Premier League: Everton close gap, WBA continue to show weaknesses

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Ronald Koeman has got every Everton player singing from the same hymn sheet right now. After a blip towards the tail end of 2016, his players have since got their heads down – some even signing new contracts) – and their results of late can’t be bettered by anyone in the division.

They’re beginning to really live up to their favourites tag now too, in games they should be winning, while continuing to take points off the so-called ‘Top Six’.

And such a fine run in the Premier League has seen the Toffees climb to within two points of Manchester United, and five off a top four spot.

Granted, they’ve played two games more than the Red Devils, but take nothing away from the Merseyside outfit’s performances since the turn of the year.

The future is looking very bright indeed at Goodison Park, and fans will be hoping Koeman is here for a little while longer.

Everton defeated eighth-placed West Bromwich Albion this weekend. And while any Baggies supporter will have snapped your hand off at that position back in August, we’re beginning to see a familiar trend for Tony Pulis’ men.

Yes, they tend to be gertting the job done against the majority of sides below them in the division. And yes, they’re well on course to make this their best ever campaign in the Premier League in terms of points won.

But if we had to pick a fault, it’s that the Baggies have simply crumbled against the big sides in the division thus far, and there’s plenty of work to do before the Baggies can push on to the next level.

In fact, the nine games they’ve already played against sides currently above them in the league read as follows…

LDLLLLLLL.

And in that time, they’ve scored just three goals and conceded a staggering 20 (over half the amount they’ve conceded all campaign).

Take nothing away from Pulis and his squad as a whole this season, and if they keep hold of their current position in the table between now and May, there’ll be plenty of calls for the former Stoke City boss being in contention for the Manager of the Year award.

But it’s certainly food for thought in terms of going forward.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.