Chris Hughton pens his regular dossier on forthcoming opponents, this time West Brom in the FA Cup 4th round replay at the Lane on Saturday evening, kick-off 5.30pm.
IT IS UNUSUAL assessing the threat of a team so soon after playing them, but one change West Brom have to make might work in our favour. In the original tie we felt their best player was probably the lad Greening who played very well. He is out suspended, which is certainly a plus for us when you consider his quality and ability to get the ball into the box.
What West Brom have had over the last five or six games is the best footballing spell they have produced this season. Looking at the Norwich game - and I also spoke to Gary Doherty during the week - they played very well and were very unlucky not to get something from the game.
So it is a difficult time for us to play them as they are in form in terms of performance, but it is a home game, an opportunity to secure another home tie and I would like to think we can finish it off.
In the first game Bryan Robson opted to play with Earnshaw and Kanu up front with Campbell on the bench, which took us a little bit by surprise. We were aware they had a vital game against Crystal Palace on the Tuesday and, in hindsight, it wasn't such a big surprise as Campbell has not played regularly at Everton and was likely to play against Palace.
I'd like to think we go into the game with added confidence following the win over Portsmouth on Saturday. We have to take advantage of playing at home, we were good against Pompey and it was a display that pleased the crowd. With Mido scoring the two goals and Robbie netting like he did, the fans were on a high and that always plays a big part.
It has been an international week and time is short to prepare for the game. I think it affects us more than West Brom with the amount of players we've had away, but it is part and parcel of the game and we are certainly not the only side that will go into Saturday only having one preparation day.
It is a 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday and our routine will not be dramatically different, just set back a little bit. On a normal day we would have a pre-match meal at 11.30am having had breakfast earlier in the morning. We'll have to knock things back and the pre-match meal will be at 2pm and the breakfast at 11am might be a little bigger than they would normally have.
It is different, I must admit, our last late game was at Blackburn and it does feel unusual. You have to cope with it and it is exactly the same for both teams.