Having revelled in their side’s eighth-place finish in the Premier League last season, thanks largely to on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku’s 17-goal tally, feelings of bitterness from West Brom fans will be forgiven ahead of the big Belgian’s return to the Hawthorns with Everton.
The Baggies are scratching around for striker’s at the moment, with Shane Long packed off to Hull for £7m and summer signings Stephane Sessegnon and Victor Anichebe both facing late fitness tests ahead of the Toffees clash.
Not that they will be especially missed, as the trio have managed three less goals in the league between them than Lukaku’s haul at this stage of the 2012/13 campaign.
The Antwerp native – who’s still only 20-years-old – began his temporary stay on Merseyside with a bang, helping himself to five goals in his first six games for Everton.
He’s been somewhat less impressive of late, scoring four times in his last ten appearances, but back on his old stomping ground Lukaku rates a great prospect to bag his fourth top-flight opener of the campaign at enhanced 11/2 odds from 9/2.
West Brom have been desperately slow starters in the Premier League this term, conceding the first goal in eight of their last nine fixtures in the division.
New Baggies boss Pepe Mel may have had 11 days since being appointed to drill his new charges, but a glance at the former Real Betis boss’ last few outings as a manager is unlikely to fill the Hawthorns faithful with much cheer.
Betis shipped 10 goals in Mel’s final three matches as chief, including a last minute equaliser in a 2-2 home draw with Madrid minnows Rayo Vallecano, which was the final nail in the 50-year-old’s Estadio Benito Villamarin coffin.
With injuries to defensive reinforcements Goran Popov and Billy Jones leaving the Baggies threadbare at the back, Lukaku can take advantage and mark his return to the Midlands with a back-to-form opener, while ruining Mel’s West Brom welcome in the process.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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