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Sam Allardyce admits to dilemma ahead of Everton clash

The Baggies are nine points behind 17th-placed Newcastle in the Premier League.

Boss Sam Allardyce admits he faces a dilemma as he continues to plot West Brom's survival bid.

The Baggies host Everton on Thursday after Saturday's 1-0 win over Brighton kept alive their slim hopes of beating the Premier League drop.

They sit second bottom, nine points from safety, with 12 games remaining and are unbeaten in their last three matches.

Fourth-bottom Newcastle visit the Hawthorns on Sunday and Allardyce concedes he needs to ensure Albion maintain their momentum against Everton without jeopardising their chances against the Magpies.

The former Toffees and Newcastle boss said: "If we pulled a draw off against Everton that would be a great result and would keep our run going and, because Newcastle are close to us, we could then try to go all out to get that victory.

"We will try to beat Everton but I don't think I want to go all out and then throw it all away by losing (against Newcastle).

"The concentration levels against Everton will have to be as good as the level of performance we showed against Manchester United.

"I would like to have got – by the end of Newcastle – at least six points (from three games this week).

"When it comes to the end of the Newcastle game we'll have a better idea of where we are and what the difference is between us and fourth from bottom.

"Hopefully by the end of the Everton game we can talk about how we have gained more points. We have achieved results but not beaten sides as big as Everton, like Manchester United and Liverpool."

Albion have kept as many clean sheets in the last two Premier League games – two – as they had done in their previous 24 top-flight matches.

Robert Snodgrass is back after a knee problem and Semi Ajayi is available after a one-match ban.

Allardyce has already spoken out against the Premier League's decision to schedule Everton's visit this week and knows he has to manage his squad.

"That (team selection) would be letting the cat out of the bag. I've been forced into a very difficult situation," added Allardyce, who managed the Toffees in 2017-18.

"I could be speaking going into the preparation for what should just be the Newcastle game.

"Unfortunately we have to face the task of them (the Premier League) throwing a wildcard into us and saying you have to play Everton.

"We have to manage these two games and better than we have done in the past. Some of our failings have been because of the game load.

"The games are running out, we need more points and we have to deliver."

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