Friday, November 24, 2017

Prediction: Everton vs Watford

Verdict: Watford or Draw

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmakers: Bet 365

Struggling Everton welcome high-flying Watford to Goodison park on Sunday for a game that could decide caretaker manager David Unsworth’s future at the Merseyside club. The Toffees have won just twice in the league this season and face a Watford side that is scoring for fun under manager Marco Silva, who is amongst the candidates to take over at Everton. This will be a fascinating game for multiple reasons, not least for the fact that goals are almost guaranteed.

Everton

It has been a rollercoaster season already for Everton and only 10 Premier League games have been played. The Toffees have won just twice and manager Ronald Koeman was sacked, leaving David Unsworth in temporary charge. For a club that have aspirations of breaking into the top six, this has been the worst start to the season imaginable and they are very much in a relegation battle as it stands. What makes the Merseyside club’s struggles worse is that they spent over £100m in the summer, bringing in the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney and Michael Keane.

It is difficult to find any real positives in Everton’s season so far and you have to look back to September to find their last win. David Unsworth failed to make any immediate impact when he took charge as his side lost 2-0 away at Leicester last weekend. Whether he has now had enough time to instil his ideas and philosophies into the players remains to be seen, but with this likely to be his last game in charge if the result doesn’t go Everton’s way it is a vital game for the club and the man himself.

Team News

Everton will be without James McCarthy due to a hamstring injury and Michael Keane remains a doubt due to a leg infection.

Ramiro Funes Mori, Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and Yannick Bolasie all remain side lined with long-term injuries.

In more positive news summer recruits Sandro Ramirez and Davy Klaassen are available, as is striker Oumar Niasse who could well cement his post-Koeman role in the coming weeks.

Watford

Marco Silva has been hailed as an exceptional manager, and rightly so as his Watford side currently sit eight in the Premier League table. Brazilian winger Richarlison has emerged as a hugely talented player on the left hand side of the Hornets’ attack, and Abdoulaye Doucoure as an equally important member of their midfield. Watford are the highest scoring team outside of the top six, with 15 goals in 10 games, and a 3-3 draw with Liverpool on the opening day of the season highlights their ability.

However there are concerns around Vicarage Road, particularly surrounding the defensive side of the game. While 15 goals scored is highly impressive, 18 conceded is a shambolic total and their success looks unsustainable unless they can shore up their back line. This already seems to be the case as their form has taken a downward turn in recent weeks. Back-to-back defeats to Stoke and Chelsea mean that the Hornets head into this game needing a win, but with Everton shipping more goals than the visitors Richarlison and co should have enough to brush the Toffees aside.

Team News

The Hornets captain Troy Deeney will miss this game due to suspension, following his violent misconduct in last week’s game against Stoke. The striker’s absence will open the door for either Andre Gray or Stefano Okaka to stake their claim as Watford’s starting number nine.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Everton have won two of their five home games in the Premier League this season.
  • Watford have won three of their five away games in the Premier League this season.
  • Everton are conceding an average of two goals per league game this season.
  • Watford have scored 15 goals in 10 league games this season.
  • Everton have not won in their last seven games in all competitions.

Conclusion

Watford’s attacking play has been as prolific as it has been exciting this season and, combined with Everton’s diabolical defending and crucial midweek trip to Lyon just three days before this fixture, it is difficult to see how the Toffees will be able to cope with the visitors on Sunday. Watford are good value for the win or the draw, and that is the safe bet, but they could run rampant at Goodison Park.

Verdict: Watford or Draw

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmakers: Bet 365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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