Stoke vs Everton
Venue: Bet365 Stadium
Kick off: 4PM
Everton will have to avert a five-game away losing streak to get anything from Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium this afternoon.
The Toffees have won just one of their 15 away league games this campaign and boss Sam Allardyce has revealed he has put mind above matter this week.
“We’ve tried a number of things – changing system, changing personnel… but changing mentality is the big one,” Allardyce said. “We’ve been using some more work into the mind in the analysis room. Who we are, what we want to achieve, what we can get.
“Visualising the performance you give at the top level and thinking of that to put yourself in a positive frame of mind… Tactically the preparation is fine but having a good frame of mind gives a better chance of it being delivered.”
Stoke manager Paul Lambert has been impressed with his new side since taking over in January, but wants them to take the game to Everton after going six games without a win.
Lambert said: “If we win on Saturday and get out of the bottom three, psychologically that would be a great thing for us.
“We have been in the bottom three for a number of weeks and we’ve handled it, but we’re only six points off 12th. There is nothing in it.
“It is well within our capabilities and some of the run-ins some teams have got are extremely difficult. I am thankful it is in our hands and we don’t have to rely on other teams.
“We have to entertain, it’s our home game. We have to go on the front foot. There is no time for fatigue. You have to be ready for it.”
Theo Walcott is fit for Everton to face Stoke after recovering from injury, and Idrissa Gueye returns after illness. Gylfi Sigurdsson is out with a knee injury, and Ashley Williams is banned following his red card at Burnley.
Striker Mame Biram Diouf could return for Stoke.
The Senegal international missed Monday’s defeat to Manchester City after sustaining a shoulder injury in the previous game against Southampton but will be assessed ahead of today’s tie.
Forward Saido Berahino could also be in contention after building up his fitness levels but midfielder Stephen Ireland (calf) and goalkeeper Lee Grant (broken wrist) are out.