EVERTON welcome West Brom to Goodison Park on Saturday. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Everton vs West Brom | Saturday 19th September 2020, 12:30 | BT Sport
These two got off to contrasting starts on the first Sunday of the new season. Everton put in a strong performance to win at Spurs, while West Brom were battered by Leicester.
As I said in my midweek piece for Everton, Carlo Ancelotti’s recruitment has been exceptional in this window and it’s given him a fine balance between defence and attack, something that Marco Silva wasn’t able to grasp.
James Rodríguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucouré all made their debuts for the Toffees last week and all three shone. The Colombians link-up play with Richarlison shows how exciting their partnership could be.
West Brom were truly outclassed by Midlands rivals Leicester at the Hawthorns. Slaven Bilic knew he had his work cut out trying to keep one of the ultimate yo-yo sides in the top-flight, but that will have given him plenty of concern.
The Baggies have since drafted in Branislav Ivanovic and Conor Gallagher, but the ageing Russian is unlikely to be match fit here, while the Chelsea loanee could play a part after impressing during loan spells at Charlton and Swansea last season.
Out of depth Baggies
The bare data from last weekend’s home defeat will worry Bilic. It was expected that Leicester would see plenty of the ball, but when in possession, West Brom weren’t very good.
They had seven shots in total with just one on target. A worry would be the lack of creativity to trouble the Foxes backline with four of those efforts being from outside the box.
The Expected Goals (xG) data from Understat makes bleak reading too: West Brom 0.35 xG v 2.96 xG Leicester.
Bilic will be hoping that Gallagher can help link midfield to attack but the question remains if they’ve got a striker good enough to give them a fighting chance. Although I’m fully expecting Fulham to go down, Aleksandar Mitrović is one you could argue will be that man for them.
West Brom do have some promising younger players having signing Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira, but I can’t see a Charlie Austin or Hal Robson-Kanu bagging the goals today or throughout the campaign.
Impressive recruitment in the build-up to the season was followed by a solid performance in their opening game. And it’ll be difficult for the Italian to make changes from the side that he started with at Spurs.
All over the park, there’s quality. Whether it’s the dead-ball delivery of Lucas Digne, Richarlison or Rodríguez all feeding the talented Dominic Calvert-Lewin, then this is a side I believe will be pushing towards the top-six.
Playing the lone forward role could be difficult for any youngster, but Calvert-Lewin has all the attributes to be a magnificent player. He proved his aerial ability by netting the winner against Spurs, but his strength to hold the ball up and bring in teammates, plus his mobility are assets that will aid this Everton side.
While Tottenham were disappointing, it seemed to be a deserved win to the eye. Once again the Understat xG data suggests that as well: Spurs 0.82 xG v 1.27 xG Everton.
You would imagine Everton’s quality will shine through here, and they’ve lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games against West Brom. Plus, Ancelotti has never lost a Premier League match to a newly promoted side (W11-D4-L0).
The betting angles
Both sides made wholesale changes in their respective 3-0 wins over League Two sides in the League Cup. Ancelotti did see young central defender Jarrad Branthwaite limp off injured, which adds him to the injury list alongside Mason Holgate meaning they only have Michael Keane and Yerry Mina available in that position.
That shouldn’t make too much of a difference. This Everton attack looks to hold plenty of flair and creativity that West Brom shouldn’t be able to handle.
If you look at last weekend’s performance data, one of the things that stood out was that the Baggies had the fewest shots on target (1) of any side in the top flight, while they allowed the most on their own goal (7).
Not only that but here they come up against James, who created five chances on his debut, the most of a debutant since Aleix Sánchez for Arsenal in 2014. So, that should mean the Colombian is likely to lay a few chances on a plate for DCL and Richarlison.
That means I’m happy to take Everton -1 on the Asian Handicap at 8/9 with Boylesports. It’s money back if the Toffees win by a one-goal margin and a full win if the margin of victory is two-plus goals.
And given the stat above about James above, it might be worth having him on side for an assist. There are a range of prices available with the 12/5 at William Hill being the best I’ve seen.
For those that like a juicy price, then under the #YourOdds Player Stats at William Hill is a 10/1 shot that could be worth a small play – James Rodríguez at least one assist and Lucas Digne at least one assist.
The stats and link-up play from the Colombian speak for themselves, while the tempting set-piece deliveries from Digne will pose plenty of threat.
Everton v West Brom – Everton -1 Asian Handicap (8/9 Boylesports)
Everton v West Brom – James Rodríguez to assist a goal (12/5 William Hill)