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Happy-again Berahino to make West Brom smile again at the Hawthorns

28 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Happy-again Berahino to make West Brom smile again at the Hawthorns

Albion have scored fewer Premier League goals than any other side, but the striker can inspire their first home win of the season against Everton

Saido Berahino’s deadline-day vow that he would “never play” for West Bromwich Albion again after his proposed transfer to Tottenham failed to materialise did not remain unbroken for long.

That was hardly surprising considering the striker would presumably rather play football than not between now and January, especially if he is to have any chance of representing England at Euro 2016.

But manager Tony Pulis deserves recognition for displaying deft man-management skills he is not especially renowned for and returning the disaffected player to form.

Berahino scored the only goal of the game at Aston Villa last time out and has the technical expertise and composure in front of goal that his otherwise diligent and organised team-mates do not.

That is especially true at the Hawthorns, where he has scored 11 of his last 15 Premier League goals.

Pulis, therefore, will hope the 22-year-old can inspire Albion to their first home league win of the campaign (2/1) against Everton on Monday night.

In will be the first time since the season-opener against Manchester City that Berahino has started at the ground and he is 6/1 to score first.

There is a particular importance on the opening goal of the game as a glut of them is not expected.

While Albion have scored the fewest times this season (four), the addition of Jonny Evans has added to a defence that has kept more clean sheets than any other Premier League side (14) since Pulis was appointed as manager in January.

Three have those have come in their previous three fixtures and they are 9/4 to make it four in a row for the first time since March 1983.

Everton, too, are displaying a doggedness at the back not typically associated with manager Roberto Martinez.

The Spaniard’s side have not conceded in three Premier League games away from home and are 6/4 to extend that run to four – a feat they have not achieved since August 1995.

But while the Toffees are unbeaten on the road in all competitions this season, they have failed to find the target in three of their last four top-flight fixtures.

Martinez has attempted to ease the pressure off Romelu Lukaku, but it is not unreasonable to expect a striker who cost close to £30m to score more frequently.

The 22-year-old Belgian is without a goal in four games since his brace against Barnsley in the League Cup and has not registered in the Premier League since doing so twice at Southampton at the beginning of last month.

Lukaku did enjoy a prolific loan spell at the Hawthorns three seasons ago, though, and netted in this fixture last season – a game the visitors won 2-0.

Everton are 7/5 to claim all three points this time around, while their powerful striker is 10/1 to score first in a defeat for his former club.

But the game is likely to be decided by who defends the best and a draw (9/4) is perhaps the most probable result.

Three of the last four meetings between the sides have ended all square, while Albion have not beaten the visitors for more than three years.

Their chances of success in both this game and the season, however, are much greater with Berahino back in the team.

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