Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Everton

Preview: West Brom vs. Everton
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Sports Mole previews the clash between West Brom and Everton at The Hawthorns as both sides go in search of their first Premier League win of the season.

Everton visit The Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, with both sides still looking for their first Premier League victories of the campaign.

The Toffees' winless start will be of particular frustration to manager Roberto Martinez as his side have scored seven times in their opening three matches.

It has been the conceding of 10 goals at the other end which has foiled their early-season progress and the Spaniard has admitted that he is surprised that his back line has been so leaky.

The Champions League chasers more than played their part in the nine-goal thriller with Chelsea a fortnight ago, but have thrown away points in conceding late on in draws with Leicester City and Arsenal.

New Baggies boss Alan Irvine will be desperate to get a first win under his belt ahead of upcoming games against Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester United.

A 3-0 defeat to Swansea City prior to the international break left Albion in the bottom three and Irvine may contemplate several changes to the side who lost so convincingly at the Liberty Stadium.

Gareth McAuley may be recalled to reprise his partnership with Jonas Olsson in defence, where West Brom are still without injured former England international Joleon Lescott and Sebastien Pocognoli.

Forward duo Victor Anichebe and Georgios Samaras are also doubts as they work their way towards fitness, but Youssouf Mulumbu's hamstring strain may be risked, so key is he to Albion's midfield.

Porto loanee Silvestre Varela could be a real asset once he settles in England, but Irvine will probably opt for the more reliable option of Stephane Sessegnon behind club-record signing Brown Ideye.

Martinez may give England international John Stones a chance at centre-back as he looks to solidify his defence. The highly-rated 20-year-old played 171 minutes for the Three Lions this week.

Aiden McGeady was another to impress on international duty, scoring twice, including a skilful last-minute winner, to secure the Republic of Ireland a 2-1 success in Georgia, and will probably keep Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu, who is available again after being ineligible to face his parent club, out of the side.

Ross Barkley is apparently ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation from a knee injury, but he, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are all out as Martinez is forced to manage without several of his midfield regulars.

His striking ranks are looking stronger following the arrival of Samuel Eto'o, who scored on his debut against his former team at Stamford Bridge, and Arouna Kone is nearing fitness after a long-term layoff.

West Brom have only won one of their last 10 Premier League home matches, although both of the ties between these sides last season ended in draws.

Recent form

West Brom: LDD

Everton: LDD

Possible starting lineups

West Brom: Foster; Wisdom, McAuley, Olsson, Davidson; Brunt, Mulumbu, Gardner, Berahino; Sessegnon; Ideye

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas, Naismith, McGeady; Lukaku

Sports Mole says: 0-2

Who will win Saturday's match between West Brom and Everton at The Hawthorns?

West Brom
Everton
Draw
West Brom
27.0%
Everton
61.8%
Draw
11.2%
Ki Sung-Yeung is congratulated by his Swansea teammates after scoring the opener against Man United on August 16, 2014
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