Despite a rocky start to the season, Everton are now undefeated in the month of September, and will look to finish out the month on a strong note as they play West Bromwich Albion away at the Hawthorns. The last meeting between these two sides was a day to forget, with the low point of the match being Kevin Mirallas' missed penalty that would have secured three points for Everton. With Mirallas in the midst of his three game suspension, hopefully this game will be without controversy.
Everton should have history on their side as they travel to the Hawthorns as they are undefeated against the Baggies dating back to September 2012. West Brom have also had an awful record at home this season, losing two and drawing one on their home field. The cards appear to be in Everton's favor, but Tony Pulis teams can be incredibly frustrating and hard to break down due to his defensive tendencies.
Roberto Martinez may have to worry more about his own defense than that of West Brom as yet another defender, John Stones, may miss time with an injury. Three of the four regular defensive starters are currently out, and while Brendan Galloway, Tyias Browning and Ramiro Funes Mori have all done admirably there obviously concerns about that group as a whole.
West Brom reaped the benefits of the new TV deal, splashing the cash in a way rarely seen from a team like the Baggies. The biggest additions by far were that of former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans, and Zenit St. Petersburg striker Salomon Rondon. Pulis' side was even able to fight off Tottenham's bid for Saido Berahino which will remind some Everton supporters of Chelsea's pursuit of John Stones. The pieces are in place for West Brom to have a solid team but the players just need to gel.
The Toffees are still fighting the injury bug, but there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel. Seamus Coleman appears to be closer to re-joining the first team, though he may be held out again as not to rush him back. Stones is also close to full health but as he is one of Everton's key pieces it is best not to rush him back. Leighton Baines may finally be on his way back to the starting left back job, though his time may not come for another two weeks.
West Brom will be without regular starting goalkeeper Ben Foster until at least December due to a knee injury. Foster has been excellent for the Baggies and was even fighting for a place in the England squad for Euro 2016. Boaz Myhill should be the starter in place of Foster and this presents yet another opportunity for Everton to exploit.
The Final Word
The pieces seem to be in place for an Everton win, and Martinez's squad should be able to put goals up against the Baggies. Despite all the defensive players Everton will be without, it is hard to count them out of this game and should be able to finish up the month undefeated.