After qualifying for the knockout stage of the Europa League on Thursday, Spurs will be looking to continue their winning run in the Premier League when they travel to Everton.
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur
Date: Sunday, 9 December 2012
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Stadium: Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: Kevin Friend
It’s been a good couple of weeks for Spurs. They have been on a winning run ever since beating West Ham at White Hart Lane a fortnight ago. Thursday’s win over Panathinaikos also ensured Spurs’ involvement in the Europa League’s round of 32.
After beating both Liverpool and Fulham last week Villas-Boas’ men will take on Everton. After a great start to their season the Merseyside outfit have faded in recent weeks. They have only managed to win one of their last five games (2-1 against Sunderland), drawing three and losing one. This includes two draws in reasonably tough fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester City. Everton played well in both games and were unlucky not to clinch the 3 points in either of the two games.
Spurs will be without Gareth Bale who is sidelined due to a hamstring injury. Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto will also be sidelined for the clash at Goodison Park but are expected to return to the fold next week. Younes Kaboul is still recovering from a knee injury.
Michael Dawson is a doubt for Sunday after he limped off with a hamstring strain at Fulham last week.
Hugo Lloris is expected to return in goal after he was rested for Thursday’s Europa League match against Panathinaikos.
Victor Anichebe will be sidelined for Sunday’s game because of a hamstring injury. Belgian attacking winger Kevin Mirallas could make his return after recovering from a hamstring injury. Seamus Coleman will face a late fitness test after picking up a knock.
Club captain Phil Neville is out long-term since he underwent knee surgery mid November. He is not expected back before mid January.
- Everton and Spurs have faced each other 40 times in the Premier League.
- Spurs won 19 times, drew 14 and lost 7.
- Spurs have lost twice and drawn 3 times in their last 5 visits to Goodison Park .
- Spurs last won at Goodison Park in February 2007.
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- Spurs have won 35%, drawn 25% and lost 40% of their last 20 away games.
- Everton have won 55%, drawn 30% and lost 15% of their last 20 home games.
- Spurs have won 7, drawn 9 and lost 4 of the last 20 stagings of this fixture, outscoring their opponents by 20 goals to 17.
- Spurs have scored 1 goal or less in 10 of their last 20 away games.
- Everton have scored twice or more in 45% of their last 20 home games.
- Everton have conceded exactly 1 goal in 45% of their last 20 home games.
- Everton have scored in 18 of their last 20 home games, going on to win 11, draw 6 and lose 1.
- Everton last conceded more than 2 goals at home 34 games ago.
- Spurs have only kept 1 clean sheet on the road all season.
- The last 20 Spurs away matches have produced an average of 3.00 goals per game.
- Everton have scored first in 13 of their last 20 home games, going on to win 9, draw 3 and lose 1 of these matches.
- Everton have conceded the most goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season (6), while Spurs have conceded the fewest (0)
- Jermain Defoe has scored 23% of the Spurs goals in their last 20 away games.
- Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar are most likely to open the score for Everton.
Total Tottenham Prediction
This could prove to be a key game come May. Contrary to their reputation as slow starters, Everton have gathered enough points early doors to mount a serious top 4 challenge this season. David Moyes will be very keen to take points off direct rivals in the race for a top 4 finish. Spurs will obviously be looking to do the same.
This leads me to believe this is either going to be an absolute slugfest of a match or a cautious, tightly contested affair with few goals. The first 30 minutes of this game will be key. If it remains goalless after 30 minutes there won’t be much action until half-time and both teams will start the second half with extreme caution. However, if there will be goal(s) in the first 30 minutes I can see this turn out to be a belter of a game. Whoever concedes first will go all out to try and equalise before half-time, which will result in plenty of counter-attacking opportunities for the leading team.
I don’t see Spurs putting in many crosses without Gareth Bale in the team and with Leighton Baines opposite to Aaron Lennon. He will probably have to do plenty of defensive work since Baines is known for liking to bomb forward. However, this also leaves space for one of our attacking players to drift into down the right-hand side. Either Clint Dempsey or Jermain Defoe should be looking to exploit the space left by the attacking Baines.
Our defence will be in for a tough time during set-pieces. Both Nikica Jelavic and Marouane Fellaini provide significant aerial threat. Therefore, I hope we start both Steven Caulker and Jan Vertonghen in the centre of defence as they are our best headers (in the absence of Dawson). Sandro is a good match to the equally tough-tackling Fellaini, although he’s definitely the worse header of the two.
We should boss central midfield as I don’t rate Leon Osman and Darren Gibson at all. If Adebayor starts he will regularly drop deep and create a numerical advantage half-way in Everton’s half. Dembélé will have to work his magic to unlock their defence and provide service for our attacking players. I fancy Defoe against a pretty slow Sylvain Distin. A quick through-ball could catch Distin out flat-footed and put Defoe one-on-one with goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Final score: 1-1
Everton to open the score in the opening 30 minutes of the first half through a set-piece. Spurs to equalise early on in the second half. It will be a tight affair until the end. A quick response by Everton after Spurs’ equaliser could trigger AVB to go gung-ho all guns blazing, to equalise again, and maybe even nick the win. Otherwise we’ll try to shut up shop and maybe hit them on the break, but I can’t see us take all 3 points. A draw will be a good result away from home against a direct competitor for a top 4 finish though.