The busy winter period leading up to the close of the transfer window continues with Everton hosting West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday. The Blues have agreed on a transfer fee with FC Twente Enschede for Dutch midfielder Leroy Fer pending his physical and personal terms with the club, and it is expected he will be in attendance for this game.
The Baggies have blown hot and cold most of this season, and are currently in the midst of another slump, with just one win and one draw in their last five games. The big news at the Hawthorns this week has been striker Peter Odemwingie handing in two transfer requests, only to have both rejected by the club. Everton for their part have had two consecutive 0-0 draws and have been struggling to find the net.
Team News -
Star midfielder Kevin Mirallas is doubtful for this game after hobbling off in the FA Cup fixture at Bolton. Seamus Coleman, Tony Hibbert and Darron Gibson remain out with their injuries too.
For the Baggies, Steven Reid, Shane Long, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Claudio Yacob are out, while Zoltan Gera is still inactive with a long-term knee injury.
Keys To The Game -
Everton were wholly unconvincing in their last game at West Brom, managing just two shots on target. It was a dull game for the most part, with Everton profligate in their finishing like they have been for good parts of the season. Without Mirallas on the right, it's hard to see where the inspiration will come from to break down a determined Albion defence. The goals have not been forthcoming and David Moyes could well use the same lineup that started on Saturday, with Marouane Fellaini and Leon Osman in midfield and the strike pairing of Nikica Jelavic and Victor Anichebe.
Steve Clarke's side have struggled away from home this season, and will attempt to stymie Everton by packing the midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Young Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku is the focus of the attack, and has sparkled this season on loan from Chelsea. He is likely to be joined by team captain Chris Brunt as disgruntled striker Peter Odemwingie is unlikely to play.
Match Facts -
- Everton have the 3rd best defence in the League, after Manchester City and Chelsea.
- The Toffees have 11 draws this season, tied for highest with Stoke City.
- After 18 consecutive games conceding at least once, the Blues have had two straight clean sheets.
- West Brom have not kept a clean sheet away from home this season.
- The Baggies have not won in their last six games in all competitions.
- Albion, currently in eighth, have not fallen below ninth at any time this season.