Everton hoping to turn around recent poor form with a win at Fulham
Everton to win 2-0
It was not too long ago that Everton sat atop the Premier League table, blowing away allcomers with terrific performances left, right and centre.
Since their draw in the Merseyside derby, however, they have gone on to lose their next three league matches, including against Manchester United just before the International break.
They have suffered one or two injuries, and the suspension handed out to Richarlison has taken away much of their creativity in front of goal. They will, of course, see this as a match to get themselves back to winning ways against a struggling Fulham.
The Cottagers have one win to their name this season, which just about keeps them out of the relegation zone for the time being.
Their three points against fellow-strugglers West Brom will have given them confidence, however Everton will represent a level above for the London side to cope with.
Form Guide (all comps): LDLWL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Four points from last five games represents improvement
Should have had an additional point against West Ham
Reasons to be fearful:
Mario Lemina faces last minute fitness test
Everton will sense this as an opportunity to rediscover some form
Fulham should have grabbed a point against West Ham in their previous fixture before the International break.
Ademola Lookman’s miss from the spot will go down as arguably the worst, and most stupid, penalty ever taken at this level and is unlikely to take another if Fulham get the chance.
An additional point would not have moved Fulham any further up the table, but it would have added a precious barrier between them and the three teams below them.
Having said that, Fulham have looked a little better of late, taking four points from their previous five matches including a win against fellow-strugglers West Brom.
Everton are of course a different challenge and possess players with far more quality. It’s tough to see how Fulham can gain anything from this, but maybe Everton will help them out by having another off-day.
Star Man – Aleksandar Mitrović
Came up with two assists in their win over West Brom – the big striker remains their focal point in attack
Form Guide (all comps): WDLLL
Reasons to be cheerful
Richarlison could be fit to come back into the team
Have won 14 of the previous 21 matches between these two
Reasons to be fearful
Poor form shows that fairytale start is well and truly over
Injuries to Coleman and Allan
Everton have fallen from 1st to 7th in a matter of a few short weeks, which proves that nothing lasts forever in football.
The Toffee’s fairytale start had many proclaiming that this could be the season where they took themselves into the European places, something which of course could still happen, though their form will have to pick up.
Injuries have not helped them, for sure. Captain Seamus Coleman looks set to sit this one out, as does Brazilian midfielder Allan – both have been important for them this season.
Richarlison may return after suspension, but picked up an injury on International duty so faces a late fitness test.
They are likely to have more than enough for Fulham, however, but must show more of the same positivity that they began the season with.
Star Man – James Rodriguez
Was quiet in the defeat against Manchester United, but the playmaker has all the tools to fire Everton to victory here.
Should be a closer game than it looks
Everton to get back to winning ways
Fulham could slip into the relegation zone
Fulham’s have been tighter at the back of late, only losing by a single goal margin on three of the past four defeats.
Having said that, Everton will be looking for a response here having lost three in a row themselves.
If they come into this with a positive attitude, Everton could have the game won quite easily.
Everton to win 2-0