Premier League preview: Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur

AP Photo/Tim Ireland
4 Comments
  • Spurs will spend another week 4th
  • Everton could climb as high as 8th
  • Spurs conceded fewest goals in PL
  • Toffees allowed most in the top-13

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Tottenham Hotspur will be looking for a fourth-straight victory, and to further solidify their place in the Premier League’s top-four, when they travel to Goodison Park to take on a struggling Everton side on Sunday (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

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The Toffees, who currently sit 11th, have won just once in their last six PL games (three draws), both scoring and conceding 11 goals during that time. With Tottenham having won their last three games by a combined score of 7-1, the goals could very well be flowing at Goodison on Sunday. Sunday’s clash also signals the start of a daunting stretch for Everton, who will face Spurs, Manchester City and Chelsea consecutively over the next two weeks.

For Spurs, their place in the PL’s top-four isn’t on the line on Sunday — the four-point gap between themselves and fifth-place Crystal Palace tells us so — failing to secure all three points would allow Manchester United and Liverpool to climb as close as two points out of fourth. Harry Kane has returned to the goalscoring form that made him the breakout star of the 2014-15 season, scoring 10 goals in Spurs’ last 10 league games. For Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, it’s 10 goals in his last nine games.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — Arsenal, Manchester clubs all win ]

Injuries are slowly piling up for Everton, who could be without midfielder Tom Cleverley (achilles) to go along with longer-term injuries to James McCarthy (groin), Bryan Oviedo (hamstring) and Phil Jagielka (knee). Meanwhile, Spurs have a mostly clean bill of health with just Mousa Dembele being added to the injury list after re-aggravating an ankle knock in his side’s victory over Watford on Monday.

Spurs are unbeaten in their last six meetings with Everton (three wins), having last lost to the Toffees, at Goodison, in 2012. The two sides drew 0-0 at White Hart Lane in their first meeting this season.

What they’re saying

Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “I have been a big admirer of this Spurs side. Mauricio Pochettino has achieved a really strong team, very young, very athletic, with a lot of energy. It is not surprising to me how consistent they have been and how difficult they are to play against.”

Spurs midfielder Eric Dier: “I think it helps that there’s a consistency in the team but at the same time there are a lot of good players who can come in and play at the same level. We have a very strong squad and we’re not just 11 players – far from it.”

Prediction

There will be goals — everyone seems to be pretty sure of that. If Everton can’t find a better balance between possession/attacking and defending, Spurs could easily put four past Tim Howard for a second-straight week (Stoke City). Spurs will work and work and grind and grind through the game’s highs and lows all the same, but can Everton match that mentality when they inevitably crack? We shall see. Everton 2-3 Spurs.