Dominic Calvert-Lewin is fit again and could be named among the substitutes
Everton play the first of two successive home games this weekend that Ronald Koeman hopes will help the club's push for Europe.
West Bromwich Albion, the team that has been keeping pace behind the Blues as the only realistic challengers from below for the seventh place, come to Goodison Park tomorrow but it's on the places above that Koeman and Evertonians have their sights focused.
Last Sunday's game at White Hart Lane may not have gone as hoped — Tottenham prevailed just as the form book and league table suggested they would — but with 11 games to play and 33 points in the offing, there is still the possibility that Everton can capitalise on any prolonged slips by the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Eight points currently separate the Blues in seventh from the Reds in fourth but Jurgen Klopp's team's form has been chequered of late even if they beat Arsenal handily last weekend. United under Jose Mourinho are on a long unbeaten run but aren't winning enough games to push themselves into the Champions League places.
The Gunners, however, are struggling through something of a crisis as Arsene Wenger's time there looks to be coming to an end and they, perhaps, could be a team Everton could catch if they can keep stringing results together.
Neither of the next two matches against the Baggies and Hull will be easy but they are both at Goodison where the Blues are unbeaten since the derby in December. Tony Pulis has bought wisely and instilled genuine consistency in West Brom's game and they are solid candidates to finish in the top eight.
In Salomon Rondon, the match winner in this fixture last year, they have a bustling physical striker that epitomises their style, goalscoring defenders — indeed, Gareth McAuley is now their joint-top scorer — and a generally uncompromising approach that makes them tough to beat. They lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace last weekend, however, in a game they had been expected to win and both that fallibility and the recency of the defeat will hopefully play into Everton's hands and thinking.
In terms of his own approach, Koeman will almost certainly make changes to his line-up and formation. The starting XI against Spurs was aimed more at containing an expansive and creative side and, at the very least, the Dutchman is expected to remove one of the three defensive midfielders he deployed in North London.
Gareth Barry would be the obvious candidate, with perhaps Kevin Mirallas earning a recall to play off Romelu Lukaku up front in the role occupied by Ademola Lookman against Sunderland a fortnight ago. Other than that, it should be a familiar line-up, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin a possible returnee to the substitutes' bench now that he has recovered from an ankle injury.
A sold-out Goodison will expect a victory and maybe another goal for Lukaku against his former club but unless Everton can get ahead by a couple of goals early, they look likely to be three points earned the hard way. It has the feel of a tight game won by the odd goal but it's not one where you'd want the Blues to be trying to hold on to a one-goal margin in the closing stages given West Brom's threat from set-pieces.
Kick-off: 3pm Saturday, 11 March, 2017
Referee: Graham Scott
Last Time: Everton 0-1 West Bromwich Albion
Predicted Line-up: Robles, Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku
Full details: ToffeeWeb match page
Reader Comments (90)
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1 Posted 10/03/2017 at 12:19:42
2 Posted 10/03/2017 at 12:32:44
Don't concede first and be ahead at half-time, then hopefully pick them off.
But it won't be pretty!
3 Posted 10/03/2017 at 12:48:15
Bound to be a sombre start after the Golden Vision's passing... but we really have to get all 3 points... onwards Blue Boys... do the legend proud!
4 Posted 10/03/2017 at 12:49:50
This will not be an easy game in any way shape or form and it depends on the attitude and application of the players. Since coming back from Dubai we have hardly sparkled in terms of freshness, the Sunderland performance was a bit patchy and could have been different if that Defoe shot bounced in off the bar. Last week, we were just never at it from early on which was disappointing when we should have expected what Spurs would do.
Need to set the tone from early on tomorrow.
5 Posted 10/03/2017 at 13:04:07
Yes, we must be solid at the back, competitive in midfield but have more striking options to support the attack.
6 Posted 10/03/2017 at 13:26:53
7 Posted 10/03/2017 at 13:34:22
8 Posted 10/03/2017 at 13:51:25
9 Posted 10/03/2017 at 14:08:45
10 Posted 10/03/2017 at 14:23:42
You mustn't live too far from me then, my neighbor is a Baggies fan, he's not so confident though.
11 Posted 10/03/2017 at 14:58:11
12 Posted 10/03/2017 at 15:04:57
Other than that, McCarthy should return to the Everton team in place of Scheinderlin (who I don't rate that highly) and Valencia replacing Barry. That should provide Everton with more pace and bite in midfield with McCarthy and Gueye.
Barkley and Davies are a good attacking combination, while Valencia should provide Lukaku with more support, because WBA, as usual, will park the bus. The usual Everton defence and goalkeeper will pick themselves, as there is no one really else to start.
13 Posted 10/03/2017 at 15:14:28
3 at the back, Gueye and Schneiderlin in midfield and Lukaku and Barkley up front.
