Everton welcome a struggling Norwich City side to Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon looking to hit the ground running following the international break.
Prior to players jetting off around the world to represent their respective nations, Marco Silva’s side broke a long-standing duck by eeking out a 2-1 win away at strugglers Southampton. The under-fire Portuguese boss is looking to stretch an unbeaten run to three Premier League games.
However, it won’t be plain sailing against the bottom of the league Canaries, who are looking to pick up their first three points since the seventh game of the season when they shellshocked Manchester City at Carrow Road.
The Canaries haven’t won a league game at Goodison Park since 1993, but have tasted victory more recently – dispatching the Blues in a League Cup 3rd Round tie back in September of 2016.
Daniel Farke’s men will be looking to repeat that more recent result, but they also wouldn’t mind harking back to the club’s early Premier League years when Norwich blew the Toffees away with a 5-1 win.
Last meeting: Everton 3-0 Norwich
The last time the two sides met in the Premier League, a relatively young Everton line-up cruised to an end of season 3-0 victory.
It was on the back of the first sign of upheaval at Goodison Park as Roberto Martinez had been sacked only a few days earlier. David Unsworth and Joe Royle took charge as goals from James McCarthy, Leighton Baines, and Kevin Mirallas consigned the already-relegated Canaries to further despair on the final day.
Silva eyeing another 'must-win' tie
While the Blues have sparked a mini-revival, boss Silva is still looking for more positive signs from his men – going as far as saying his team have to win the game.
"It is up to us to command the game how we want and create problems for them. We need to disorganise them, because they will come with a good defensive organisation to try to create problems for us,” he said during his pre-match press conference.
“It is up to us to create the chances we need to win the game – but always without the ball to be aggressive with good pressure, because they have the quality in the way they play to create problems.”
Farke eager to arrest early season slide
Norwich, as a club, may find themselves staring at yet another relegation battle season, but boss Farke, who has only tasted success in Norfolk, is wary of correcting their course before the early skid becomes a full-on slip back to the Championship.
"We responded to every loss last season with a win, so there was no crisis,” he noted, reflecting on the promotion campaign. “At this level, you have difficult periods. We have to learn because we are not experienced in a relegation battle."
Team News and Predicted XI's
As for team news, Everton’s midfield struggles look set to continue as Fabian Delph faces a late test on his hamstring injury.
The Blues had hoped to see Bernard back after suffering a knee injury away at Brighton, but it could be a week too early for the tricky Brazilian. Cenk Tosun should be fit enough for the bench after suffering a groin injury during duty with Turkey.
Norwich will be without Grant Hanley, Josip Drmic, Jamal Lewis, and Timm Klose, as the injured quartet continues on their road to recovery.
Top goal scorer Teemu Pukki is likely to start after suffering a minor injury during Finland’s successful Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
Everton: Pickford, Sidibe, Digne, Mina, Holgate, Schneiderlin, Davies, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Iwobi, and Richarlison.
Norwich City: Krul, Aarons, Heise, Tettey, Godfrey, Trybull, McLean, Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez, and Pukki.