Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Manchester City

Venue: Goodison Park – Sunday, January 15 – 13:30 GMT (08:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Everton 16/5 – Draw 14/5 – Man City 4/5

Match Preview

Everton play host to Manchester City on Sunday with The Toffees looking to extend their Premier League unbeaten run to four games.

This is going to be a test for Ronald Koeman’s men, they face a Manchester City side who will be desperate for a win, but they will know they have the ability to upset anyone at Goodison.

Everton are on a three-game unbeaten Premier League run. That recent run of form looks to have them back on track in the league after a difficult spell. They did however exit the FA Cup last weekend in a disappointing home loss, so a response is needed.

This is Everton’s second league home game in a row, they demolished Southampton 3-0 last time out and they have a great chance of a positive result if they put in an impressive display like that again.

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Manchester City have won three of their last five away games. Their last league game was a 2-1 home win against Burnley, an unconvincing performance intensified the pressure on Pep Guardiola.

While Pep is not one to panic, he is in new territory in his managerial career and needs to find a way to silence his doubters. A win here at a ground renowned for being difficult for the top sides to take points from would be a step in the right direction.

City have won five of their last six games in all competitions, including progressing in the FA Cup with a ruthless 5-0 win away against West Ham. The squad should be fresh as their last game will have been nine days previous by kick off on Sunday.

Guardiola’s side have work to do to close the gap at the top of the league. A loss here could potentially see them drop out of the top four and then the alarm bells would certainly be ringing amongst the fans. They need a big performance.

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Team News

Everton’s squad is littered with injuries, they could be without as many as eight players for this tie. Yannick Bolasie, Dominic Clavert-Lewin and Muhamed Besic are all out, while Maarten Stekelenburg, James McCarthy, Bryan Oviedo and Matthew Pennington are all doubts. Idrissa Gueye is on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.

Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan remain long-term absentees for Manchester City, while Leroy Sane is a doubt. Fernandinho is also unavailable for selection as he remains suspended.

Key Points

Everton’s last five: W/L/W/D/W

Manchester City’s last five: W/W//W/L/W

Key Stat: Everton are unbeaten in 12 of their last 13 Premier League games at Goodison Park.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Argentine made the difference in City’s last Premier League game. A lot is going to be expected from him over the second half of the season given his side trail top spot by seven points. He can remind everyone that City are well in the title race by contributing to an impressive away victory here.

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Score Prediction

Everton 2-2 Manchester City – An action packed draw. Everton have caused plenty of the big sides trouble at Goodison down the years and City could fall victim to that fate once again here. City’s defensive issues have been well documented, it would be a surprise if they keep a clean sheet this weekend, given Everton’s free-flowing attacking play.

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The Dugout: Can Ronald Koeman take Everton to the next level?

The 2016/17 Premier League season is less than a week away and a number of clubs will start the campaign with new managers. Fans will be expecting more from their team and here, ‘The Dugout‘ will explore if Ronald Koeman can take Everton to the next level…

Everton fans will be hoping the appointment of Ronald Koeman can signal the beginning of a new era for the club as their Premier League season begins at home against Tottenham this weekend. It has been a tough two years to take for the Toffees as they have finished 11th with 47 points in consecutive campaigns and have looked a shadow of the side that finished 5th just three years ago.

The time seemed right for Everton to part ways with Roberto Martinez and they have done very well to lure Ronald Koeman away from Southampton after a successful season. Koeman guided the Saints to a sixth-place finish and Everton fans will be hoping he can repeat that feat or even better it this season.

Koeman has a great platform to start with at Everton, with a squad who have been underachievers in the last two campaigns. It will be interesting to see how he can develop the players and push the side back up the table.

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So how can Koeman take Everton to the next level?

Motivation:

It is no surprise that a team performs much better when they are highly motivated and Koeman can do just that. The Everton players looked in disarray for large parts of last season despite some great results against the top clubs. Koeman has the experience of being part of a setup that thrives on motivation from both his playing and managerial days.

The Dutchman has been working on his squad in the summer transfer window, releasing a number of long-term servants to the club with the likes of Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar all departing. He is clearly looking to freshen things up and bring forward a less predictable Everton for the coming season.

With Koeman’s ability to motivate players, Everton fans will be hoping top players will become more consistent. Kevin Mirallas, Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu are three players who came under some criticism last campaign for inconsistent performances. There is no doubt they are all capable of putting in world-class shifts and with Koeman directing the style of play, these three could massively benefit from his guidance.

