Everton have their first home league game of the season on Saturday against newly promoted West Bromwich Albion. Manager Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping that his side can keep up their good form and carry on building momentum for the campaign.
After a routine midweek win against Salford City in the League Cup after making ten changes to the team Ancelotti will be starting his best side again for a match that The Toffees will be favourites to win. West Brom have not started the Premier League season in great fashion but they were against one of the top five teams from last season as Leicester City beat them 3-0. However, a weakened team impressed in the league cup game against Harrogate Town as they themselves won 3-0 with three outstanding goals.
If Everton are to underestimate the opposition they will be in for a tough afternoon but Ancleotti will have installed a must win attitude for every game and the new midfield three will be wanting to gain more match fitness and also wanting to impress the fans at home watching on. Allan and Doucoure will be expected to start in the middle alongside Andre Gomes again if Ancelotti start with a three-man midfield again which he should do after they dominated against Spurs last weekend.
James Rodriguez started on the right hand side against Tottenham and ran the show whether Ancelotti sees that as his best position remains to be seen, however James kept coming inside and found pockets of space to receive the ball showcasing his intelligence off the ball which shall add another dimension to Everton’s play
Ancelotti addressed in his pre-match press conference how that due to the new signings there is expectation, but he said: “I think the expectation gives us more motivation.
“This puts more pressure on us, but as I said pressure is good.” If this was Everton without Ancelotti they would have been worried about pressure and potentially buckled but with the standard that Everton want to be at they have to thrive under any sort of pressure and they did that well when defending the lead against Tottenham.
In terms of injury news for Everton they are very short at the back as Jarrad Branthwaite will be out for 3-5 weeks Ancelotti revealed in his press conference and Mason Holgate is still out after his pre-season injury. Due to the changes that were made against Salford this led to left-back Luca Digne playing centre back. Michael Keane and Yerry Mina will be starting against West Brom but if another injury to either of them were to happen Digne may have to fill in yet again and young left-back Niels Nkounkou, who looks like a serious talent, may get his Premier League debut.
West Brom may be starting new loan signing Conor Gallagher from Chelsea but the more interesting thing will be if they start yet again with a back five. The Baggies never usually played that system in the Championship but Slaven Bilic is clearly trying to adapt so they are not completely exposed as they will be the underdogs for a lot of games this season.
James Rodriguez will be the key to opening the backline of West Brom and supporters will be hoping that he will be the star man for the whole season as Everton look to break the top six and have a exceptional first full season under Carlo Ancelotti.
Everton versus West Brom midday kick off, look forward to it.
Written by Elliot Thompson