Monday night football often seems to have the feel of a graveyard for the weekend fixtures. Saturday has the most fixtures, Sunday’s are ‘Super’, but Monday’s are for matches that fulfil the Sky obligations for all teams being shown a minimum number of times.
Tonight sees West Brom host Everton in the Premier League and, whatever your thoughts on the scheduling, there is interest in this match in the form of a new manager, and a striker returning to his home of last season.
Pepe Mel is the new guy in the West Brom hotseat. Mel was sacked by Real Betis in December. Sacked or not, his overall record was better than good considering he got Betis promoted and then to a finish of seventh in the league that also included qualification for the Europa League. As with many managers, he may have found himself a victim of his own success as he side slumped to the bottom of La Liga in December.
It seemed that Clarke did need to leave West Brom. From his impressive start back in 2012 they have since taken a pathetic 37 points from 40 games since Boxing Day 2012. That’s not just a slump, it’s pretty much on the money for relegation form. In terms of current form, West Brom are currently on a run of only one win in twelve Premier League games, although there’s only been one defeat since they sacked Clarke, which was in their last game against Southampton.
Everton are the opposite, having only lost one of their last ten games (against Sunderland on Boxing Day). Martinez has gone some way to proving the doubters who questioned his credentials (at least he had a trophy for his CV unlike Moyes when he took the Utd job) by improving on the team that Moyes had put together and added a prettier side to the defensive stability (joint best defence in the league with Arsenal).
If you’re looking for omens, Nicolas Anelka has scored eight league goals against Everton, spanning five different clubs. He can become the first player to score against the same Premier League team with six different clubs. However it’s unlikely he’ll start given the controversy surrounding his political agenda and the club’s main sponsor, Zoopla.
Back in August this fixture finished goalless, although that had a lot to do with an inspired Ben Foster performance.
The corresponding fixture finished 2-0 to West Brom last season.
In terms of the odds, West Brom are best priced at 57/20 with Winner, but Everton are the clear favourites at 11/10 across pretty much all bookmakers.
Romelu Lukaku is the favourite in the first scorer market at 26/5 with BetFair, and that’s in spite of him having only managed one goal in his last eight appearances. That said, he does know where the goal is at The Hawthorns having spent last season on loan there scoring 17 goals in the process.
There’s plenty of value to have in this match with double delight and hat-trick heaven, along with refunds on both bore and score draws. Check out the Forum and the Today’s Offers page for more information.
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