23rd November 2012
Everton will give their best to make amends for last weekend’s defeat to Reading that was completely undeserved, but beating in-form Norwich will be no easy task. Having moved further away from the relegation zone thanks to the impressive victory over Manchester United, the Canaries should prove to be a tough nut to crack at Goodison Park.
Having been referred to as Premier League slow starters for quite a while, Everton did brilliantly to shake off that unwanted tag this season, as the Toffees hit the ground running early on to climb to Champions League places. David Moyes’ side continued to impress, outplaying most of their opponents in the first 12 Premiership rounds, but with no smile from the Lady Luck and with some refereeing decisions going against them, Everton could not continue the amazing run of results. Following the home win over Sunderland, the Toffees had a great chance to record first back to back wins since August, but it was just not to be. David Moyes’ men did their best to open the scoring and create a number of clear-cut chances, but ended up losing the game after having two penalty appeals turned down. Everton now need to quickly regroup and prepare for what is a very important clash against Norwich, but considering how well they have played of late, home win could be on the cards. Marouane Fellaini misses out through suspension, while Phil Neville is out through injury. The good new is that both Kevin Mirallas and Tony Hibbert could return.
After doing so well last season and heavily reinforcing the squad over the summer, Norwich were tipped to escape the relegation tussle, but the Canaries immediately slipped into the bottom three. However, with boss Chris Hughton slowly getting to grips with his new job and players like Turner, Snodgrass, Bassong and Tettey adapting to the new environment, it was only a matter of time before the Carrow Road outfit would turn it around. Home win over Arsenal proved to be a perfect way to kick-start the season, as Norwich went on to pick up eight points from next four league games, beating the likes of Stoke and Manchester United in the process. The Canaries may not have been too impressive on the travels this season, but given they are brimming with confidence at the moment, I certainly wouldn’t bet against them scoring at Goodison. John Ruddy, Michael Turner and Russel Martin face fitness tests, but all of them are expected to be in contention.
Everton were terribly unfortunate not to extend the great run of results at Madejski, but they should have it in them to return to winning ways in front of their own fans. Norwich, however, will be up for the challenge, while their positive approach should guarantee us an exciting game of football at Goodison.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 5/6
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