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Everton v West Bromwich Albion: Preview
Published : 26 Nov 2010 19:08:40
Everton boss David Moyes hopes the return of injury-plagued Victor Anichebe can help solve his team's goalscoring problems.
The 22-year-old is back in contention for the first time this season after overcoming a knee injury - the latest in a series of problems - suffered during the summer.
Anichebe scored for the reserves in the `mini derby' against Liverpool in midweek and could now feature as West Brom visit Goodison Park in Barclays Premier League.
His availability increases Moyes' options as he looks to remedy the problem of the Toffees' misfiring front line.
Only two of Everton's goals - one each from Ayegbeni Yakubu and Jermaine Beckford - have come from strikers in 14 league games this term.
Moyes said: "Victor got a game in the reserves, which was good.
"It's good to get him back in the fold, he is an important player for us.
"If we can get him back fit he can do a job for us.
"He has not played much football recently but he gives us other options we have not had.
"He did really well in pre-season and he was going to give us something different to have around the team."
Everton supporters have seen little of the Nigerian-born academy product over the last two years.
Prior to this season Anichebe was out for 11 months after suffering knee injury in February 2009 and then had another spell out towards the end of last term with a rib problem.
Moyes added: "He has been in and around the team for four or five years so he is not really a young lad.
"The frustration will come from his injuries and, in truth, he's been injured for the best part of two years now.
"He came into the team last year and had a good spell. We hope when he comes in he is ready to do well again."
Midfielder Marouane Fellaini is again missing as he serves the final match of his three-game ban for his red card against Bolton.
Meanwhile, West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie feels that his team's great start to the season is partly responsible for their lack of points in recent matches.
The Baggies have only picked up one point from their last five league games, and Odemwingie believes this is because teams are no longer underestimating them.
He said: "After a good start, teams are coming to us, playing more defensively and we are finding it difficult to open them up.
"Every success has its effect, teams are not underrating us and it has become more difficult.
"I don't think we are playing badly. We've been a bit unlucky and had a few injuries and suspensions.
"We just need to add a little bit of extra effort which will bring the goals that got us the points.
"We did show we can play and beat any team, so they started looking at us more seriously and that makes things more difficult.
"It's something we have to learn and be ready for because if we get back to playing well it's going to happen again, but we'll know how to respond."
The Nigerian international added that the squad had addressed their recent form in team meetings.
"We had a few meetings this week, and how we react is what's important," he said.
"We just reminded ourselves of our targets, had an open discussion about how we felt as a team, and asked if anyone has ideas about how we can correct the situation and start winning.
"The team spirit is still there. There were no quarrels, people who had opinions spoke them and we have to now use those to get back to where we were."
West Brom are waiting on the fitness of Chris Brunt ahead of the match.
Brunt is a doubt due to the groin injury which kept him out of last Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to Stoke.
However, James Morrison (back) and Steven Reid (Achilles) are expected to be fit to play for Albion.