While these three were in no way to blame for Everton’s below-par season last term, they are the types of players who are expected to provide. If Koeman can motivate the strong attacking trio to feed the striker – whoever that may be as uncertainty still looms over Romelu Lukaku’s future – the club should look more deadly in front of goal in the upcoming season.

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Premier League record:

Koeman has had a brilliant start to managerial life in the Premier League. He guided Southampton to a 7th place finish in his first season as manager and finished 6th in the last campaign, proof Koeman has the ability to improve a side in the world’s most competitive league.

Squad consistency:

Through their Premier League history, Everton have been a side who have boasted long-term squad players, something Koeman will relish the opportunity to work with. At Southampton Koeman perhaps didn’t – or wouldn’t – have had the opportunity to keep the same group of players for season upon season.

Koeman is already under pressure regarding the future of both John Stones and Romelu Lukaku. So far Everton have shown their resolve to keep their best players – a similar scenario to their continued rebuff of Chelsea’s efforts to tempt Stones away from the club this time last year.

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With this in mind Koeman has a great platform to build a squad with a strong core knowing that the club will be backing his every decision regarding the future of his players.

Koeman has a lot of work to do to take Everton to the next level but in joining the club he has the chance to do so. The Toffees appear to have a policy of giving players and staff every opportunity to reach their highest potential before stepping in and taking any action and he will be hoping to hit the ground running against Tottenham on Saturday.

Is Koeman the right man to lead Everton forward? Can he take them to the next level?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Everton FC vs. Arsenal FC

Venue: Goodison Park – Saturday, March 19 – 12:45 GMT (08:45 ET)

Match Odds: Everton 13/8 – Draw 5/2 – Arsenal 6/4

Match Preview

Everton play host to Arsenal in this weekend’s early kickoff on Saturday, in a clash that will conclude what has been a huge week for the Gunners.

Everton enter this game off the back of an impressive 2-0 win over Chelsea last weekend in the FA Cup and will hope to follow that victory up with a positive league result against Arsenal.

Everton are seen as massive underachievers in the league this season, as despite scoring 13 more than any other team in the bottom half, they find themselves sat in 12th place.

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It really is remarkable how Everton are in the bottom half, considering their free-scoring approach, but defensively they have been poor and are 13 points off the top four – with European football highly unlikely to be returning to Goodison Park next term.

Some may argue that they are only playing for the FA Cup now, with a semifinal at Wembley to look forward to, but Roberto Martinez will be desperate to try and see his side finish in the top half.

Arsenal on the other hand are still in title race, just. That’s despite a poor recent run of results which has left them 11 points off leaders Leicester, with a game in hand.

They were knocked out of the Champions League and FA Cup over the course of the last seven days and are left with just the Premier League to fight for. Arsene Wenger’s position is under immense scrutiny and it looks like Arsenal’s wait for the title will be extended this year.

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This is crunch time for Arsenal. Despite the huge gap they have to overcome, Arsenal will still need to press for the title because Manchester City and Manchester United are breathing down their neck for a Champions League spot – something Wenger’s men need to wrap up at the very worst.

The reverse fixture ended 2-1 to Arsenal at the Emirates back in October, although the Toffees have only lost one of their last four home clashes against Arsenal and will hope to pick up at least a point on Saturday.

Team News

Everton will be without Tony Hibbert, Steven Pienaar and Tyias Browning through injury. Bryan Oviedo is a doubt with illness. Gareth Barry will also miss out as he serves a one-game suspension.

Arsenal have as many as six first-team regulars on the sidelines for this one as Petr Cech, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out with injuries. Danny Welbeck will hope to continue to lead the line in place of Olivier Giroud.

Key Points

Everton’s last five: W/W/L/W/L

Arsenal’s last five: W/W/L/L/D

Key Stat: Everton have only won one of their last 18 meetings with Arsenal in all competitions, losing 11 of them.

Key Player: Mesut Ozil – The German playmaker has been quiet by his standards recently and the Gunners need him more than ever. Whether he plays well or not, his performance will have a huge effect on the result here.

Score Prediction

Everton 1-1 Arsenal – Arsenal will feel proud of their fight and effort at the Nou Camp midweek but this Everton side is tough to break down, so taking three points from the Toffees will be a really tough task. Both sides will expect to score and a score draw looks the most likely outcome.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Liverpool 

Venue: Goodison Park – Sunday, October 4 – 13:30 BST (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: Everton 13/8 – Draw 23/10 – Liverpool 13/8

Match Preview 

Everton host bitter rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside derby and one of the standout fixtures this weekend in the Premier League.

