Everton vs. Tottenham
Venue: Goodison Park
The final Premier League match before Christmas sees Everton host Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park this afternoon.
The two sides go into the match in contrasting form, with Everton having slipped down to eleventh on the table while Spurs sit third, just nine points off the leaders.
Everton are only three short of becoming the first team in English top-flight history to score 7,000 goals, but it is a long time since they ruled the roost and right now they are battling for the title of ‘best of the rest’ behind the top five or six.
Still winless in December, Everton have picked up just two points from the last 12 on offer and it is entirely possible that the gut-wrenching nature of their Merseyside derby defeat at the start of this month was the catalyst for their slump in form.
Draws against Newcastle United and Watford followed before they fell to defeat against champions Manchester City last time out, albeit having battled their way back into the game at one stage.
The Toffees have not suffered successive defeats since September, so they will be glad to be back at home for this one given the alarming disparity between their form on the road and in front of their own fans.
Tottenham however should be flying ahead of this game, having picked up only their second-ever win at the Emirates Stadium to dump bitter rivals Arsenal out of the EFL Cup, reach the semi-finals themselves and reclaim the local bragging rights just two-and-a-half weeks after losing them on the same ground.
Spurs survived some missed chances and the woodwork being hit three times, but they were still good value for their win and now face an EFL Cup semi-final against Chelsea as their reward in January.
The win over Arsenal means that it is now just one defeat in 12 for Pochettino’s side – a run which also includes 10 wins and an away draw against Barcelona to book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Everton possible XI: Pickford, Coleman, Zouma, Keane, Mina, Digne, Walcott, Gomez, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Richarlison