Everton will return to Goodison Park for Wednesday night’s fixture where they host Hull City, after a couple of away games in Wolfsburg and London. The Toffees will be determined to make amends at home, after the narrow 2-1 loss at Tottenham and pick up some much needed points to close the gap on the Champions League places. That away defeat put an end to their five game unbeaten streak and with the side currently placed tenth in the league table having accrued 17 points from a possible 39, Martinez will have to get his side back to winning ways at this crucial stage of the season and pile the pressure on the teams that are around them.
It’s all going catastrophic for the Tigers and Steve Bruce. Certainly a decent side on paper, too good to be relegation fodder, Hull are heading the wrong direction in a month as pivotal as December and are under some serious pressure now to turn the corner. After another hapless performance at Old Trafford where the side looked uninterested throughout the game barring maybe the first five minutes of the second half, Hull ended up losing 0-3, their 6th defeat in 13 games. Everton away from home is always a tough proposition for any side in the Premier League and it could not not get any worse for the away side, who are now struggling to find their form.
Everton bagged all 3 points in this fixture last season, when they beat Hull City 2-1 , thanks to a Steven Pienaar winner twelve minutes into the second half.
The home side have got as many as 6 players now on their emergency table that includes midfielders McCarthy and Gibson who are still sidelined due to a hamstring problem and are doubtful to even be available for selection. Bryan Oviedo is still recovering from his minor leg surgery and young defender John Stones will also miss out on Wednesday’s encounter with an ankle problem.
Steve Bruce has got a large squad to choose from for Wednesday as the only notable absentee is Robert Snodgrass who is out for the next 5 months with a knee injury.
Everton have been scoring more often than they usually do, with the side finding the net 23 times already, more than the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal.
Hull City’s longest unbeaten streak this season is 3.
Everton have let in 21 goals this season already, same as the bottom two sides in Leicester City and Burnley.
Seamus Coleman – Everton
Seamus Coleman had a brilliant season last year, where he established himself as one of the league’s best full-backs, contributing to the numbers at both ends of the pitch and the success of the football club as a whole. Arguably the most important player for Everton right now given their affinity to work the ball down the flanks and stretch defences plus cross the ball in areas which are practically indefensible, making use of the aerial prowess of Lukaku and Eto’o. He’s already created 11 chances from open play this term, and has generally showed his ability to keep possession and distribute the ball with a 88% pass success. Coleman’s also been a major part of Everton’s defence which has not been solid this season, he’s won 66% of his duels on an average. If Coleman can push on and hit the heights of last season, he could definitely prove a threat to most teams in the league, and would be vital to Everton’s chances of finishing higher than they did last season.
Jake Livermore – Hull City
Livermore has been one of the better players at Hull this season and one his teammates often look up to for some inspiration during the game. With Huddlestone sidelined, Livermore has taken up the mantle of anchoring the midfield and launching attacks which he has been doing for the side quite well of late. With a creditable passing accuracy of 85% and an average pass length of 18m, he’s displayed his qualities on the ball in most of the games he’s involved in. Off the ball, he’s accustomed to doing the dirty work, with 3 average defensive actions per game, Jake Livermore has been an all-round player for the Tigers and Steve Bruce. Having created 8 chances already, he got himself on the score-sheet once against Spurs and will be looking to add to his tally on Wednesday. If Hull are to get anything out of this game, then Livermore will have to be on his game to help his side do so.
A victory that would lift the mood at the Goodison.
Everton 3-1 Hull City