Everton vs Huddersfield
K/O: 15:00 hours
Venue: Goodison Park
Referee: Stuart Attwell
This weekends fixture list sees Everton take on Huddersfield at Goodison Park; both teams took points last weekend and will be looking to get back into the win column ahead of the international break.
The Toffees remain undefeated under Marco Silva this season but will be looking to improve after failing to see out a two-goal lead over Bournemouth last Saturday. The Terriers on the other hand are in the bottom three of the table after their draw with Cardiff earnt them their first point of the campaign.
Although Silva’s men drew with Eddie Howe’s side, the confidence will still be high amongst the squad as their side kept their composure after Richarlison’s positive start in an Everton shirt was cut short after receiving a red card just before half time at the Vitality. There will be a focus on Everton’s ability to perform for a full 90 minutes; as despite their impressive performance, two goals in the last fifteen minutes saw them share the spoils with Bournemouth. Everton fans will still be looking forward to the weekend after a 3-1 Carabao Cup win over Championship opposition Rotherham lifted optimism around the new look Everton side.
The cup win means Silva’s competitive record is two wins and two draws. Although he made eight changes to his starting line-up for the visit of Rotherham, the players performed and highlighted the depth of Everton’s squad. A debut start for both Lucas Digne and Kurt Zouma were given and Calvert-Lewin’s two goals shows the England under-21 striker can perform for the first team when called upon; his impressive performance may see him replace the suspended Richarlison come this weekend.
Everton will be once again looking at their midfield to be the key to a successful team performance. Gylfi Sigurdsson, who also scored against Rotherham, could be key as he has made a bright start to the campaign in his central role, a lot of Everton’s play has gone through the Icelandic international and he will be relied upon again against Huddersfield. Theo Walcott will also look to continue his fine form after being rested in the mid-week fixture.
Huddersfield will be hoping that they can earn points at Goodison and change their luckless start to the season. Their goalless draw against newly promoted Cardiff was far from an inspiring performance and a 2-0 defeat to Stoke in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday only added to Wagner’s woes. His side have not won a game in their last eight, a run that started towards the end of last season.
Huddersfield’s captain Hogg will also miss the fixture against Everton after being dismissed against Cardiff. The side were grateful to take a point against the Bluebirds after having to defend tirelessly for the last 30 minutes of the game. The Yorkshire side have only scored once so far this season and only one time in their last eight home fixtures. If a goalscorer does not emerge soon, they may find themselves in a relegation battle come the end of the season and Wagner has to address this issue sooner rather then later.
Huddersfield will be looking to Aaron Mooy as their potential game changer but with the side failing to score in 23 of their 41 Premier League games, they may be relying on a strong defensive performance away from home to earn points against in form opposition.
This fixture could be a one-sided affair, with one team very much in form and the other the opposite which may result in an attack versus defence fixture. Everton’s players seem to have bought into Silva’s philosophy and will be raring to impress in front of their home crowd once again. Huddersfield will be hoping that they can disrupt Everton’s attacking play with a dogged performance that could see them earn a point or steal all three.
Everton: Phil Jagielka may play along side Mason Holgate after his suspension has been served. However, Kurt Zouma may make his first Premier League start for the Toffee’s as Michael Keane will not feature after being treated in hospital after a clash of heads with team mate Idrissa Gueye last weekend. Silva also has to fill Richarlison’s position which could see him replaced by either Dominic Calvert-Lewin or new signing Bernard. However, it may be too soon for the Brazilian to make his full Everton debut.
Huddersfield: Although Wagner has to replace Hogg and potentially the injured goalkeeper Ben Hamer, he will likely stick with a similar starting line-up. It may be a matter of his strongest side building confidence together as a lack of creativity is their most vital issue.
Predicted Starting XI’s
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Zouma, Holgate, Baines; Gueye, Schneiderlin; Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson, Walcott; Tosun
Huddersfield: Lössl; Hadergjonaj, Jorgensen, Schindler, Kongolo; Billing, Diakhaby, Mbenza, Mooy; van La Parra, Mounie
Score Prediction: Everton 2 Huddersfield 0
Silva’s side are capable of goals whilst Wagner’s are not. Everton’s impressive midfield should be too much for Huddersfield to handle. The Terrier’s fans will be hoping for a strong performance and potential a point but are more likely to take points against other Premier League strugglers this season.