Surely Williams and Funes Mori can't be as bad again?
15 Posted 10/03/2017 at 15:35:57
16 Posted 10/03/2017 at 16:16:02
I'm in Rowley Regis, also near Dudley. So this is the same derby feeling for me too, local bragging rights lol.
Won't be easy, but I do think we will run out eventual winners, 3-1.
17 Posted 10/03/2017 at 16:23:59
18 Posted 10/03/2017 at 17:20:37
Lookman should start.Other players have to take more of the load off Rom.
19 Posted 10/03/2017 at 17:27:26
20 Posted 10/03/2017 at 17:43:25
Personally, when I see this line-up, it fills me with dread. To see Williams, Funes Mori, Robles, Baines, Mirallas playing for a club with high ambitions. There is a serious lack of quality in our squad, and the team is picked on what's available. It's like going out and trying to look for something decent to wear because all your good kit is at the bottom of the laundry basket.
Okay, tin hat at the ready, but honestly folks, that's how I see it. Only an opinion mind.
21 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:19:24
22 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:25:20
23 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:30:27
I've been looking to take my two daughters, but tickets are selling out before I get chance to bag some, they are dying to go, I'll keep trying and let you know somehow if and when I make it up. my email by the way is email@example.com.
Anyway, I've got a few friends over Kingswinford, both Baggie fans, hopefully they won't be talking to me come 16:50 tomorrow! :-)
24 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:32:32
I have 6 season tickets! I'm sure we can sort a trip! I have three boys but they don't always come. :)
25 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:32:47
Holgate Jagielka Willams Baines
Davies Gueye Schneiderlin
27 Posted 10/03/2017 at 18:42:58
Mirallas and McCarthy to freshen up if needed.
28 Posted 10/03/2017 at 19:44:58
McAuley and Dawson will be all over Lukaku which is why Valencia should start alongside him.
29 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:11:39
30 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:14:12
31 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:18:31
32 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:36:35
33 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:37:42
34 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:39:18
West Brom under Pulis remind me of us under Moyes when started to turn a corner and win games consistently. West Brom have got a couple of decent players like Darren Fletcher, Rondom and a lot of physically strong solid performers like McCauley and Jacob!
I think tommorrow is our real bench mark game not the Tottenham one and it will come down to our manager picking the right team in the right shape.
I want to see Mirallas start either on the left or up top with Rom say what you want about him but he is definitely a goal threat and has that touch of class you need in tight games, plus he links up well with Rom!!
I don't want to see three defensive midfielder's at home and if I'm being honest I'm not sure Gueye and Schneiderlin compliment each other at the minute but it is a hard one as Gueye gives so much off the ball!!
35 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:42:11
36 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:46:09
As Laura has just said, got to all meet up for the derby!
37 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:51:20
38 Posted 10/03/2017 at 20:53:18
39 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:14:19
I really hope Koeman goes back to 3-5-2, the width from the full backs as naturally WBA will still in.
I've yet to see, Bolaise apart, any player able to play as part of a front 3 with Rom. To date, the players tasked with being part of an attacking trio sag back into midfield: 4-5-1.
It's so important we play high and stay high, and occupy their defenders. If he goes 4-3-3 or whatever variant thereof, then I suspect nothing more than nil-nil.
Team for tomorrow:
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman, Davies, Schneiderlin, Barkley, Baines
40 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:15:53
Williams or Funes Mori are not on the same wavelength when playing together, so there is no real understanding of where both should be. Williams tends to drift away to the right side of defence while Funes Mori goes to the left, while Schneiderlin has been drafted into the heart of the defence.
Both Baines and Coleman seemed to get bogged down defensively and can't clear the danger when pressurised. It could be because they are not big enough and strong enough for defensive positions, no matter how good they are getting forward.
41 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:28:58
42 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:32:28
43 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:47:15
44 Posted 10/03/2017 at 21:49:06
But vs WBA we'll need some attacking effort!
45 Posted 10/03/2017 at 22:15:36
I remain dismayed by how weak, confused, technically inept and cowardly we were in a match that really mattered against Spurs. I shared the suspicion that some of our lot had been up too late watching the boxing and if that was so then it would be, at least, an explanation for yet another public flop.
The hope that Everton may at some point show some nous and courage when under a degree of pressure, and then show it consistently to make themselves winners, persists in the teeth of the evidence.
I have found my faith again, as we all do fucking idiots that we are.
I would play McCarthy who made an immediate difference when he came on last week (a similar difference has been obvious when he has had to go off this season) and is generally underrated by us. He is exactly the powerful, quick midfielder we lacked last Sunday when all of Gueye, Schneiderlin and Davies were terrible.
Hard game tomorrow and WBA have always been bit of a bogey side for us. A 1-0 will do.
