Match Preview, Everton vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Sunday 24th May 2015. 3pm Kick off.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Not televised in the UK. Worldwide TV schedule can be found HERE.

The last game of the season is upon us – Everton away from home is how we will finish what has been a positive season overall, although one with it’s problems. We have had our ups and downs but overall, in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season in charge we have done what was expected of us – not at the standard of Champions League, but we have had good results this term and coming into the final day of the season we can still hit 5th place, so we do have something to play for heading to Goodison Park – maybe it’s not the most prestigious or important of things to play for, but it includes pride and well, finishing above Liverpool and Southampton would be a nice thing to finish on – as well as a win over Everton at Goodison Park, which is a difficult place to go. A convincing and good performance would be great to finish this season on and head into what is going to be an important summer and an even more important 2015/16 campaign.

Everton have had an erratic and inconsistent season – they are 10th in the Premier League and that is the highest they can get, with Stoke City four points ahead of them in 9th. But, Everton still have to cement a place in the top 10 – with West Ham just behind them on goal difference in 11th. Both Everton and ourselves still have to secure the highest positions possible in the Premier League, and although it’s not the most amazing of prizes, a place higher or lower in the Premier League, it is still important to finish as high as possible and finish the season on a high, so I’m sure both sides will be fighting hard for the victory. Last time we faced Everton, it was at White Hart Lane earlier this season, a 2-1 win with Christian Eriksen scoring as well as a rare goal for Roberto Soldado giving us one of our most important wins of the season, which gave us a massive lift for the rest of the season, and it definitely helped our confidence through the season – hopefully we can finish the season in similar fashion. The last time we travelled to Merseyside, was back in 2013 when we drew 0-0 under AVB – we will be hoping for a more exciting match, and hope that we can get the victory this time on our visit to Goodison Park. Last time out Everton scraped past West Ham at Upton Park 2-1 thanks to a Romelu Lukaku late goal that secured the three points for the Blues, let’s hope we can avoid late disappointment this Sunday!

The team news for the Toffees is that Aaron Lennon is of course ineligible for Everton because he is on loan from us, and has therefore returned to Spurs, but won’t feature for Tottenham either. Everton are suffering from seven possible absentees – Steven Pienaar (muscular), Antonio Alcaraz (muscular), Leighton Baines (ankle), Bryan Oviedo (metatarsal), Darren Gibson (metatarsal) and Tony Hibbert (knee) are ruled out, while Sylvain Distin (illness) faces a late fitness test. Romelu Lukaku is Everton’s most obvious threat – their powerful Belgian striker has 10 goals in the Premier League and 20 goals in all competitions; although he has had an inconsistent season in the League, his numbers overall have been fairly impressive and I’m sure he will be looking to improve on his League form next season. Alongside Romelu Lukaku, Belgian teammate Kevin Mirallas is another goal scoring threat, with his pace and skill can cause problems for any defence and with the lack of pace in our central defence he could be a real menace – and Mirallas scored in our last meeting, a stunning goal from range – so he is one to keep an eye on – with seven goals in the Premier League this term, and 10 in all competitions. Ross Barkley is without doubt an exciting talent for the future, with his dribbling ability and composure on the ball, as well as his shooting and eye for goal at just 21, but this season he has faltered and only hit 2 goals and 2 assists, which Barkley would be disappointed with for such a talented player – I’m sure he will still be quite the handful though this Sunday.
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The team news for Tottenham is that Michel Vorm (illness) is a doubt and will have a late fitness test, which opens the door for Brad Friedel possibly making the bench in his final game as a player before retirement. Ben Davies (shoulder) and Kyle Walker (foot) remain out injured. Vlad Chiriches returns from suspension but doesn’t look likely to earn a place in the squad. Emmanuel Adebayor has been released on compassionate leave to help sort out family problems in Togo so won’t feature in our final game of the season.