The Toffees come into this one off the back of their stunning 3-2 comeback against West Bromwich Albion where they were 2-0 down.

Roberto Martinez’s side are one point outside the Champions League places and although early on in the season that will be on their mind. This is a great chance to send out a message to the clubs around them in the table.

Everton have been slightly inconsistent so far this season, but have proved they are fearing nobody and will be pumped up ahead of this tie. This is the first of three tough upcoming fixtures for the home side which will see them play Manchester United and Arsenal in their next two games. It is important that they take something away from this fixture.

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Liverpool sit 9th in the Premier League and their Europa League clash on Thursday night has only intensified the pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers.

They have struggled in front of goal so far this season, only netting seven times, and this is a must win game.

Daniel Sturridge marked his return with a brace last weekend and his performance will have lifted the camp and the fans, but they cannot rely on their talisman to provide alone.

Liverpool come into this one off the back of their 3-2 win against Aston Villa, where they suffered a scare having lead 3-0. Their defensive frailties are all too apparent and they cannot afford to give this strong Everton side any indication of their weaknesses otherwise they risk being picked apart.

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Team News  

Everton’s injury woes continue with seven players expected to miss out. Leighton Baines is out until November with his ankle injury. Seamus Coleman, Jon Stones and Muhamed Besic are doubts but could feature. Tom Cleverley, Tony Hibbert and Steven Pienaar remain sidelined.

Liverpool have five players out for this one as Roberto Firmino, Christian Benteke, Jordan Henderson, Jon Flanagan and Dejan Lovren are sidelined. Daniel Sturridge will expect to lead the line.

Key Points 

Everton’s form: L/D/W/D/W

Liverpool’s form: D/L/L/D/W

Key Stat: Everton have only won one of the last between the sides at Goodison, the last three have all ended in draws.

Key Player: Romelu Lukaku – The Everton powerhouse had an incredible second half the comeback against West Brom, his performance saw him named man-of-the-match and the Toffees will be praying he can deliver once again.

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Score Prediction

Everton 2-2 Liverpool – The sides to draw in this fixture yet again. A typically high-paced, entertaining Merseyside derby.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Chelsea 

Venue: Goodison Park – Saturday, September 12 – 12:45 BST (07:45 ET)

Match Odds: Everton 3/1 – Draw 23/10 – Chelsea 19/20

Match Preview 

Premier League action returns this weekend after the international break with Everton hosting the struggling champions Chelsea.

Roberto Martinez’s side have made an inconsistent start to the season and will want to kick on to give them every chance of pushing for a Champions League spot. They will see this as a chance to take points from a well below-par Chelsea side.

Everton have some tricky fixtures coming up and will want to head into them full of confidence, a win in this one would be the perfect way to come back after the two week break.

This fixture ended 6-3 to Chelsea last season, with both sides having shocking defensive performances that afternoon. We can expect a far tighter tie this time around.

A key aspect of the tie will be how John Stones performs, he will be under the spotlight after the summer transfer saga with Chelsea and he has the opportunity here to show Everton fans why the club pushed so hard to ensure he stayed.

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This game is a must win for Chelsea and if they fail to do so, even this early on in the season, will have a major impact on their defence of the Premier League as it will give Manchester City the chance to go 11 points clear at the top.

Jose Mourinho’s side have had an awful start to the season and come into the game off the back of their 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace before the international break. Their upcoming fixtures will become even harder if they don’t take at least a point here.

Mourinho may reshuffle his side once again as many of his stars have struggled to get going in their opening four games.

Eden Hazard had another below-par performance for Belgium but did score late on in their game against Cyprus. He came under criticism and praise from his national coach, who said he would have been subbed were it not for his ability to come up with the goods late on. Chelsea desperately need their key man to step it up a gear and get them back on track.

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Team News  

Everton’s injury woes continue with seven players expected to miss out. Leighton Baines is out until November as he is recovering from an ankle injury. Tom Cleverley, Tony Hibbert, Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar are sidelined, while Byran Oviedo and Brendan Galloway are doubts.