46 Posted 10/03/2017 at 22:18:40
Finishing top 7 would be seen as a huge achievement for WBA.
For us, we're in the odd position of being the most 7th placed team you could imagine. We're both first and last in our own minileague. Finishing second in a one horse race (likely for Europe) would be unacceptable.
Got a bad feeling about this game.
47 Posted 10/03/2017 at 22:50:34
If they were brave enough, they would find holes in our poor centre-back pairing. Although I have been patient with Williams, I feel like it is only fair to give Jags a go. Funes Mori must be told not to try to pass further than 4 yards.
More ambition, please. I would like Rom to have a bit of help from the start.
48 Posted 10/03/2017 at 22:59:50
It's the repeatedly dashed hope that kills you. All I want to see is 100% from all eleven on the pitch because I'm sure that's better than WBA's 100%.
Therefore we'll win. Won't we??!!
49 Posted 11/03/2017 at 01:10:34
Geri isn't remotely close to "leading Milan in creating goals"... he now has two assists. Suso has 7. And his assist for Bacca tonight was a fine run and an easy pass that he actually waited too long to make Bacca was offside by the time the ball was played, but the call was missed.
As for him being "gold"... not hardly. Geri had been nickel-plated shite for nearly a year when we loaned him out. And we went unbeaten in our next five after he got on the plane, so we haven't missed him a bit.
If he is finding his game in Italy, that's nice. If he comes back to us with more game, great. If we can make some money off him, fabulous. But that's it.
50 Posted 10/03/2017 at 05:22:44
Williams, Jagielka, Funes Mori
Coleman, McCarthy, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Baines
Spurs outmuscled them about a month ago, but I reckon they still run them a close second ahead of Stoke as the most physical side in the competition.
We will have to play proper footy to beat this lot.
51 Posted 11/03/2017 at 06:22:41
Or is Jags in goal???
52 Posted 11/03/2017 at 06:33:51
53 Posted 11/03/2017 at 07:51:32
54 Posted 11/03/2017 at 08:42:12
Also I'd start Mirallas.
Holgate Williams Funes Mori
Coleman Idrissa Schneiderlin Baines
Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Barry, McCarthy, Davies, Lookman, Valencia.
55 Posted 11/03/2017 at 08:52:02
Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines
McCarthy, Schneiderlin, Gueye
I would have swapped Holgate for Williams but believe we need a talker back there. Davies to come on after an hour to add fresh legs to the midfield. I would play Mirallas right up top with Lukaku and tell Barkley to look for pockets of space to operate in. I'm a fan of Calvert-Lewin but I would rather him play an U23 game first.
Win this and 7th should be wrapped up and basically we have a free shot at them above as the worst that can happen is we stay where we are. I hope the players realise this and have got the Spurs game out of their heads!
56 Posted 11/03/2017 at 08:56:23
57 Posted 11/03/2017 at 09:03:01
58 Posted 11/03/2017 at 09:13:54
Drop me an email mate, it's further up. be good to get a group of blues together for the derby.
59 Posted 11/03/2017 at 09:15:04
Pulis is a shrewd customer so we must be well prepared. I hope Koeman puts an attacking line-up out for this one.
60 Posted 11/03/2017 at 10:14:38
Just finished my second coffee while reading a bit of Anna Achmatovah - - "“I go forth to seek —
To seek and claim the lovely magic garden
Where grasses softly sigh and Muses speak.”
Now getting my camera recharged for The Dark House - - have to leave home at 11.40 to continue all my rituals - - looking over my shoulder in my writing room to the Domo at New Brighton - - like Brunelleschi overlooking his work in Firenzi - - just going to the other window - - ahhh Yes - - there it is - - shimmering like some Whistler Nocturn in the silver light of Saturday Match Day - don't you love 3.00pm KO's - - into my top sitting room and the Waterfront - - soon to be home of a new "Cathedral" on the skyline - - Joe Anderson said(last night) on our new
stadium "what for an announcement not this week but NEXT WEEK" - - -Mmmmm - - the great thing is the wall alongside my Beatles photos and a beautiful print of John Lennon in bed in Amsterdam - - that wall blocks of the "Towering (Red) Inferno" (Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here) .
Normal Saturday match day - -dark House for 12.00ish - - chat last weeks game - - my Grandson Liam - aka Liam The Team - - announces The team news dead on 2.00 - -then talk of today's game - - back to TDH and around 8.00pm Everton Quiz among the survivors.
Love it all.
"With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things."
Just listening Lamont Dozier - -"I'm zipping up my boots - - going back to the roots - - to the place of my birth - - get down to earth - - going back to being myself " - - knew he was a Blue.
"God Bless all Blues " said Tiny Tim Cahill.
Keep it cool but mainly keep it cosmic.
