Pile on the Cole(man)

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: January 19 2014, 14:36 GMT

Andy Schooler previews Monday's Barclays Premier League clash between Everton and WBA and expects another away win.

Seamus Coleman: Too big a price to claim the Man of the Match award
Seamus Coleman: Too big a price to claim the Man of the Match award

Everton have one of the meanest defences in the league and the Baggies have been struggling for goals which means Andy can only see this game going one way while our pundit believes that Seamus Coleman can take the eye.

West Brom v Everton (2000 GMT)

Punters can tend to place a lot of faith in the new manager 'bounce' effect.

The theory is that teams, or rather their players, suddenly find something extra upon the arrival of a new manager, eager to earn the new man's faith.

While some evidence can be provided to prove this, what isn't in doubt is that the 'bounce' effect is overplayed in the media and subsequently by punters and fans.

And just take a look at what's happened this season at the clubs around the Baggies who have also pulled the trigger and turned to a new man.

Tony Pulis' first game in charge of Palace brought a 1-0 defeat at Norwich; Sunderland, under Gus Poyet, tumbled to a 4-0 loss at Swansea; and Fulham, having replaced Martin Jol with Rene Meulensteen, lost at home to Spurs in the new man's first match at the helm.

It is worth bearing this in mind when it comes to Monday's Premier League game between West Brom and Everton which sees Pepe Mel take charge of the Baggies for the first time.

Having had a week to introduce his ideas, Mel should have his team well prepared. The problem is they are undoubtedly up against a very good side in this game and the Spaniard's arrival at The Hawthorns isn't enough to turn me away from the Blues.

One of the many factors Roberto Martinez has improved at Everton is their away form. They've only lost at Manchester City (who hasn't?) and they have already collected 17 away points. That's just four fewer than they earned in the whole of last season under David Moyes.

In the last six weeks they've won at Manchester United, drawn at Arsenal, beaten Swansea and last time out earned a late point at Stoke.

A solid defence, the joint best in the top flight, has been retained from the Moyes era and always makes them difficult to beat. Recently, they've only conceded six goals in their 10 games since that crazy Merseyside derby back in November.

That's a defensive record which has been achieved even without Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin at times, with youngster John Stones impressing when given his chance. Jagielka, undoubtedly one of the league's best defenders, is now back and with West Brom having struggled for goals, the 16/5 on offer about an away win to nil looks tempting.

The Toffees have posted such wins at Manchester United and Aston Villa this season and should have done the same at Cardiff where a poor decision denied them a penalty in a game they dominated but only drew 0-0.

Another price which I can't resist getting involved with is the 16/1 about Seamus Coleman winning the man of the match award.

Long-term Betting Zone followers will already know my theory when it comes to this market. Given the winner will be chosen by a Sky Sports pundit, you want to look towards players in the news and Coleman's eyecatching performances - and goals - in recent times mean he fits the bill.

It's easy to see Gary Neville - himself a right-back - zoning in on Coleman pre-match which makes the pundit at the ground even more likely to keep a good eye on the marauding Irishman.

Paddy Power's 16/1 quote is too big for me - he's 8/1 elsewhere - and should be taken before it disappears.

The main danger would appear to be Romelu Lukaku given he's up against the team he played for last season.

As a result, the Belgian will obviously come into focus but he's short enough as the 13/2 favourite and certainly his form isn't currently at its peak.

After 10 goals in his first 10 games in blue, Lukaku has one in his last eight.

Part of that solid defence, Coleman's form is much better, even in the scoring stakes, where he's bagged five in his last 10.

Opta stats:

Everton have won four and lost just one of the last six meetings with West Brom in all competitions.

WBA (9) and Everton (8) have drawn more games than any other team in the Premier League this season.

Everton defenders have contributed 10 goals this season, as many as West Brom's strikers have (10) and more than the strikers at 11 other clubs.

  • The match is being televised live in the UK by Sky Sports.

  • Posted at 1232 GMT on 19/01/2014.