10:04 23rd August 2013
And boss gives his thoughts on a Toffees side in transition
STEVE Clarke has revealed the team he has in mind for tomorrow’s trip to Everton (ko 3pm) includes nine of the players from the starting XI that beat the Toffees 2-0 in the third game of last season.
One man who will definitely be missing from that side is Steven Reid, who, apart from long-term injury victims Zoltan Gera and George Thorne, and Nicolas Anelka (compassionate leave), is the Baggies boss’ only absentee this weekend.
The other ten players who started at The Hawthorns that day were Ben Foster, Jonas Olsson, Claudio Yacob, Liam Ridgewell, James Morrison, Shane Long, Graham Dorrans, Youssouf Mulumbu, Gareth McAuley and Marc-Antoine Fortune.
“I was looking at my squad the other day and comparing back to when we played Everton third game last season,” said Clarke, who is hoping to add another winger to his squad in this transfer window after signing Scott Sinclair yesterday.
“We play them second game this season and the team I have in mind to start will be nine out of the XI that started last season.
“So, that’s not bad, because we beat them.
People keep saying we haven’t got this and that – but what we have got is good.”
The Baggies will be looking to bounce back from their last-gasp, opening-day 1-0 defeat by Southampton.
And Clarke is confident his men have enough in their locker to pose a stern test for a Blues team bursting with young talent – but also in transition under new boss Roberto Martinez.
“There’s no need to put ourselves under pressure,” the Albion chief insisted.
“It’s only the second game of the season and there are nine other teams in the Premier League on zero points.
“It’s a difficult game but we think we’ve got enough to go there and get a good result for West Bromwich Albion – and that’s what we’re going to do."
He added: “Normally a manager takes his style of play with him, whatever club he is at.
“The only difference I’ve seen in the Everton performances leading up to this game is there is a mixture under Roberto Martinez.
“Last year you understood how they were going to play, this year they’ve got another way to play.
“That probably makes it a little bit more complicated – but we love complicated challenges.
“Ross Barkley is a name who has been spoken about for a number of years, especially on Merseyside, where I was working for the other side not long ago.
“They always had high hopes and expectations for him.
“It’s probably taken him a little bit longer to fulfil his potential but now he is starting to do that and show he is a really good player.
“Seamus Coleman was a regular last season and we know him well.
“He is a very, very attacking player – similar to Leighton Baines – so they have two attacking full-backs.
“We know where their threats will come from.”