Everton vs Norwich City
Venue: Goodison Park
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Everton have the perfect chance to increase their gap from the relegation zone as they face bottom-placed Norwich City at Goodison Park.
Marco Silva’s men beat Southampton away from home before the internationals, thanks to a late winner from Richarlison. Homegrown midfielder Tom Davies rose to nod past Saints stopper Alex McCarthy in the opening stages.
A misfiring Toffees side saw just five of their 24 shots fall on target. However, Richarlison’s late strike cancelled out a Danny Ings equaliser to secure Everton’s first away victory of the campaign.
Norwich City succumbed to a third consecutive defeat to fellow strugglers Watford. Daniel Farke’s side replaced the Hornets at the very foot of the table, losing 2-0 on away turf with star striker Teemu Pukki still yet to return to his best.
The Canaries are still yet to earn three points since their shock victory over reigning champions Manchester City in September. The north Norfolk outfit could climb off bottom spot with a draw or win and this stage of the campaign will be crucial for Farke’s future.
Marco Silva’s Everton side will be eager to earn three points in this one and it shouldn’t be too much of a task. The Merseysiders face Leicester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal in the following weeks and will be praying to get some points on the table before a tricky run of fixtures.
Everton will be the more confident side. Despite summer signing Moise Kean failing to live up to the hype thus far, fellow forwards Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison have been reliable goalscorers this term. With the likes of Tosun, Sigurdsson, Bernard and a handful of defenders chipping in with goals, Silva is sure to be confident ahead of this tie.
Daniel Farke’s Norwich have seen star striker Pukki’s form dry up entirely; the Finn has failed to net since the victory over Man City over two months ago. Despite only scoring two fewer goals as a club this campaign, Norwich City have failed to find a regular scorer during Pukki’s slump and this has come to haunt them.
The last time these sides met came in the Carabao Cup in September 2016. Norwich fired two past Everton in an impressive away victory with ex-Toffee Steven Naismith and Josh Murphy the scorers. They had previously played each other in the league in May of the same year. In that fixture, James McCarthy, Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas struck to seal a 3-0 win.
The Toffees will be eager to replicate the last league meeting and climb away from relegation to Premier League security.
Everton face minimal injury trouble coming into this fixture. Portugal midfielder Andre Gomes (ankle) remains out after a horror collision with Son Heung-min in a recent tie. Brazilian Bernard (knee) was withdrawn during the Toffees’ game against Brighton on 26 October and is also set to sit out.
England midfielder turned full-back Fabian Delph (hamstring) sat out of Three Lions’ Euro qualifiers and wasn’t risked by Silva beforehand against Southampton. The ex-Man City and Villa man is a doubt but is thought to be on his way back to fitness.
Summer recruit Jean-Philippe Gbamin, brought in from Mainz, is set to be sidelined until the new year with a tendon injury in his thigh. Meanwhile, Turkish forward Cenk Tosun (groin) could return after missing Euro 2020 qualifiers over the past two weeks.
Norwich City are hoping their injury crisis is coming to a conclusion. Timm Klose (knee) and Christoph Zimmermann (foot) remain out long-term.
New injuries to Josip Drmic (hamstring) and Kenny McLean (unspecified knock) aren’t set to be too disruptive with both expected to return in coming weeks. Defender Grant Hanley (groin) is doubtful but there is a chance he will return to at least the bench.
Predicted Starting XIs
Everton (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Sidibe, Mina, Keane, Digne; Schneiderlin, Davies; Walcott, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin
Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Tettey, Godfrey, Lewis; Trybull, Vrancic; Buendia, Stiepermann, Cantwell; Pukki
Match Prediction: Everton 2-0 Norwich City
Marco Silva’s side should have the steel across the pitch to combat a struggling Norwich side. Farke’s outfit can turn it on when they want to and the break may have given Farke time to conjure up a plan.
However, an Everton side on the up are surely favourites in this one.