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Everton manager Roberto Martinez will be out to see a defensive improvement from the Toffee’s when they travel to the Hawthorns to face WBA.

The Blues boss saw his side ship 6 goals at home to Chelsea last time out and he will be to avoid a repeat preformance against Alan Irvine’s side.

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“I thought we adapted well to each challenge in each of our first three games, but we have been slack in our defensive duties” Martinez said.

“That is something we need to correct. Our attacking play has been pleasing.

“It has been a surprise because we haven’t lost any personnel, or any players from that back five.

“In the goalkeeper and the back four, we’ve got incredible experience – more than 1,100 Premier League appearances between them and that’s quite a feat.

“We had 15 clean sheets last season, we’ve been very strong in the way we defend as a team and it’s been one of those situations where everything that could have gone wrong in our box has gone wrong”

“But in the same way, we can’t wait to get back the standards that we have defensively.

“We’re quite aware of what we have to improve, but the margins are very small.

“It’s not a need for a drastic revolution. We knew we were so good in that area that probably we relaxed a little bit and got punished.”

Everton will come up against a former defender on Saturday with Joleon Lescott set to make his debut for the Baggies. The former City defender moved to the midlands on a free transfer during the summer and is finally fit following a knee injury.

WBA could be without midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu however after the midfielder was injured on international duty with the Democratic Republic of Congo while Ben Foster (thumb), Gareth McAuley (ankle) and Graham Dorrans (heel) are all expected to be fit.

Victor Anichebe (groin) is a doubt while Sebastien Pocognoli (thigh) has resumed training and could feature.

Everton are hoping that Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar and Samuel Eto’o shake off minor knocks to feature however Ross Barkley, Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Kone are all definitely out with knee injuries.

Everton has yet to win this season after draws with Leicester and Arsenal not to mention the defeat to Chelsea while WBA sit one place below their weekend visitors in 18th after a similar run of results in their opening 3 games.

Trevor Keane

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.

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