Chelsea are expected to be without Thibaut Courtois, who picked up a knee injury in training and Oscar remains a doubt. John Terry is available again after his suspension and Baba Rahman could deputise for Branislav Ivanovic who has had a poor start to the season. If Rahman does play we can expect Cesar Azpilicueta to be switched to right back to allow the Ghanian to make his debut in his natural position of left back.

Key Points 

Everton’s form: D/W/L/D

Chelsea’s form: D/L/W/L

Key Stat: Chelsea are unbeaten in 34 of their last 38 meetings against Everton in all competitions.

Key Player: Romelu Lukaku – The former Chelsea man will be looking to take advantage of their poor start to the season and will no doubt be a handful for whoever Jose Mourinho selects in defence. The Belgian international has started the season well, scoring two in four appearances and will hope he can score his first goal against Chelsea.

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Score Prediction

Everton 2-1 Chelsea – The champions problems to continue in a fixture which they never find easy.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Manchester City 

Venue: Goodison Park – Sunday, August 23 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Everton 7/2 – Draw 3/1 – Manchester City 7/10

Match Preview 

Everton host Manchester City in one of the stand out fixtures of the weekend. The Toffees will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the 2015/16 Premier League season while City want to maintain their 100% record.

Everton come into the game off the back of their impressive 3-0 away win against Southampton, which was a bit of a shock result considering the qualities the Saints possess. Roberto Martinez will be pleased with his sides start to the season and although it is a very early stage, his players seem to have clicked into gear.

Romelu Lukaku has wasted no time finding his feet this season, with that impressive brace last weekend. He will be expecting to better last seasons tally of ten league goals and is looking sharp, he could cause the City defence all sorts of problems.

Last seasons meeting between the sides ended 1-1 at Goodison Park, this game provides a good chance for Martinez’s men to send out a message that they are ready to challenge for a top four spot.

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Manchester City have started the season in scintillating form. They have the look of a complete team and seem to have ironed out some of those defensive frailties which cost them so badly last campaign.

Manuel Pellegrini will be delighted with the demolition of title rivals Chelsea and City showed their desire to regain their Premier League crown from the Blues.

City will be well aware of Everton’s performance against Southampton but will be expecting to take all three points here. Raheem Sterling can expect a hostile welcome from the home fans given his Liverpool connection, he will be keen to show why City paid the staggering fee to acquire his services.

Sergio Aguero tormented the Chelsea defence last weekend and he will be looking to win the golden boot once again. His tally of 26 league goals was enough to win the accolade last campaign and no doubt he will be challenging all season to better that total. City are an immense force with their spine of Joe Hart, captain Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero in form, and those four players have started the season very well.

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Team News  

Everton have five injury concerns. Martinez is expected to be without fan-favourtie Leighton Baines until November as he is recovering from an ankle injury. Tony Hibbert, Aidan McGeady, Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar are all set to be sidelined for this one. Martinez is unlikely to upset the balance of his side after their 3-0 win over Southampton so he will more than likely field the same starting 11.

Manchester City are without Fernando and Pablo Zabaleta. New signing Fabian Delph could return but that will more than likely be a place on the bench if he is declared fit. This weeks £32 million signing, Nicolas Otamendi, is expected to have to wait for his full debut, as Manuel Pellegrini, similarly to Roberto Martinez, will leave his side unchanged.

Key Points 

Everton’s form: D/W

Manchester City’s form: W/W

Key Stat: Ruthless – Manchester City have won their last eight Premier League outings, they’re averaging three goals a game having scored netted 24 times in those eight matches.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Argentinian is unplayable at the top of his game. He will be eager to build on his performance from last weekend.

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Score Prediction

Everton 1-2 Manchester City – City to prove too much for Everton to handle and maintain their 100% start to the season.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: Goodison Park – Sunday, May 24 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Everton 5/4 – Draw 13/5 – Tottenham 19/10

Match Preview

Everton take on Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon for the final game of the Premier League season with the visitors looking to secure a Europa League spot.

The Toffees have won six of their last nine games (D1, L2), including last weekend’s 2-1 win away at West Ham, although they did suffer a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Sunderland in their last game at Goodison Park.

Roberto Martinez has secured a mid-table finish for his side but will certainly be looking to kick-on and challenge for European places next season.

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Tottenham come into the game off the back of a comfortable 2-0 win at home to relegation strugglers Hull. That victory was the only win in their last four games (D1, L2).

Mauricio Pochettino‘s side have only won two of their last seven Premier League games but Spurs do boast the fourth best away form in the division.