Our final game of the season and we want to go out in style. We will be looking to our attacking threats to produce in what is going to be a tough game up in Merseyside. Harry Kane is going through a little dry spell, looking fairly tired which is expected after the full on performances he has put in throughout the season – but I’m sure he will like to finish his incredible season with a goal, and make 30 goals at least 31. He will need help from his offensive support who need to do exactly that – support. Christian Eriksen has been disappointing of late, looking burnt out and I’m sure he will be relieved that the season is coming to an end and he can get some rest to come back even better next season; however I would like to see Eriksen and Kane combine well before the season is out, as their partnership really looks to be the future of our attack. But I do think that Eriksen needs a little bit of competition, as although he has been poor, he has still kept his place so he could feel irreplaceable at the moment, so that could be an area for Pochettino and co to look at. Nacer Chadli has been one of the triumphs of the season – his goal scoring and much improved performances have been a great part of this campaign and he hasn’t let up on his goal scoring, now hitting 13 for the season and I’m sure he will be looking to strike once again in our final game of the season. The final piece of our attacking force this season has been Erik Lamela, our top assister this campaign, and despite disappointing for a large part of the season, coming into the final games he has impressed with his tenacity and effectiveness in the final third – hopefully he can further improve next season. Defensively, Danny Rose has been one of our best players this season and without doubt our most improved player this season, contributing defensively and offensively, and he has brought balance to our side, making sure we have an outlet on the left hand side who has been able to provide crosses and this season goals – he has cemented himself as our number one left back and become a crucial player for us.
Our last game of the season! Let’s go out in style. Everton at Goodison Park awaits and we will be hoping to finish the season strongly, with the possibility of moving ahead of Liverpool into 5th, which would be nice to finish the season on. You can of course get updates on the game including photos, videos and more from my twitter account, follow me there @AddictedToSpurs! COYS!!

Match stats provided by StatsZone:

– Everton have gone seven games unbeaten at home to Tottenham in the Premier League, winning three (D4).

– Spurs have won consecutive PL games against Everton for the first time since April 2006 (a run of four wins).

– Tottenham have won on the final day in each of the last four seasons, the longest current run in the Premier League.

– Harry Kane has won his team more points than any other player in the Premier League this season (22).

– Everton have won six of their last seven final day games, including the last four at home.

– Four of Erik Lamela’s seven PL assists this season have been for Nacer Chadli.

– Leighton Baines needs one more assist to reach double figures for only the second time in his Premier League career.

– Romelu Lukaku has scored at least 10 goals in each of the last three Premier League campaigns.

– Harry Kane has failed to score in his last four Premier League games, his longest drought since October.

My predicted/preferred side to face Everton at Goodison Park:
Dier – Fazio – Vertonghen – Rose
Mason – Bentaleb
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli

Here what Mauricio Pochettino had to say before the Everton match on Spurs TV, HERE.

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Everton.

Match date & time: Sunday 30th November 2014. 4pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. Worldwide TV listings, HERE.

A few seasons ago, when we saw a home game on our fixture list, confidence would flow through our veins. ‘We’re always good at home’, would be the cry pre-game, and most of the time we would deliver, especially under Harry Redknapp and possibly Martin Jol. But, at this moment in time, our home crowd has become a curse to the players, struggling to find any sort of form at home and wins coming at a premium. As a fan, you always want to win at home, that’s where your team should feel more comfortable, having the backing of the fans, and being able to make the pitch suit your style. But, it seems the fans support can sometimes, or most of the time at White Hart Lane, turn sour very quickly if things don’t go Tottenham’s way, but that’s no excuse for lacklustre performances the fans have had to endure at White Hart Lane this season. Now, we need the players to give us something to cheer about in the Premier League at White Hart Lane, go out onto the pitch and play with intensity, drive and show the flair that runs through our team. The players prior to the game have been speaking about the need to win at home, and how driven they are to win for the fans – but now, it’s time for them to put words into action and perform like they want it more than the opposition. Everton are a very tough team in prospect, with top players and a talented manager who has imprinted his philosophy in his team very well. We will need to find our form very quickly this Sunday to combat a well directed side in Everton.

