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Everton Preview

Filed: Friday, 6th November 2009
By: Preview Percy

It's been a busy week for Preview Percy as he has a look at Sunday's match at home to Everton......

Next up it’s another home match against Everton, the Sunday 3pm kick-off resulting from the Toffees’ involvement in the Europa League.
They’ve had a disappointing start to the Premiership season for a club that has ambitions of regular European placings. They currently lie in 13th place, three places and two points above ourselves with an identical goal difference in their twelve points from 10 games.

They opened their season with two defeats – a 6-1 defeat at Arsenal and a 1-0 reverse at Burnley. They’ve beaten Wigan and Blackburn at home, and Pompey and Hull on the road. They’ve picked up home draws against Villa, Stoke and Wolves whilst going down at the Reebok to Bolton. All in all not the brightest of starts.

Much of the blame for their stuttering start could be placed at the door of their injury list. In particular, the absence of Arteta seems to have affected them. A class act, Arteta has been missing with a knee problem since February, and the mood at Goodison this week won’t have been improved by the news that his return has been put back indefinitely. Close to return from long-term injuries are Phils Neville and Jagielka, though they are still said to be a few weeks away and they won’t be about this season. Jagielka, it should be remembered, was responsible for Sheffield United’s relegation infinitely more than any of our own players and his disgraceful bleating about “compensation” spoke volumes as to where his priorities lay.

South African Stephen Pienaar (knee) is said to be near a return and Tony Hibbert returned the other night for the Benfica match having recovered from a viral infection. One player who didn’t make the squad for last week’s 1-1 home draw against Villa was boy wonder Jose Baxter. Sources within the Everton academy set up rate him a more developed player than Wayne Rooney was at the same age and Baxter became Everton’s youngest ever player last season. Of course coming as he does from Bootle there is the odd skeleton in his cupboard. He is currently on bail having been arrested last month for possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of counterfeit money. Did I hear the words “Scouse stereotype” anywhere? Still, on past form involving Scouse players, should the matter ever get to court he stands about as much chance of being found guilty as Stan Boardman has of actually coming out with something funny.

The back four is likely to contain one Lucas Neill who, of course, will need no introduction. He spent a month or so as a free agent when his contract at the Boleyn had expired and the club were unwilling to match his previous “Eggy-based” wage levels. He ended up on Merseyside where Phil Neville’s injury has seen him play more of a part than that cheery chappy David Moyes might have originally envisaged.

They’ll be missing the influence of Bilyaletdinov who in recent weeks has started to combine well with the likes of Fellaini and Yakubu. Billy (as we shall call him) blotted his copy book last week and got a straight red for a two-footed tackle on Villa’s Stilian Petrov and he now has a three match break to consider the wisdom of his ways. Aussie Tim Cahill is always capable of weighing in with a goal or two, especially in the air. Not to mention the odd yellow card or two

They haven’t been too prolific up front this season, and, much as we have for much of the season with Carlton Cole, Louis Saha has borne the larger burden of the goalscoring duties. He has netted six of their thirteen league goals so far this season. Saha has been nursing a calf problem he picked up in the 2-0 defeat at Spurs in the League Cup and he played only the last 18 minutes of the Villa draw last weekend. He was also absent in midweek as they went down 2-0 to Benfica in the Europa League. It is likely that Moyes rested Saha for that one in the hope that he’ll ok to take at least some part in Sunday’s proceedings. They also have Jo on loan from Man City, though he doesn’t tend to be a first choice – he started from the bench against Benfica.

Ss for us, well confidence it seems is everything. Few of us, however, would have envisaged a win against Villa once Carlton Cole had withdrawn from proceedings, However the pace and enthusiasm of Hines caused Villa all sorts of problems and the eventual victory was well-deserved. Da Costa did well alongside Upson – the towering header that was disgracefully given as a penalty by Steve Bennett is one that will stick in the mind for a long while. As will the clearance that ended up in Priory Road.

The injuries to Ilunga and Cole should mean that we will go with the line-up that played most of the game with Spector at left back and Hines partnering Franco up front. Despite the second half up at the Stadium Of Light, the win will have done wonders for the mood of the squad, and the fact that our three goals on Wednesday came after Cole’s substitution should give the side the idea that there can be “Life After Carlton” – though please do not tell the money men that this is the case.

Everton have been having a rough time of it of late and their away form isn’t the most impressive. They’ve lost three of their four matches on the road, the solitary win coming at Fratton Park where Portsmouth were right in the middle of their dismal start to the season. The Europa League defeats to Benfica (5-0 and 2-0) in recent weeks won’t have lightened their mood any and, despite the absence of Cole, I can see our confidence being the key to this one. I’ll therefore plump for another 2-1 victory to push us a wee bit further up the table.

Enjoy the game!

Last Season: Lost 3-1 Collison’s fine strike seemed to have earned us all three points until three late goals made a travesty of our domination of the match.

Danger Man: Saha – if fit is capable of causing problems.

Referee: Alan Wiley. Liverpool’s favourite referee was last seen blowing the whistle for half-time to deny Carlton Cole an equaliser up at Wigan earlier this season.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

Your Comments

by Kevin Taylor
09:53PM 6th Nov 2009
''I, like every other West Ham fan am hoping for 3 points on Sunday although in recent seasons Eevrton are never a team we do particularly well against.

To win the match against this lot you first have to win the battle which is where I think we will miss Carlton the most. Scotty Parker will be instrumental for West Ham getting anything out of this game and I hope Zavon isn't going to be the sort of player who only makes an impact off the bench, a point here wouldn't be terrible, will keep our unbeaten run going (can't believe I'm actually saying that) and hopefully another week with their feet up will see Carlton and Illunga fit again (is anyone else concerned that 2 players can pull hamstrings, who's warming them up)?

Cahill worries me and if only we had pushed a bit harder a few years ago to sign him (at least he's loyal), I'm plumping for 1-1. ''

by Niran Ade-onojobi
03:54PM 6th Nov 2009
''Bubbling Hammers should take this game having broken the duck. The team's confidence is right back and that should see us through.''

by Nicsy
02:30PM 6th Nov 2009
''Sorry to be picky KUMB but being one of the more reliable sites for journo I thought a slight revision might be needed.

"They’ve beaten Wigan and Blackburn at home, and Pompey and Hull on the road" ..... "They’ve lost three of their four matches on the road, the solitary win coming at Fratton Park" - so have they won two away or one?

"...the win will have done wonders for the mood of the squad, and the fact that our three goals on Wednesday came after Cole’s substitution should give the side the idea that there can be “Life After Carlton” - think we won 2-1.''

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