Coming off the international break, today’s match at Goodison Park is one to both fear and excite.
First, the fear factor. Everton play bright, attacking football with all hands on deck getting forward and Romelu Lukaku and Stephen Naismith in top form and deadly around the box. Combine that with Seamus Coleman’s ability to rush in off the right side from the back and (if fit) Leighton James’s moves down the left as well as Aidan McGeady’s, probing balls and our defenders will have their work cut out for them. There is also Samuel Eto’o to concern ourselves with and the possibility that James McCarthy may play. And you never what may come of the slashing runs through the middle of young Ross Barkley.
I’ll expect Adrian to have a busy day and he will need to make some big saves. But that should make for an exciting match as the kind of football we have been playing all season should see loads of offence at both ends. Diafra Sakho may start, though he may be in doubt. That could put an eager Andy Carroll in the frame and Enner Valencia will no doubt want to continue scoring goals.
Our midfielders have been strong throughout the season, as have been our defenders with big wins against Manchester City and Liverpool to prove it. Alex Song, Cheikhou Kouyate, Stewart Downing and Mark Noble just have to continue doing what they’ve been doing week in and week out and Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Cresswell will have to match the work rate and performance of their counterparts Coleman and Baines to make sure we pressure the Everton back line.
James Collins and Winston Reid have been solid through the middle and Lukaku will be a handful for sure. We’ll have to keep Tim Howard busy and make sure Everton know we’re there to claim a result.
If we can leave Goodison Park with a point, it will be a well-earned one. A win would be a truly excellent day for the Claret and Blue army.
Come on You Irons!