Everton vs Watford Preview: Blues looking to end run of five consecutive defeats

A preview of Everton's Sunday afternoon home clash with Watford.

Everton vs Watford Preview: Blues looking to end run of five consecutive defeats
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Everton welcome Watford to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon, as they return back to Merseyside following three successive away games.

The Blues are also looking for their first win since the end of September, a 2-1 win over AFC Bournemouth, but could also do with some sort of foundational result seeing as they’ve lost their five consecutive games.

Time may also be running out on David Unsworth’s interim role as he’s failed to turn around the form that led to Ronald Koeman losing his job in the first place.

Standing opposite him on Sunday will be Marco Silva, one of the more popular choices to replace Koeman on a full-time basis.

The former Hull City boss has had his more than fair share of critics but is seemingly proving them wrong this season, as his Hornets side sit eighth in the Premier League table.

The last time the two teams met at Goodison Park, a solitary Ross Barkley goal was enough to give the hosts the three points.

Barkley isn’t available this time around so the Blues will need to call on somebody else to be their match-winner.

In Focus: Blues unable to buy a win

There have been numerous problems that have plagued Everton this season, most notably the inability to put the ball in the back of the net.

When Romelu Lukaku departed for Manchester United, former boss Koeman looked to replace him in the aggregate with goals from midfield - spending big on Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney.

It hasn’t worked and the Blues are in free fall, fully acknowledging that a relegation battle could be on as the Premier League season begins to creep towards a testing winter run.

For Everton, winter isn’t just coming - it’s already arrived.

They’ve lost their last five consecutive games for the first time in 12 years. They sit 18th in the table on eight points after ten games. For all their trouble, a few results on the spin could see them shoot up the table.

Yet the problem is that nobody can quite see where a few results may come from.

The defence is leaky, the midfield battle isn’t quite there and the attack is toothless. Confidence is in the dumps on the blue side of Merseyside and the rub of the green isn’t going their way in games.

It is relegation type stuff week in, week out.

Alarm bells aren’t just ringing at Goodison Park, they’re deafening.

 

A Look at: Watford

After an excellent start to life at Vicarage Road, Marco Silva’s Watford side sit eighth in the Premier League table, four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

The Portuguese boss invested wisely in his squad over the summer, with Brazilian forward Richarlison proving to be an inspired purchase. The forward has made more touches in the opposition box, 74 in total, than any other Premier League player in the opening 10 games of the season.

He could prove to be a handful for David Unsworth’s side come Sunday afternoon.

The Hornets have suffered back-to-back defeats under Silva for the first time and will be looking to bounce back against an Everton side in free fall.

Last weekend’s 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Stoke City was the first time in the league this season that Silva’s side have really faulted in a game they had been expected to win.

They unable to finish multiple chances and dominated possession against the Potters but didn’t make it count.

As they head into Sunday’s fixture, Silva’s side will be without captain Troy Deeney as he begins a three-match ban following a retrospective suspension for a clash with Joe Allen last weekend.

 

Probable line-ups

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Keane, Jagielka, Baines, Gueye, Davies, Sigurdsson, Mirallas, Lookman and Rooney.

Watford: Gomes, Kiko, Britos, Kabasele, Holebas, Doucoure, Cleverley, Capoue, Carillo, Richarlison and Gray.

Match Day Stats

  1. Watford have avoided defeat in only one of their 10 top-flight away matches at Goodison Park, a 2-2 draw in August 2015.
  2. With a win, Watford will reach 18 points and equal their highest tally after 11 matches of a top-flight campaign.
  3. Everton have kept only one clean sheet in their 10 league matches this season.