Everton travel to Vicarage Road on Saturday evening to face Watford, looking for their first away win since December.
Sam Allardyce’s side got back to winning ways last time out against Crystal Palace but have struggled away from Merseyside, losing four of their last five road trips whilst conceding 13 goals in the process.
A win for the Blues could see them leapfrog Burnley and Leicester City into seventh place in the Premier League table.
On the flip side, Javi Gracia’s side will be looking to recapture the spark that lifted them to a 4-1 home win against Chelsea at the beginning of the month. Last time out, they were beaten 2-0 away at West Ham United.
They could drag themselves up to a point behind Everton with a win on Saturday evening.
Both sides have not played for a fortnight due to their respective eliminations from the FA Cup and will have taken the time off to get prepare for an all-important Premier League run in.
Allardyce’s side jetted off to Dubai for a bout of warm weather training during the break that new forward Cenk Tosun insisted was about hard work and not ‘sun and relaxation.’
The Blues will be hoping that the warm weather training leads to a sizzling result at a stadium they have not won at since 2007.
The last meeting between the two sides was the wild affair earlier this season that saw Everton, then managed by caretaker boss David Unsworth, overturn a two-goal deficit against the Hornets who were then managed by Marco Silva.
Unsworth’s side needed second-half heroics from Leighton Baines, Oumar Niasse and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to pick up all three points after Richarlison and Christian Kabasele gave the visitors the lead.
The game was settled in the 12 minutes of injury time signalled by referee Graham Scott in a tale of two very late penalties.
Baines slotted his to give Everton a late 3-2 lead before former Blues midfielder Tom Cleverley fired his 99th-minute spot kick wide.
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A look at: Watford FC
The Hornets currently sit 15th in the Premier League table, four points above the drop zone and four behind Everton in ninth.
They’ve lost three of their last six games with one win and two draws coming in the other three games.
However, Gracia’s men are aiming to win consecutive home PL matches for the first time since April 2017.
Former Everton fan favourite Gerard Deulofeu joined on loan from Barcelona in January and will provide a constant threat on the right-hand side.
The mercurial 23-year-old was the catalyst for the impressive victory over Chelsea, scoring himself whilst also winning a vital penalty but was a second-half substitute in the defeat against West Ham following a subpar performance.
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Probable line-ups and Team News
Everton are hopeful of welcoming back Leighton Baines to squad for Saturday’s trip but Seamus Coleman is struggling. Baines has been sidelined since November whilst Coleman picked up a thigh strain in the win over Palace.
Idrissa Gueye, who signed a new contract during the week, departed the Palace win with injury could also return.
Eliaquim Mangala is definitely out for the Blues as they continue to monitor his injury.
The injury list continues to be an extensive one for Gracia’s side but they could be boosted by the returns of Heurelho Gomes, Miguel Britos, Will Hughes and Kiko Femenía after the quartet returned to training during the break.
Forward Stefano Okaka will be available but Nathaniel Chalobah, Tom Cleverley, Younès Kaboul and Christian Kabasele are still sidelined.
Watford: Karnezis, Fermenia, Zeegelaar, Holebas, Prodl, Mariappa, Doucoure, Capoue, Deulofeu, Richarlison, Deeney.
Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Keane, Williams, Gueye, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Niasse.
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Match Day Stats
- Everton’s last game on February 24th was a 3-0 away win at Watford in 2007. Manuel Fernandes, Andy Johnson and Leon Osman scored the goals for David Moyes’ side.
- The Blues are undefeated in 13 of their last 14 games against the Hornets in all competitions.
- Over their last seven games, Watford have averaged around two goals conceded per game.