61 Posted 11/03/2017 at 10:20:18
62 Posted 11/03/2017 at 10:29:25
I'd start with McCarthy in place of Barrry. WBA will park the bus and it will be long balls and on the break for Rondon.
No easy game this so this team must show its backbone today.
Here's to the passing of TGV, RIP Alex Young, may his inspiration shine down on our club, and inspire greatness.
63 Posted 11/03/2017 at 10:50:54
64 Posted 11/03/2017 at 10:51:52
65 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:05:21
I have just heard through my window the "feudal horns" calling me from Goodison - - like Ragnar or Kirk Douglas I will soon be on my "longboat" (or my wife will drive me - - one of the two) and sail across the Mighty Mersey Fjord to My Nirvana - - I can hear hear it now - -"Baruouooo - Barouuooo - - Odin - -Odin" - - will have to stop having a second coffee on weekends - - just listening to Stringman by Neil Young -- breaks your heart - - will put a bit of Van on soon and then off.
Have a good day Blues. cosmic grooves all the way.
Tony - - feel free to contact me and we can always have a cuppa and a cake.
66 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:27:45
I'm hoping that we don't invite their forwards to move with the ball towards our goal, unchallenged to the point they think 'maybe I'll leather one, they're practically inviting me to.'
Like we did for Kane's first last week.
And it'd be great if our keeper, instead of fart-arsing about, concen-fuckin-trated and cleared the ball rather than rolling it to the opposition's top scorer. Like he did for Kane's second last week.
And I hope, should any free-kicks be chipped into our box, our defenders don't react like Nugget has just lobbed the magic boomerang (one for the teenagers there Link )
Like they did for Dele Alli last week.
A tough game if we make it tough, but if we concentrate and battle for the full 90 mins, we should get the points.
Up the Toffees!
67 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:34:19
68 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:35:28
Ragnar: (scene 2) 'HAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRHARHARHARHAAAR!!!"
Ragnar: (scene 5) 'AAAAAAAAHHHH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAR! AAAAHH-HA-HAR-HAR!!!'
Ragnar: (scene 8) "Ha! HA! AHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHA...AAAAHAHAHAHAHA!"
69 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:37:25
Nice meeting Lyndon Lloyd at the end of the night who had flown in especially for the evening (and today's match) all the way from San Francisco. Even managed to briefly talk politics and he actually admitted to being scared at the prospect of what Trump was going to do to his country.
All-in-all, a great night. Up the Blues!
70 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:40:01
71 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:40:23
Phil Walling – much derided at times on here – makes a very good point about the mediocrity at the back. Harsh on Robles assuming Spurs was a hiccup but all three senior centre-backs are sub standard and need replacing before we can progress. Sort them and the midfield will settle down in the knowledge that the centre-backs can cope without them.
72 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:49:17
73 Posted 11/03/2017 at 11:58:49
As I seem to say every week, all games are tough in the Premier League and attitude from the off usually determines how the game will turn out. Albion will be a tough nut if Everton don't have their game face on like last week. Hopefully Koeman will have bounced them all week regarding that and Everton get at them early.
74 Posted 11/03/2017 at 12:11:31
75 Posted 11/03/2017 at 12:18:24
76 Posted 11/03/2017 at 12:21:46
77 Posted 11/03/2017 at 12:36:12
Off to play This Old Heart of Mine and a hundred other great Holland-Dozier-Holland Motown tunes to warm up for the match.
78 Posted 11/03/2017 at 12:50:19
Congrats Lyndon. Well deserved. COYB.
79 Posted 11/03/2017 at 13:02:23
80 Posted 11/03/2017 at 13:13:18
82 Posted 11/03/2017 at 13:16:37
83 Posted 11/03/2017 at 13:37:31
Ah well, into battle. Scruffy 1-0 to the blues. But it'll be no spectacle. Nooooo sireeeee....
84 Posted 11/03/2017 at 13:39:06
85 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:02:06
I will have to come The Dark House and see you soon, George, simply because I can't wait to see you play the harmonica!
86 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:03:01
87 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:05:20
88 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:05:30
89 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:06:17
90 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:07:08
91 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:09:29
93 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:15:02
Wouldn't have thought it was a game for Barry to be honest. I expect Davies and Schneiderlin to be getting forward then. Gueye and Funes Mori appear to pay the price for average performances last week. Not saying I agree there but it sends a message that you perform every week or else. McCarthy not in even on the bench though. Disappointing. Maybe just not wanting to risk him due to a slight injury. If he was available I'd have had him in all day long. Didn't think Davies was too impressive last week, this will happen with young lads, so Koeman has given him a good vote of confidence there.
It'll be tough to break down "park the bus" West Brom today. Need to be aware of their maverick maestro Chadli who could be dangerous given time and space around our box.
95 Posted 11/03/2017 at 14:16:52