Everton welcome newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion to Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime.

Optimism is high on Merseyside from a blue-tinted perspective, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men impressing in last weekend’s season opener against Tottenham Hotspur.

The 1-0 victory was the first outing for new signings Allan and James Rodriguez, both of whom have induced a renewed vigour amongst the Everton fans.

From a fixtures perspective, the Toffees’ trip to Spurs was arguably their toughest test until the Merseyside Derby on October 17th – so confidence is understandably high.

For West Brom, such confidence may be lacking as they were given a chastising welcome back to the Premier League last week courtesy of a 3-0 defeat to Leicester.

Many have tipped the Baggies for an immediate return to the Championship, and manager Slaven Bilic will know that getting off to a poor start will do nothing for Albion’s hopes of survival.

The West Brom gaffer has added some experience to the mix, however – former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has signed terms at the Hawthorns and may well make his debut at Goodison Park.

One avenue of opportunity for the Baggies is that Everton are looking thin on the ground from a defensive perspective, with Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite both absent for the Toffees.

Fabian Delph, Cenk Tosun and Jean-Philippe Gbamin all miss out too for Everton, but Ancelotti’s new recruits in James Rodriguez and Allan are fit and available.
Bilic’s injury woes are much fewer, with only striker Kenneth Zohore missing out.

Everton v West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park is a 1230 kick off on Saturday, September 19th.

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