Roberto Martinez believes this weekend’s match against West Bromwich Albion at the DW Stadium will be one of the toughest his side have played so far this season.
Steve Clarke’s team are on the back of a Monday night win against Southampton at the Hawthorns and despite not winning away from home yet in the campaign do occupy fifth spot in the Barclays Premier League with 17 points.
Martinez said: “We’re looking forward to the next game this weekend knowing that we’re facing a team who sit high in the table on merit.
“West Brom have had a phenomenal start to the season and if anything they perhaps deserve to have more points on the board than they do already.
“They have a strong unit of players who have been together for a long time now and Steve Clarke has brought a new approach to the team which has proved very successful.
“They have real flexibility in their team and use the counter-attack to their advantage with players like Peter Odemwingie who can exploit the space he finds together with the likes of Shane Long.
“We’re delighted with the result we picked up last weekend and with the consistency we’ve found in our performances lately, so we’re exciting about the next challenge which will arguably be one of the toughest this season.”
Ryo Miyaichi missed last weekend’s trip to White Hart Lane with a pubic injury and the Gaffer believes this weekend could again come too soon for the Japanese international but is encouraged with the 19-year-old’s rehabilitation, saying:
“Ryo is progressing really well but he is yet to join the group yet, that’s something we’re hoping he can do next week, perhaps from Monday in time to be available for the Liverpool match.
“Antolin Alcaraz is still progressing well but won’t be available and James McArthur is 50-50 and we won’t know until our final sessions of the week.”