Everton take on Tottenham Hotspur this weekend with both sides desperate for the points at Goodison Park having both endured poor runs of late.
Marco Silva’s men recovered somewhat from last weekend’s defeat at Brighton with a Carabao Cup victory over Watford on Tuesday night, but the Toffees boss needs to find some consistency in the Premier League.
The heart-breaking last minute defeat on the south coast last weekend was Everton’s fifth in six games and yet another example of how they are seemingly unable to hold on from winning positions under the guidance of Silva.
The Portuguese arrived at Goodison in 2018, supposedly as Everton’s savior, a long-time target of the club that would finally lift the Merseyside club out of Liverpool’s shadow and into the spotlight.
A heavy summer of investment which saw the likes of Moise Kean, Alex Iwobi and Jean Philippe-Gbamin arrive at Goodison Park, giving plenty of reason for optimism around a club which has harboured top-four ambitions ever since David Moyes departed to manage Manchester United in 2013.
But there has been little or no sign of any kind of revival with Everton currently sitting 16th in the Premier League, with ten points from as many matches with the home win over West Ham back in October the only high point for Blues fans of late.
Of course, it’s still early in the season and a good run of results could see Everton move up the table and with games against Norwich and Southampton to come ahead of a difficult looking December, so a draw here might not be a bad result – while a draw without goals between two struggling sides can be backed at 12.00.*
It’s not much better for spurs either, who are without a win in their last three league outings, most recently losing on 2-1 to Liverpool at Anfiled last Sunday and they head back to Merseyside just seven days later – the first time they have had such a double-header in 40 years.
Tottenham are only two points above the Toffees in 11th after going down at Liverpool last weekend, despite leading inside a minute through Harry Kane’s opportunistic header.
That was a third defeat in five Premier League matches for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who were also held to a 1-1 draw at home by Watford and only just scraped past Southampton 2-1.
You get the feeling that something needs to click for Pochettino and his side sooner rather than later if they are to salvage what has been a disappointing season so far and a win here could just be the catalyst for a mid-season revival – with a Spurs win and both teams to score available at 4.10.*
Everton will monitor the fitness of defender Yerry Mina after he was forced off against Watford in midweek with an ongoing knee problem while while Jean-Philippe Gbamin remains sidelined and winger Bernard is out after damaging knee ligaments last weekend.
Tottenham left-back Danny Rose will miss the trip to Merseyside after accumulating five yellow cards while Jan Vertonghen’s hamstring problem will be assessed and Erik Lamela again misses out with a thigh problem.