A win for Tottenham would secure qualification for the Europa League but they could still qualify for Europe even if they lose, providing Southampton lose away at Manchester City.

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If Spurs lose and Southampton win, then the North London side will finish seventh and will be relying on the outcome of the FA Cup final to see what their fate will be.

If Tottenham were to finish seventh and Aston Villa beat Arsenal in the final, the Lilywhites would miss out on the Europa League – an outcome some fans may be in favour of given the detrimental affect the competition has on performances in the league.

Tottenham won the reverse fixture 2-1 at White Hart Lane back in November thanks to goals by Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado.

Team News

Everton will be without the injured Leighton Baines, Bryan Oviedo, Antolin Alcaraz and Darron Gibson. Tony Hibbert, Sylvain Distin and Steven Pienaar could return to the squad, while Aaron Lennon is ineligible to play against his parent club.

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Tottenham will be without Emmanuel Adebayor who has returned to Togo on compassionate leave, while Ben Davies is injured. Michel Vorm and Kyle Walker are both doubts.

Key Points

Everton’s last five: W/W/L/L/W

Tottenham’s last five: W/D/L/L/W

Key Stat: Tottenham haven’t won a Premier League game away at Everton since February 2007 (D4, L3).

Key Player: Romelu Lukaku – The big Belgian forward will be looking to finish the season well in front of the Goodison faithful. He’ll fancy his chances of getting on the scoresheet.

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Score Prediction

Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur – Everton have nothing but pride to play for, while Tottenham have Europa League qualification at stake but may not view that as a huge priority. A draw seems likely with four of the last seven meetings at Goodison Park ending level between these two sides.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Manchester United

Venue: Goodison Park – Sunday, April 26th – 13:30 BST (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: Everton 12/5 – Draw 23/10 – Manchester United 23/20

Match Preview

Everton host Manchester United at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon in a game which could see Louis Van Gaal’s side finish the weekend in second place in the Premier League if results go their way.

Roberto Martinez’s side have had a disappointing season and the distraction of the Europa League hasn’t helped them. Sitting 12th is not where he would have expected his side to be this late on in the season and it looks more than likely they will finish in the middle of the table.

Everton have put together a great run of form in their last five games, winning four a drawing one – form we are more used to seeing from the Toffees, but it has come a little too late in the season.

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This weekend’s game is probably their toughest remaining fixture and if they can finish their final five games unbeaten it will fill the squad and the fans with confidence ahead of next year.

The reverse fixture saw United narrowly come out on top, winning 2-1 at Old Trafford, and we can expect another tough matchup in this one.

Louis Van Gaal’s side can consider themselves unlucky to have lost last weekend to the league leaders, Chelsea, after United had won six on the bounce prior to that game.

Manchester United have hit some impressive form of late and have shown their capabilities of climbing back into a more familiar league position, and look like they are going to be a force next season.

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The Red Devils will be filled with confidence having all but secured Champions League football for the next campaign, barring a disaster, and they will be expecting to win this one.

Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini have been in superb form of late and they will be looking to continue to impress, with the Belgian midfielder returning to his former side once again.

Wayne Rooney also returns to his boyhood club. The Manchester United captain has led by example this season and will be striving to net against Everton once again.

Team News 

Everton have five injury concerns as James McCarthy, Leon Osman, Darren Gibson, Bryan Oviedo and Tony Hibbert are set to miss out. Roberto Martinez will be hoping his Everton side can continue their good form and remind everyone what they are about. Romelu Lukaku will once again be under the spotlight, hoping to prove he can produce in the big games.

Manchester United’s injury woes continue as they have six key absentees. Adnan Januzaj, Rafael, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Daley Blind and Michael Carrick are set to be sidelined. Van Gaal opted to start Radamel Falcao last weekend and he was unlucky not to score after hitting the post, so the Colombian could be in line for another start.

Key Points

Everton’s last five: W/W/W/D/W

Manchester United’s last five: W/W/W/W/L

Key Stat: Everton have won the last two meetings between the sides at Goodison Park.

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Key Player: David de Gea – United’s last line of defence has been in incredible form this season and he can show once again why he is a nominee for the PFA Player of the Year award this weekend.

