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Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Everton - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Premier League clash between West Bromwich Albion and Everton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

West Bromwich Albion will be aiming to go four games unbeaten for the first time this season when they welcome Everton to The Hawthorns for Thursday's Premier League fixture.

Both teams scraped 1-0 victories in their most recent outings, with West Brom controversially overcoming Brighton & Hove Albion while Champions League hopefuls Everton beat Southampton by the same scoreline.


Match preview

Brighton players surround Lee Mason after Lewis Dunk's goal against West Bromwich Albion is disallowed on February 27, 2021© Reuters

"Horrendous" and "embarrassing" were just two of the words used by Brighton's Lewis Dunk in his post-match interview at The Hawthorns last weekend, with referee Lee Mason once again coming under fire as the centre-back's free kick was disallowed in West Brom's 1-0 win.

Kyle Bartley bagged the all-important winner on the 11-minute mark, while Brighton duo Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck both missed penalties, but Mason's decision to rule out Dunk's goal - supposedly due to the fact that he had blown his whistle a second time before the ball crossed the line - was unsurprisingly the main talking point on an otherwise successful day for Sam Allardyce's men.

Having taken five points from the last nine on offer in the top flight, West Brom's survival bid is gaining momentum by the week - which comes as little surprise given Allardyce's track record in great escapes - but the 19th-placed Baggies remain nine points adrift of safety before the midweek fixtures get underway.

West Brom's record of 32 goals conceded on home soil is by far the worst in the division, as a spate of thrashings between December and January did not help them in that regard, but they have now gone three league games without defeat at The Hawthorns and could keep three consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since 2015.

However, the Baggies notoriously struggle to pick up results in midweek fixtures, as they are winless in 13 matches played on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Allardyce - facing off against his former club on Thursday - may already be looking ahead to the weekend's basement battle with Newcastle United before Everton pay a visit.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Given his wealth of experience on the biggest stage of them all, many Evertonians feel confident in Carlo Ancelotti's ability to bring the Champions League to Goodison Park, and the Toffees are now in with a fantastic shout of making the top four come the end of the season.

Everton followed up their historic triumph at Liverpool with a narrow 1-0 win over Southampton on Monday night - during which Richarlison bagged the winner from a tight angle in the ninth minute - and Ancelotti will be hoping that those two consecutive victories will act as a catalyst for a more consistent run of form.

The Toffees have blown hot and cold since the turn of the year, but they have now claimed back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time in 2021 and are now just two points adrift of the Champions League places - with a game in hand over the six teams above them - and Liverpool are only ahead of their Merseyside rivals on goal difference.

Furthermore, Everton travel to the Black Country boasting the fourth-best away record in the league - they have won six out of their last eight on the road and drew the other two - and victory at The Hawthorns would see them equal their Premier League record of nine away wins during the 2008-09 campaign.

Ancelotti's men defeated West Brom in a thrilling encounter by five goals to two back in September, and the Baggies have only won one of their last 12 against Everton, who last lost at The Hawthorns back in the 2012-13 campaign.

West Bromwich Albion Premier League form: DLLDDW

Everton Premier League form: WDLLWW
Everton form (all competitions): DWLLWW



Team News

West Bromwich Albion's Semi Ajayi is shown a red card by referee Mike Dean on February 20, 2021© Reuters

West Brom will welcome defender Semi Ajayi back from suspension for this showdown, but Dara O'Shea has deputised extremely well and Allardyce should be reluctant to alter the Baggies' defence after two clean sheets.

The hosting manager is hopeful that Robert Snodgrass will be fit and ready for this one after a calf problem, while it remains to be seen if Kieran Gibbs will be cleared to play as well.

Allardyce has affirmed that changes will be afoot as he looks ahead to a relegation six-pointer with Newcastle at the weekend, so Jake Livermore, Romaine Sawyers and Grady Diangana are sure to be vying for starts this week.

Yerry Mina, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are definitely out for Everton, and the quartet of James Rodriguez, Robin Olsen, Tom Davies and Seamus Coleman were also nowhere to be seen on Monday night.

However, Ancelotti has affirmed that the outfield trio should be fine for Thursday's game so long as they pass late fitness tests, and all three will be vying for starts given the quick turnaround in fixtures.

Coleman may replace Mason Holgate at right-back if he is deemed fit enough, while Gylfi Sigurdsson may drop out for Rodriguez despite claiming the assist for Richarlison's winner on Monday.

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Furlong, O'Shea, Bartley, Townsend; Livermore, Sawyers; Phillips, Pereira, Diangana; Diagne

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne; Doucoure, Davies; Iwobi, Rodriguez, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin


SM words green background

We say: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Everton

West Brom and Everton will both have their tails up heading into this showdown, but changes on both ends are to be expected given the crunch matches they face at the weekend. With the prospect of Everton welcoming back three key outfield players for this battle - as well as their remarkable away record - we expect the Toffees to continue their Champions League charge with a slender victory on Thursday, but Allardyce's men are sure to put up a good fight.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data



Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Brighton players surround Lee Mason after Lewis Dunk's goal against West Bromwich Albion is disallowed on February 27, 2021
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Brighton's Lewis Dunk furious with Lee Mason after "horrendous" decision
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4West Ham UnitedWest Ham31167851391255
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7Tottenham HotspurSpurs311471052351749
8Everton29145104138347
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10Leeds UnitedLeeds31143144949045
11Aston Villa301351243331044
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves31108133141-1038
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
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15Burnley3189142542-1733
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton30711123338-532
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3188153251-1932
18Fulham32511162442-1826
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom3049172559-3421
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3142251755-3814

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