Everton are coming off a 2-1 victory against Reading in the Capital One Cup at the midweek, bringing their undefeated streak to five in all competitions. Martinez opted to field a 3-5-2 formation for this game, which is a rarely seen formation within the Everton camp. With a trip to the Hawthorns on Monday, it seems likely that Martinez will return to the 4-2-3-1 formation.
Everton will have to be at their best if they want to pick up all three points, as they go up against a West Brom side that have gone their last three league matches without conceding a goal. Tony Pulis and company will work hard to keep this streak going and frustrate Everton moving forward.
That said, let’s take a look at the best possible lineup for Everton:
Tim Howard. Enough said here.
Brendan Galloway will continue his role at left back. The youngster has put in some quality performances lately and won’t be unseated even with Bryan Oviedo being fit for this one.
Phil Jagielka continues in his role as usual.
Martinez said today that it’s still too soon to tell if John Stones will be ready to face West Brom. With the Merseyside Derby looming next weekend, I assume that Martinez will hold Stones out of this one to assure his availability to face Liverpool. This will pave the way for Ramiro Funes Mori to get the start next to Jags.
Seamus Coleman is another injury concern for this one. However, Martinez has said that he is hopeful that Coleman will be fit to go for this one. Again because of the matchup with Liverpool next weekend, Martinez could hold Coleman out of this contest. I’m going to bet that we will see either Stones or Coleman play against West Brom and my bet is on Coleman. If the Irishman can’t go, look for Tyias Browning to be fielded on the right.
We will see James McCarthy and Gareth Barry in their traditional defensive midfield roles for this one.
With Kevin Mirallas seeing red last weekend the options on the left are somewhat limited. I would like to see Steven Naismith playing here again. While the Scotsman wasn’t able to replicate the brilliance he showed against Chelsea in the Swansea match, he stilled had a decent run out.
Central Attacking Midfield
Ross Barkley has been brilliant thus far for the Toffees. The Englishman has been great a great facilitator with the ball and is increasing his attacking returns.
So far this season we have seen Martinez keep faith with Arouna Kone on the right. Not that Kone hasn’t been good here, but I think it’s about time Everton give Gerard Deulofeu a Premier League start. Deulofeu has consistently been one of Everton’s best supply players this season and can provide a lot of quality balls into the box for the team. The other alternative here is Aaron Lennon. Lennon is the best box to box option for this position, but offers less than Deulofeu in terms of attacking.
Romelu Lukaku retains his position as Everton’s lone striker. Although Lukaku hasn’t scored as many goals as some would like, he has put a decent amount of shots on target. I look for Lukaku to get back on track against WBA in preparation for Liverpool.