Tottenham head into a crucial two weeks that will shape how Jose Mourinho is viewed within the wider footballing world. Within the fan base, he has lost all confidence and they will be hoping that there is a managerial change before their return to stadiums. On Friday night, they travel to Everton, with both teams needing a win to keep their slim hopes of top four alive. In the first meeting of the season, the Toffees ran out 1-0 winners in North London, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the score-sheet. A similar result on Friday will ramp up the pressure on Mourinho.
It has been an encouraging season for Everton, but Carlo Ancelotti may reflect on it as a missed opportunity. The Toffees have only won five of their 15 home matches and in recent weeks, they have dropped points to Newcastle United, Fulham, Burnley and Crystal Palace. They are seven points below fourth place and supporters believe that they could have challenged with greater consistency in home matches. There will be faith in the manager that he can push on in the next 24 months, but a strong finish to the season could result in European qualification and give them confidence to take in the summer.
Spurs are unlikely to have momentum to take into the summer, regardless of how they end. In the next two weeks, they have two winnable Premier League matches and a Carabao Cup final. Three victories would provide a shine to the season, but they do need to qualify for next season’s Champions League if Mourinho will be able to claim the campaign as a successful one. In their current form, it seems difficult to back them to win three successive matches. The mood music within the fan-base and media is slowly changing, with the likely result being a managerial change in the summer.
Everton have taken just four points from their last six home matches.
Tottenham have now conceded eight goals in their last four matches across all competitions.
It has been a good start to 2021 for Richarlison as he is starting to emerge a more consistent goal threat for Carlo Ancelotti. There has been a decision made to place the Brazilian in a more central role closer to Calvert-Lewin and he has reaped the rewards. He is currently in the midst of a barren run of five matches without a goal, but prior to this, he scored in four successive matches. Everton will be looking for the 23-year-old to get back to his best and there is a vulnerability in the Tottenham back four to exploit. This season has been a mixed one for the former Watford forward. His return of six goals and three assists is lower than he would have aimed for. It is now unlikely that he will match his 13-goal haul that he managed in his first season at Goodison Park. That said, he remains a key player for the Merseyside club and he will be hoping to play a big part on Friday.
There have been rumours building about his long term future, as some believe he will push for a move away if Tottenham fail to qualify for the Champions League. At the age of 27, he will know that he is reaching the peak of his powers and he has the ambition to win major honours. The England captain is yet to lift a trophy in his senior career and he has the quality to play at the very top of the professional game, as shown by his goal-scoring record in the Champions League. This season, he has evolved into a more complete player, with 19 goals and 13 assists in the Premier League. He is a contender to finish as the leading goal-scorer and assister, while Spurs have an outside chance of finishing in the top four. There will be motivation, both personal and team-based, for Kane to finish the season in good form.
Jordan Pickford is likely to be available to return to the team, while it is hoped that Allan, Calvert-Lewin and Josh King will be available to feature. Jean-Philippe Gbamin has faced another setback, that will rule him out for the rest of the season. Bernard, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Yerry Mina remain on the sidelines.
Ben Davies and Matt Doherty are both full-back absentees for the visitors, with neither likely to be passed fit for the trip to Merseyside. The rest of the first-team squad will be available to Jose Mourinho.
Neither side seem to be firing on all cylinders, with Everton struggling in attack during recent weeks. Meanwhile, Tottenham are showing little to show their Champions League quality, as they were well beaten by Manchester United and fortunate to get a point against Newcastle United. The tide has turned in North London and if Everton have players back from injury, they have the quality to get three points. However, they won’t be confident playing at Goodison Park. A score draw could be a good bet for this one.
Everton 1-1 Tottenham