David Moyes will go into Saturday’s match against Tottenham looking to inspire his team to their first victory in five attempts. The Toffees have come unstuck in the last month and only picked up six points out of a possible 15. The Goodison Park outfit have broken tradition this season by putting together an impressive run of results and despite a poor showing in November, sit just outside the Champions League places.
The visitors for the late afternoon kick-off have impressed lately following a shaky start to the season, following a summer overhaul that saw the departures of key players and the arrival of a new manager. The Lilywhites are on a three game winning streak and boss Andre Vilas-Boas will be looking to extend that run.
Despite having conceded in every home game of the season so far since the opening day and without a win in four matches, the bookmakers have made Everton the favourites. The Spurs team will be without their talisman Gareth Bale and will be weary following their mid-week exploits in the Europa League.
Nikica Jelavic goal’s in the 22nd minute proved to be difference when the two sides met earlier this year at Goodison Park.
The previous five meetings between the two sides suggest that they have been evenly matched. Spurs and Everton have each recorded two wins and played out a goal-scoring draw.
History suggests that goals are to be expected, as only once in their last five fixtures have either side failed to score.
Everton don’t have any new injury concerns and will be expected to field a similar line up to the one that played against the reigning champions.
Kevin Mirallas has not fully recovered from his hamstring injury and is unlikely to feature on the wing. Steven Pienaar though is a certainty to play against his former club.
Tottenham will be dented on their attacking front owing to the absence of Gareth Bale who was subbed off last week due to a hamstring injury. Michael Dawson is also on the side-lines due to a similar complaint.
Without the presence of Bale, the onus will fall upon Jermaine Defoe to lead the attacking play and make things happen. The England international has been in fine form this season and has got nine goals to his name already this season. The forward has repaid the faith shown in him by Vilas-Boas and is only two goals shy of matching last season’s tally.
David Moyes’ tactic to push Marouane Fellaini into an advanced role behind the striker has proved to be an inspired bit of management. The Belgian’s return of eight goals in 13 matches has come at just the right time for the Toffees with front man Jelavic in the midst of a barren spell. The Belgian’s strength and dominance in the air has given Everton an additional option going forward and this has seen him create 22 chances already this season compared to last season’s 25.
David Moyes’ charges may be going through a lean phase in the league but on their day they can be a match for anyone, as four points out of a possible six against the Manchester clubs proves. The return of influential midfielder Moussa Dembele has given Tottenham stability in the midfield again and this sets up an intriguing contest in the middle of the park. Both sides carry a genuine threat going forward so goals should be expected.
Everton 2-2 Tottenham
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