Everton-West Brom Preview
Sam Allardyce has questioned why West Brom's Premier League clash with Everton was rescheduled for Thursday and hinted he may have to rest key players for the game.
The match, originally due to take place on March 20, was brought forward by three weeks following Everton's progression to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
West Brom beat Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 on Saturday and face a huge clash with fellow strugglers Newcastle United next weekend, with this visit of Everton in-between.
Allardyce feels it is unfair to ask West Brom to play three times in the space of a week, whereas Newcastle will have an eight-day rest heading into next Sunday's clash.
"It's something we have had no help with. We are trying to save ourselves in the Premier League but we have just been hindered by this," he said.
"If I don't rest players on Thursday I will have to rest them on Sunday - that is an absolute fact. I'm having to think about both games not one.
"After Everton, what are we going to look like against Newcastle? What team are we going to pick? Will I be doing the players a disservice by putting them out again after the Thursday night game?"
West Brom are in only-a-win-will-do territory now as they desperately attempt to drag themselves out of the bottom three, while Everton also have plenty to play in the final two months of the season.
Carlo Ancelotti's side have won back-to-back games without conceding - 2-0 versus Liverpool and 1-0 against Southampton - to keep their top-four fate in their own hands.
Everton can end the week in a Champions League spot, but Ancelotti believes finishing fifth - and therefore qualifying for the Europa League - would also be a big achievement in his first full campaign.
"It will be a dream to be in the top four at the end of the season. We are quite close, but the season is long - we have to stay in our goal which is to play Europa next season," he said.
"There is a real possibility to be in the top four in the next game. We're pleased that we can fight for that position but this doesn't change our target, which is to be in Europe next season."
West Brom - Kyle Bartley
Centre-back Bartley headed in the winner in West Brom's controversial - and somewhat fortunate - victory against Brighton last week to make it three goals for the season.
Some 25 per cent of West Brom's league goals this season have now been scored by defenders (5/20), which is the highest ratio in the division.
Everton - Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Ancelotti's side have only failed to score in one of their 12 Premier League away games in 2020-21 - the best record of any side - with Calvert-Lewin netting eight of their 20 away goals.
Only Romelu Lukaku has scored more goals on the road for Everton in a single campaign in the competition (nine in 2015-16 and in 2016-17).
- West Brom have only picked up one victory in their last 12 Premier League meetings with Everton (D5 L6) - winning 1-0 at Goodison Park back in February 2016 under Tony Pulis. The Baggies are winless in their last five such games (D2 L3).
- Everton are looking to complete their fifth Premier League double against West Brom (2002-03, 2008-09, 2011-12 and 2016-17), after winning 5-2 in the reverse fixture.
- The Toffees are unbeaten in each of their last five away Premier League games against West Brom (W3 D2), since a 2-0 loss in September 2012 under David Moyes.
- West Brom have gone 13 Premier League games without a win in midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), since winning 3-1 against Swansea City in December 2016 (D5 L8).
- Following their 1-0 victory against Brighton last time out, West Brom are looking to pick up back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since May 2018, while they are also looking to keep three consecutive clean sheets in the competition for the first time since September 2015.
Updated March 2, 2021