Everton kicks off the second weekend of 2020-21 Premier League season as they welcome West Bromwich Albion to Goodison Park.
At least a point would send Everton top for at least a few hours whereas West Brom can climb out of the relegation zone with a point, whilst victory could temporarily lift the Baggies up to ninth given their weak goal difference compared to other clubs currently on three points.
Everton boss, Carlo Ancelotti is expected to recall several first-team regulars after their midweek win over Salford City, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jordan Pickford expected to start.
Jarrad Branthwaite (ankle), Mason Holgate (toe), Jean-Phillipe Gbamin (Achilles), Fabian Delph (fitness) and Cenk Tosun (knee) are still ruled out.
West Brom have a near full squad available for selection with Kenneth Zohore the only absentee with a calf injury.
- Everton have lost just one of their last 11 meetings against West Brom (W5, D5, L1).
- West Brom have taken just one victory in their last seven league trips to Goodison Park (W1, D3, L3).
- Both teams have scored one penalty each in 24 previous Premier League meetings, although Everton missed one spot-kick whereas West Brom converted their only penalty.
- Everton are unbeaten in their last five first home league games of a new season (W3, D2).
- WBA have avoided defeat in their last five first away trips of a new season (W3, D2).
Everton were superb against Tottenham in a tight encounter and followed that performance up with a more dominant midweek display at home to Salford, despite rotating their squad which is a good sign that the Toffees are making progress.
West Brom meanwhile bounced back from a poor opening league performance against Leicester to comfortably beat Harrogate, although defending remains a concern after struggling to clear Harrogate’s crosses because Everton have proven dangerous with their crosses.
I am therefore expecting a physical match between two teams who have made marked progress in attack but Everton do look more solid defensively, which could well be the difference.
Prediction: Everton 1-0 WBA
Result: Everton 5-2 WBA