Everton travel to Wembley on Saturday evening for a 5:30pm kick-off against Tottenham Hotspur with Blues boss Sam Allardyce hoping that playing at Wembley will bring the best out of his players.
The Blues have not won away at Tottenham since 2008 but will swap the regular trip to the confines of White Hart Lane for the national stadium as they look to grab a result against Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Allardyce acknowledges that it will be a tough test for the Blues but one every player in the squad should be relishing.
Speaking ahead of the game, the 63-year-old Everton boss said: “Tottenham look like they have overcome the problems they had in the early stages of playing there (Wembley). They have got over those negative vibes that everybody seemed to have about it and are a big force there now.”
He added: “It will be a tough game to play because of the quality of their side, but you hope Wembley will bring the best out of our players because they have the chance to play in such an iconic stadium.”
"Any opportunity to play there is one that you should really look forward to. We have a lot of players here who have played there a few times already but because of its iconic status, you should look forward to playing there.”
Tosun in line for debut
Allardyce could hand an Everton debut to January signing Cenk Tosun after he joined the club from Besiktas.
The 26-year-old forward has only been on Merseyside for a week and has only taken part in a handful of training sessions but Allardyce is hoping he can bed into his squad.
“He’s obviously very eager to make an impression and he will be in the squad for the Tottenham game,” Allardyce said. “We have to hope that he can go and hit the ground running, but I don’t think we need to feed him too much information – just let him play his natural game.
“Hopefully that will be good enough to make an impression and make us better as a goalscoring threat.”
However, Allardyce isn’t putting a result all on the forward’s shoulders and reminded his squad that the new signing will need support from his teammates.
Allardyce said: “That will depend on the players around him delivering the service that he needs to be a threat.
“The service provided in the final third is one of our weaknesses, which is why we are not scoring enough goals. We don’t have enough natural goalscorers in the squad at the moment so we have to try and improve on that.”
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Michael Keane is not available for the trip to Wembley due to a foot injury sustained against Manchester United on New Year’s Day.
The Blues will also be without long-term absentees Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori although Allardyce revealed that Coleman has returned to first-team training.
Allardyce acknowledged that the right-back is still a long way off returning to action but that the Blues will be organising a number of behind closed doors friendlies for him to try and get back to full fitness as soon as possible.