2nd November 2013
If Everton still harbour top 4 hopes they will have to start winning these kinds of fixtures, and having already defeated Chelsea at home, the Toffees will fancy their chances against another top side from London. Meanwhile, Tottenham have climbed to fourth with back to back triumphs over Aston Villa and Hull City, but this is where they need to prove their Champions League ambitions.
Roberto Martinez was always going to make some changes at Goodison Park, but his side have so far managed to take things in their stride, while keeping the results at a respectable level. While the Toffees are conceding more this season, it is perfectly clear they are much more dangerous up front, and not only because of Romelu Lukaku. Everton have full-backs Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman bombarding forward every time an opportunity presents itself, while youngster Ross Barkley has also been making decent contribution. And with Kevin Mirallas finally breaking his scoring duck and Stephen Pienaar finally returning into action, the Toffees have plenty of reason for optimism ahead of the crunch tie against Tottenham, although they might just deploy and more cautious approach in such an important match. Having recorded a 1-0 victory over Chelsea last time they did that, Everton will be hoping for more of the same when they host Spurs on Sunday afternoon. John Heitinga has finally resumed full training, but Arouna Kone, Antolin Alcaraz and Darron Gibson are still sidelined through injury.
Having made an excellent use of Gareth Bale’s sale to Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur made some excellent signings this summer, but the numerous arrivals seem to have disrupted the balance of the squad. Spurs have done surprisingly well at the back, allowing just 5 goals in 9 fixtures, but for all the attacking signings they made, they have scored mere 9 goals so far. And having scored three of those from the penalty spot, it is perfectly clear the front line is still far from the desired form, with Roberto Soldado often staying isolated up front. Andre Villas-Boas has quite a few attack-minded midfielder in his ranks, but while they are constantly arriving in good positions, the end product is often missing. Tottenham may have done pretty well on the travels so far, winning last five matches on the road in all competitions, but having lost the only high-profile clash away from home to local rivals Arsenal, Spurs have yet to prove they can match England’s top sides on the travels. A number of starters will be recalled after they were rested in midweek, but Danny Rose is out and Kyle Naughton is an injury doubt.
Everton have stabilised their home form and they certainly appear to be in better shape than Tottenham at the moment. The hosts seem to have found the right balance unlike their next opponents, who continue to struggle up front in spite of the amazing attacking potential. Having said that, I believe the Toffees are closer to claiming maximum points.
Verdict: Everton Draw no bet
Best Odds: 7/10