Pulis the man to prevent West Brom heading south at Everton
There is something about Tony Pulis. Since taking over West Bromwich Albion, they are unbeaten, which includes a 7-0 FA Cup thrashing of Gateshead.
Clearly his arrival at The Hawthorns has had an immediate effect and it is this that makes their odds of 9/4 with Coral, to come away from Goodison Park with a draw so attractive.
Pulis’ strategy is simple. Organisation and hard work, though more importantly his man-management and motivational skills are second to none. Teams play for him. With an on-fire Saido Berahino, the West Midlands outfit have half a chance of staying in the Premier League; he will provide the goals to complement the steel further back that will become ever more present under Pulis, and is 6/1 to break the deadlock. Fellow striker Brown Ideye, who looked effective against the Tigers, is 11/4 in the anytime market.
In the week Pulis announced he would take part in a charity event to row from Tower Bridge to the Eiffel Tower, he said Everton have too much quality to be relegated.
“They have too much quality to consider they are in the relegation fight,” Pulis told reporters. “Before the season started I thought it was the strongest Everton squad I had seen in years. They have a good player in Romelu Lukaku who is coming back to form.
“I expect them to start winning games before long so we’ve got to do our best to make sure it doesn’t begin on Monday.”
Everton, meanwhile, need points themselves. Although they won’t get relegated, Roberto Martinez’s men need to be aiming higher and challenging for at least a Europa League place. Instead, the Toffees find themselves just below mid-table, though are odds-on at 4/5 to beat the Baggies.
However, a gruelling FA Cup replay against West Ham in midweek, which went all the way to penalties, and Everton agonisingly lost, could have an effect on the players towards the latter stages of the match. Crucially, it seems Romelu Lukaku has found his stride again, having netted last time out and is 4/1 to open the scoring.
Everton beat West Brom 2-0 in the reverse fixture in September, with Lukaku scoring and fellow Belgian Kevin Mirallas, who also dispatched against the Hammers. The 27-year-old is 11/4 to strike anytime.