Everton at home at the weekend and that’s right it’s yet another Sunday lunchtime kick off.
It’s a big game, fifth against sixth of course and thus a potentially crucial day in the battle for the uncoveted Europa League spot. If Man City do the expected job on Sunderland in the league cup in a couple of weeks then the warty gnarled grasping fingers of UEFA’s bastard competition will spread down to sixth anyway which, despite the bluster coming from Hotspur Way this week, is likely to be our fate come the end of the season – unless Moyes gets it together long enough to pip us to the poisoned chalice.
I don’t want to sound defeatist but personally I think it’ll take a serious injury to Suarez before either we or Everton are in with a chance of a Moneybags League spot. The top three have the overall quality and the Scousers the unloveable but free scoring Uruguayan both of which are likely to be more than enough to finish ahead of our shaky defence and goal shy forwards. We’ve scored fewer and conceded more than anyone else in the top nine I think which in an age when the game just appears to be there for the purpose of statisticians is an odd one. I’d gladly have my gloomy prediction proven wrong of course and a win on Sunday and on Wednesday at strife filled St James’s Park would be a couple of very positive steps towards doing that.
Talking of positive steps, for once there’s some good news from the physio room with Dembèlè and Townsend set to join Paulinho and Vertonghen back in the available squad. No news on Chiriches that I’m aware of – I’m presuming that it was injury that did for him last weekend – which may be a blessing in disguise given that Lukaku (who may be injured) or the new signing Traore would bully him good and proper were they to face each other.
The back four and i suspect front two will probably be as they were at Hull; it’s in midfield where Sherwood will have choices to make. Eriksen and Paulinho are the two pencilled in straight away but does Bentaleb get in above Dembele and will Lennon start after a couple of poor showings? With Barry, McCarthy, Barkley and Osman in the lineup the midfield is the Toffees strongest area, I’d predict Lennon and Dembele to join the Dane and Brazilian in the middle.
It’s a crucial game as I say, three points would really lift the spirits of both players and fans, especially glass half-empty ones like myself.
Twattenburg’s the ref. That definitely doesn’t lift the spirits. COYS.
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