Having exchanged the 5th and 6th positions in the past two seasons, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton will fight it out at the White Hart Lane on to inch closer to the European places with both sides lying just inside the top half of the table on 17 points apiece with Spur’s negative goal difference only slightly worse than Everton’s.
Both sides though have picked up crucial wins over the recent weeks improving from a woeful start to the season and both managers will be gunning for a win when they clash. The two sides secured their passage to the Europa League knockout stages with victories on Thursday, though the hangover of a midweek match could play its part come Sunday.
Kyle Naughton will serve the second of his two-game suspension and with the Kyle Walker injured, Eric Dier is expected to start at right back.
Etienne Capoue, Andros Townsend, Danny Rose, Nacer Chadli and Emmanuel Adebayor are all doubts and will undergo late fitness tests before the match.
Younes Kaboul has missed out on Spur’s last two games because of personal reasons and is a doubt for Sunday’s game as well.
Steven Naismith, Leighton Baines (both hamstring), Gareth Barry (ankle) and Steven Pienaar (knee) were not part of Everton’s squad for Thursday’s game and are doubts for the trip to London.
James McCarthy was forced off with a hamstring injury in Germany and will definitely miss out along with John Stones, Antolin Alcaraz, Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson.
Arouna Kone meanwhile returned to first team plans for the first time in over a year and will be available on Sunday.
Everton: 4-2-3-1: Howard; Coleman, Distin, Jagielka, Hibbert; Besic, Osman; McGeady, Barkley, Mirallas; Lukaku
Spurs: 4-2-3-1 Lloris; Dier, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose; Dembele, Mason; Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli; Kane
Tottenham Hotspur have scored in their last 13 games in all competitions while Everton have failed to score in just one of their 12 games in the Premier League this season.
Following their four Europa League group stage matches before this Thursday, both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton have won only once each on the succeeding Sunday with three and two defeats respectively.
Tottenham Hotspur are 17th in the home table in the Premier League with just two wins and four defeats from their six games while Everton are 5th in the away table with two wins and three draws.
This will be Tottenham Hotspur’s 31st Premier League game on a Sunday since the beginning of last season.
Tottenham Hotspur haven’t picked up a single Premier League point at home for almost two months having last won in the first week of October when they beat Southampton 1-0.
Three of the last five wins for Tottenham Hotspur have won came from 90th minute winners.
Everton are on an eight match unbeaten run in all competitions and have lost just once in their last seven Premier League games.
Everton have made the six errors leading to goal, a league highest.
In last 13 PL meetings between the two sides, only once have the two teams been separated by more than one goal.
Last five meetings
09 Feb 2014 Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 0 Everton Premier League
03 Nov 2013 Everton 0 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur Premier League
07 Apr 2013 Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 2 Everton Premier League
09 Dec 2013 Everton 2 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur Premier League
10 Mar 2012 Everton 1 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur Premier League
Tottenham: Erik Lamela
The Argentine has become a regular fixture in Mauricio Pochettino’s side having started 10 games in the league so far after just three starts in the entire last season. Particularly impressing in the Europa League as he did against Partizan with his silky skills and neat footwork, the 22-year-old will be once again looking to bag his first goal for Spurs when they host Everton. He will be especially more of a threat if the Baines can’t prove his fitness before the match and the visitors start with Tony Hibbert out at left back. Lamela has registered 4 assists in the league so far and averages almost 2 key passes per game. With his outstanding dribbling skills which have seen him complete three take-ons per game, and a knack for the audacious, he will be the main threat for Spurs in their quest for three points.
Everton: Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku has two goals in his last two games and four from his last six starts for Everton after a slow start to the campaign. He leads the charts in the Premier League, and proved on Thursday that he can be a big threat on the break when he collected Mirallas’ pass before outmuscling two defenders and finishing expertly. He then returned the favour to his compatriot for their side’s second goal and at White Hart Lane, Lukaku will be Everton’s main outlet as they look to repeat their performance from their Europa League game. With three shots per game on an average, Martinez will be expecting more of the same from Everton’s club record signing as the season progresses and Sunday presents the perfect opportunity to pile more misery to Spurs in London.
Fixtures between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton have been historically tight affairs and this one should also pan out along the same lines. Both the sides only had a two-day gap since their Europa League wins on Thursday night and with Spurs having a relatively larger squad to choose from, the rotation could prove vital come Sunday. Everton though are on the back of two impressive performances this past week and Roberto Martinez’s men have enough about them to eke out their first win at White Hart Lane for six years.