Get the lowdown on the Baggies' trip to EvertonA TRIP to Goodison Park awaits the Baggies tomorrow (ko 3pm) and, continuing our partnership withWhoScored.com, their statisticians take a look at the key numbers ahead of the clash.
What was nearly a well-earned point against Southampton last week turned into an unfortunate defeat as a 90th minute penalty won it for the visitors at The Hawthorns.
Meanwhile in Norfolk, Everton drew 2-2 at Norwich. Having drawn the most games in the Barclays Premier League last season (15), the Toffees are quickly back to the top of those charts after the only stalemate of the new top-flight campaign.
However, none of the Baggies’ last eight Barclays Premier League meetings with the Blues have ended with the shares spoiled, Albion winning three and Everton five of those games. Almost exactly a year ago, Albion ran out 2-0 winners at home, before a Leighton Baines penalty won the return game on Merseyside.
Shane Long's second goal in as many games against the then-David Moyes led side preceded a Graham Dorrans free-kick that cannoned back off the crossbar to deny the visitors a point.
Playing only 103 minutes over the two matches against Everton last season, Long averaged a goal every 51.5 minutes, and it will be interesting to see how he does this weekend should he be given another starting berth.
Having failed to score in the previous seven games in which he faced Everton, Long has been rather more successful against that opposition in the blue and white of Albion.
The Baggies' second highest goalscorer in the Barclays Premier League last season (eight goals), Long averaged a goal every 107 touches of the ball, converting 16.7% of his attempts at goal, or once every six shots.
Having had three shots against the Saints last week, a similar tally this weekend and he could well add to his already impressive record when playing Everton.
In the 2-0 home win over the Toffees last season, Long had already threatened before his opening goal, showcasing his impressive aerial ability despite being one of the shorter members of the squad, hitting the bar from a Chris Brunt cross. Gareth McAuley added a second late on with a powerful header from a Brunt corner.
The Albion skipper regain his starting place this weekend - and his crossing ability could be of use.
While the Baggies have lost their last two league trips to Goodison, the last victory was a convincing one, as they finished 4-1 winners in November 2010.
Brunt was WhoScored.com's Man of the Match with a goal and an assist to boot. The teams are finely balanced ahead of tomorrow’s game, and the Toffees could have a tough time controlling the likes of Long and Brunt.
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Albion take on an Everton side not managed by David Moyes for the first time in the Barclays Premier League.
Last time out
HOME: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, September 1, 2012 - Albion 2 (Long 65, McAuley 82) Everton 0
AWAY: Barclays Premier League, Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - Everton 2 (Baines 29 & pen 45) Albion 1 (Long 65)
Form guide (last six league matches)
Last league match line-ups
Albion (v Southampton – home L 0-1): Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson (c), Ridgewell; Morrison, Mulumbu, Yacob, Dorrans; Anelka (Rosenberg 83), Long (Vydra 83). Subs not used: Myhill (gk), Brunt, Dawson, Berahino, Popov.
Everton team news
Roger East will referee tomorrow's game. He oversaw last week's Yorkshire derby between Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship, dishing out two yellow cards. The Wiltshire official last refereed the Baggies in their 2-1 home victory over Sunderland in February.
Tickets will not be on sale to Albion fans at Goodison Park and will only remain on sale from The Hawthorns' East Stand box office from 1pm today (Friday). Supporters are urged not to travel to Goodison Park without a ticket.
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