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EVERTON v ALBION; KEY MEN: PHIL JAGIELKA v SHANE LONG.

IT wasn't the greatest start for Shane Long last weekend but a lot is expected of the Ireland international this season.

Deprived of service, low key and lacking his usual spark, the ex-Reading man failed to make an impact against Southampton.

But he will fancy it against Everton tomorrow, not least as the Toffees are still adjusting to life under new boss Roberto Martinez.

Long has a decent return in previous Premier League campaigns but there is a feeling he can add more to his tally this season.

STATS.................. ||Everton have dropped just four points from a possible 21 from their seven Premier League home meetings with Albion.

The Baggies have failed to score a goal in four of their last six Premier League games away from home.

SHORT & TWEET Rachel Catherine: Scott Sinclair is gonna be an incredible signing! Steven B: Hopefully the arrival of Sinclair will give WBA fresh impetus ahead of trip to Everton. Not been a good week.

Boba FEtt: Hopefully Sinclair will hit his Swansea form pretty quickly if he joins us.

Trying to stop him will be Everton's backline. One of the biggest criticisms of Martinez's time at Wigan was the ease with which his Latics side - ultimately relegated - conceded goals.

Even so, you'd expect the likes of Phil Jagielka to be ready for that period of change.

The England defender has been a key member of Everton's defence.

Long boasts strength, pace and finishing; Jagielka brings consistency and experience.

It should be an intriguing sideshow.

FORM BOOK WHO'S HOT: Matej Vydra looked lively and buoyant when he came on last week.

WHO'S NOT: Take your pick, though Claudio Yacob's ball retention was particularly poor last weekend. Claudio Yacob.

LAST FIVE GAMES EVERTON...................LDLWD ALBION....................WLWWL ALBION (from): Foster, Myhill, Reid, Jones, Dawson, Tamas, McAuley, Lugano, Olsson, Morrison, Yacob, Dorrans, Mulumbu, Brunt, Berahino, Rosenberg, Long, Vydra. Injured: Gera (knee), Thorne (knee). To be confirmed: Sinclair.

Referee: R East (Wiltshire). FORECAST: Defeat LAST TIME THEY MET January 30, 2013, Everton 2 Albion 1: Leighton Baines fired Everton into a twogoal lead, the second from the penalty spot, to prolong Albion's dip in form.

Shane Long scored on 65 minutes but Albion were unable to find a way back.

PLAYING BY NUMBERS 26 the age of Claudio Yacob, Albion's youngest player against Southampton 1 the number of shots recorded by Albion last weekend.

4 goals scored by Albion, in their last victory over Everton, in November 2010.

HOW THEY STAND P W D L F A Pt Chelsea 2 200 41 6 ManCity 1 100 40 3 ManUtd 1 100 41 3 WestHam 1 100 20 3 AstonVilla 2 101 43 3 Fulham 1 100 10 3 Liverpool 1 100 10 3 Southampton 1 100 10 3 Spurs 1 100 10 3 Everton 1 010 22 1 Norwich 1 010 22 1 CrystalPalace 1 001 010 Stoke 1 001 010 Sunderland 1 001 010 West Brom 1 001 010 Arsenal 1 001 13 0 diff 1 001 02 0 Hull 1 001 02 0 Swansea 1 001 14 0 Newcastle 1 001 04 0
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 23, 2013
Words:518
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