom and Everton to draw this weekend, predicting the game will finish 1-1.

Merson correctly called Everton drawing their first game with Tottenham by the same scoreline, and despite them since adding Yannick Bolasie to their squad, he believes the Baggies will hold them to a draw.

Merson explained: "If they didn't have Tony Pulis, you would have West Brom around the relegation scrap, but with him as manager you know that's not going to happen. They will keep it tight and this will be another hard game.

"Everton are my dark horses this year if they can keep their players together now, and away from home I think Bolasie could be a threat with his pace on the break.

"Still, I think this will be very tight, with Everton to draw 1-1 for the second straight game."

West Brom manager Tony Pulis before the gameWest Brom manager Tony Pulis before the game

West Brom fans may not agree with Merson's assessment of how they would fare without Tony Pulis, with the pragmatic but unspectacular boss a divisive figure due to the style of play he prefers.

The Baggies head into the game above Everton in the table having recorded a win on opening day away to Crystal Palace.

Ronald Koeman will be determined to record his first win as Everton boss after leaving Southampton in the summer, and as Merson points out, if he is to do this weekend then it will be hard earned.

That is a compliment to West Brom and the way they set themselves up, and while their tails are up, teams will not fancy playing at the Hawthorns this season.

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