Match Preview

Theo, Theo, Theo! – WBA preview

Fair play to you the reader for coming back after that shit-storm at Wembley last week. We’ve sulked, we’ve moaned but for what feels like the 100th time this season, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and get ready to go again. Up next is West Brom at Goodison, Saturday 3pm kick off.

It’s hardly a fixture to wet the appetite. Dull football, negative tactics, lack of goals…. and that’s just Everton. West Brom aren’t much better, in fact somehow, they’re worse! They sit 19th in the Premier League and have won just one league game since August 2017! They finally sacked their Rugby coach Tony Pulis, fair play. But then replaced him with Alan Pardew. Urgh. That’s like sacking Ronald Koeman and replacing him with Sam…..actually never mind.

The mood is somewhat more encouraging this week in the aftermath of painful 4-0 drumming with 0 shots on target. We have Theo Walcott to thank for that. The former Gunner put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Toffees, adding some vital firepower up top. The thought of Walcott didn’t excite me four weeks ago. However, over the last week or two, I have fully U-turned on his arrival. Pace, power and a lethal finish is just what we are crying out for. Furthermore, I still believe his name carries enough weight for his purchase to be considered as somewhat of coup. Whilst this season has pretty much been a disaster on the pitch, off it, I feel like the acquisitions of Tosun and Walcott show the club is still going in the right direction.

We last played West Brom just three-weeks ago in which both sides ‘played’ out a 0-0 snore fest. That set us up for a miserable run of four defeats back to back thereafter, therefore three points are vital Saturday. West Brom manged their first win in 20 games last weekend when seeing off Brighton 2-0. So expect a much improved Albion on Saturday afternoon. Allardyce will be celebrating game number 1000 in this fixture, irrespective of your views on the man and his style of play, 1000 games in senior management is an impressive feat, however the 0 major honours tally next to his name cannot be ignored.

Michael Keane is fit again and may return to the Defence. It is hoped both Tosun and Walcott can make their Goodison debuts, however there is some fitness concerns over the latter. Seamus Coleman is another week closer to training, which is great news, but West Brom is still too soon.

An early goal is required on Saturday, or maybe even just a shot on target at least. Everton haven’t had a single shot on target in the Premier League since Idrissa Gueye’s goal against Bournemouth, a run of 213 minutes without one. Yikes. But it’s worth noting Big Sam has never lost a home Premier League match against the Baggies (P8 W2 D6 L0); his only home league defeat against them came in December 2000 in the second tier as Bolton manager. Hope.

I don’t expect an easy game on Saturday, but I think the arrival Theo Walcott has created a buzz around the place. Show a little bit more attacking content and I think we can put this poor run of four defeats behind us. But if we lose? Well, I don’t dare open that can of worms. Let’s hope the Toffees give us a rare big smile come 5pm Saturday.

– David (@DAHughes92)

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