Score Prediction

Everton 1-3 Manchester United – United to get back to winning ways and prove to be too much for Everton despite their injury problems.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Leicester City

Everton vs. Leicester City: Premier League

Venue: Goodison Park – Sunday, February 22nd – 14:05

Match Odds: Everton 5/6 – Draw 5/2 – Leicester 100/30

Sandwiched in between a triple-header on Sunday, this fixture sees a struggling Leicester City visit Goodison Park to take on Everton.

Both teams are underperforming this season and will see Sunday as a chance to pick up points though it is Leicester who need them more as they are still rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.

Everton come into the game off the back of a 4-1 win away at BSC Young Boys on Thursday night and so the possibility of a Europa League hangover is high.

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Premier league teams notoriously struggle to replicate performances after any game in Europe, especially away from home on a Thursday night, and Roberto Martinez will be hoping that they will not fall victim to that once again.

With no win in four at Goodison Park, Everton will see this as a must win, if only to suppress the fans who are less than happy with the club’s position this season. The Toffees are a staggering eighteen points worse off this year than at the same stage last season.

Everton’s home record in the Premier League: Played 12 – Won 3 – Drawn 6 – Lost 3

Nigel Pearson remains the Leicester manager after a mix up of reports that claimed he had been given the sack and he will see every game as a must win from now until the bitter end, and the game at Everton is no exception.

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Leicester are in dire need of points at the foot of the table as they are five from safety going into the weekend. That figure could increase should they fail to pick up points on Sunday and teams around them do.

After exiting the FA Cup last weekend, they can set their sights primarily on top-flight survival. That loss at Aston Villa last weekend is a blessing in disguise for the Foxes.

Leicester’s away record in the Premier League: Played 12 – Won 2 – Drawn 1 – Lost 10

Leicester have currently lost four on the bounce in the Premier League and have conceded at least twice in eight of their last nine away from home so their losing streak could stretch to five on Sunday.

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The reverse fixture on the opening day of the season saw Leicester fight back twice to get a 2-2 draw at home to Everton and they will need to show that same fighting spirit to get anything out of this weekend’s game.

Everton’s last five in the Premier League: D/D/W/D/L

Leicester’s last five in the Premier League: W/L/L/L/L

Key Stat: Everton have won only one in their last nine Premier League fixtures. Shocking given their ability.

Key Player: Romelu Lukaku – The Belgian front man scored a hat-trick on Thursday night and will be leading the line for Everton on Sunday. He needs goals, and needs them fast to prove his £28m price tag right.

Score Prediction: Everton 2-0 Leicester City – Foxes to make it five defeats on the bounce as relegation looms.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Goodison Park – Saturday, February 7 – 17:30PM

Match Odds: Everton 11/5 – Draw 12/5 – Liverpool 6/5

Everton and Liverpool meet for the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Saturday evening in a game that never fails to provide talking points and entertainment.

The last three Premier League matches between these two sides have produced a total of 12 goals, so neutrals will be hoping for more of the same.

Everton aren’t enjoying a particularly good season and sit in 12th place, but this game is all about bragging rights, so they’ll be hoping that their current run of form of just one win in seven won’t be too big a problem.

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The Toffees haven’t beaten Liverpool since a 2-0 home win in October 2010 and have since failed in their next nine attempts in all competitions.

Everton’s home record: Played 11 – Won 3 – Drawn 5 – Lost 3

Liverpool haven’t managed to replicate the kind of football they were playing last season but they’ve hit a good run of form that has seen them win five of their last six, which will fill them with confidence. A top-four finish is far from being out of reach, so it’s all to play for.

The Reds have also received a massive boost with the recent return of main striker Daniel Sturridge, while Steven Gerrard is set to play in his final Merseyside derby.

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Liverpool’s away record: Played 11 – Won 6 – Drawn 0 – Lost 5

Everton will be without Steven Pienaar (knee) and Leon Osman (ankle), while James McCarthy is expected to return following a hamstring injury. Goalkeeper Tim Howard isn’t expected to return as he’s still suffering from a leg injury.

Liverpool’s Lazar Markovic and Lucas Leiva will face late fitness tests ahead of the game. Brad Jones (thigh) and Jon Flanagan (knee) are both still out.

Everton’s last five: L/L/D/D/W

Liverpool’s last five: W/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Everton have won just one of their last 16 games against Liverpool in the Premier League.

Key Player: Philippe Coutinho – He scored a great goal in Liverpool’s midweek FA Cup replay at Bolton and has been instrumental recently.

Prediction: Everton 1-2 Liverpool – Liverpool’s recent run of good form should see them edge it.