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Antony Heath 31st Dec 2011 - 14:12

Baggies to get stuck against the Toffee's

West Brom v Everton - 12:30 - live on Sky Sports 1


Everton make the trip down the M6 to face a West Bromwich side they have already beaten once this season. That victory did however come in extra time in the League Cup clash back in September at Goodison Park. The Baggies did the double over Everton last season but a repeat of that seems highly unlikely

West Brom (6/4) have a poor home record, much inferior to their away record, however this is a bit deceptive as they have already welcomed Man Utd, Liverpool, Tottenham and Man City to the Hawthorns. The Baggies will be heartened by the battling 0-0 draw they managed to secure against Roberto Mancini's men on Boxing Day and will be looking to build on that result.

West Brom has been in a bit of a good run picking up 7 points from 9 since the disappointing loss at home to Wigan. They will be without Youssouf Mulumbu but they can welcome back James Morrison (11/1 First, 4/1 Anytime) after he missed the last 2 games due to injury. Their main source of goals have been Peter Odemwingie (6/1 First, 7/4 Anytime) and Shane Long (7/1 First, 2/1 Anytime) and they will have to be on form to get past an Everton defence that has conceded just 10 in 9 away games.

The Toffee's (9/5, Draw 11/5) have managed to put together a 3 match unbeaten run but however they have won just 1 of these, a 1-0 victory against Swansea, while drawing the other 2 1-1 against Norwich and Sunderland - sides they should really be beating and will look to improve their run here. They should have plenty in the squad to get at least a draw and the 3 points seem totally feasible

Everton will be without Marouane Fellaini for the trip to the Hawthorns, which could be a blessing in disguise for them as the game is set to be run by referee Stuart Atwell and you can't help but think the oft-booked star would have found himself in trouble. The unbeaten run has seen Leon Osman (11/1 First, 4/1 Anytime) find his scoring touch again although they were indebted to Leighton Baines (14/1 First, 11/2 Anytime) for saving a point at the Stadium of Light.

The match should be a closely fought contest with few chances and even fewer goals as Everton's last 6 games have seen a combined 9 goals - under 2.5 can be backed at 13/20 (Over 23/20) and looks most likely. Everton should get something from the match and correct scores of Everton 1-0 (7/1), and the 0-0 (8/1) and 1-1 (11/2) draws look the most appealing.

On the stats front it is most likely that we will see over 45 booking points (11/8) or even over 55 points (12/5) as Stuart Atwell has brandished 2 reds and 16 yellows in just 5 Premier League matches he has officiated. Both sides have not been picking up many cards this season but this is likely to be a battle and some late and overzealous challenges are to be expected!


On reflection we should be watching a tight encounter with little goal mouth action so the recommended bets for this match would be:

Everton @ Evs (Draw no Bet)

Under 2.5 Goals @ 13/20

Worth a shout:

Leon Osman @ 11/1 First Goal

Everton 1-0 @ 7/1



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