Everton have had a difficult season so far, and sit in 9th, level on points with ourselves in 10th. Everything points to this being a very tight and tactical game, but hopefully with attacking style that Everton have, there will be space for Tottenham to imprint our style onto the game. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of teams coming to White Hart Lane, sitting back, and grabbing a goal on the counter attack. With Everton, although I don’t expect them to be silly and leave heaps of space for our attacking players, it should be easier for us to find spaces, and create chances. But, it will mean defensively we will have to be more aware of the Evertonian outfit. Despite only winning 4 games in 12 so far this Premier League season, in all competitions, the Toffees are unbeaten in 8 games including the Europa League, and come into this game off the back of a good 2-0 win away at Wolfsburg. Whether the Europa League will affect their form more than us is another question, as they had to travel to Germany, and we had a nice Home game. In games after a Europa League fixture, Everton have lost twice, drawn once and won only once, and that came against a struggling Burnley side. Our record isn’t much better! Having lost four times, drawn none and winning twice. So it’s the battle of who can deal with Europa League commitments more! Last time we faced Everton, we came out victorious at White Hart Lane last season, a 1-0 win, Emmanuel Adebayor scoring the winner in a tight and tactical game. I’d expect a similar match this time around. Hopefully we get a similar scoreline!

The team news for Everton is that Steven Naismith (hamstring), Leighton Baines (hamstring), Gareth Barry (ankle), Steven Pienaar (knee), and Arouna Kone (knee) will all be looking to be part of the squad for this one after injuries, but still face late fitness tests. But, John Stones (ankle), Brian Oviedo (leg), Antolin Alcaraz (shoulder), Darren Gibson (knee) and James McCarthy (hamstring) are all expected to miss the game at White Hart Lane, which is the bad news for the blues! Everton have many threatening, offensive players that can cause problems for defences and score goals. The attack is lead by big Romelu Lukaku, the young Belgian has proved himself in the Premier League as one of the best strikers in the League, and Everton did well to sign him this season, although only getting 6 goals this season in all competitions, he looks like he’s finding his feet lately and is coming into this game 2 goals in 2 games. Jan Vertonghen, his Belgian team mate, will be well aware of what Romelu Lukaku can do and will have to be at his best to control him! After returning from injury, Kevin Mirallas is back and back in form, he’s a really threatening player and whether played on the left, right, or through the middle can be a thorn in any defence with his pace and skill, another Belgian as well! It’s well documented about how important Everton’s full backs are to their style of play; offensive, hard working and with final product as well. Seamus Coleman at right back and Leighton Baines at left back will create chances, and have chances themselves, it’s important we can keep tabs on them otherwise they will cause us problems.

The team news for Tottenham is that Younes Kaboul, Emmanuel Adebayor, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli and Danny Rose are all in contention after returning to training. Andros Townsend (ankle), is a major doubt for the game. With Federico Fazio available after missing the Partizan game through suspension and Nabil Bentaleb fully recovered after his ankle problem. Although, Kyle Walker (groin) and Kyle Naughton (suspended) are out of the game. It’s unknown as of yet if the first 5 names will be fit enough to start, but Nacer Chadli is a big boost after his brilliant goalscoring form so far this season, and hopefully he can come back into the squad and make an impact once again, but I’d probably say it’s from the bench rather than starting.

After impressing against Hull City, and performing well against Partizan in his 400th career appearance, Aaron Lennon has put in a major shout to start against Everton in this game, and I would start him, not only for his pace, width and ability to beat a man, but his defensive qualities as well against Everton, who rely heavily on their attacking full backs. With Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker unavailable, we will have to rely on either Vlad Chiriches or Eric Dier at right back, so they will need support on that right flank and I think Aaron Lennon is the best man for that job. As we have lacked width and pace in our attack, he has to enter into the mind of Mauricio Pochettino to start this game. In that right back slot, I think it should be given to Vlad Chiriches, as I think he offers more agility and pace than Eric Dier, who suits the centre back role a lot more. Offensively, Harry Kane was rested in midweek, which heavily suggests he’ll be in the starting line up once again in the Premier League, and his goalscoring form is incredible at the moment, but hopefully Sunday is the day that he gets his first Premier League home goal of the season, especially in a game as important as this, his finishing of chances will be crucial, he needs to hit top form. Christian Eriksen was outstanding against Hull City, especially in that second half, because there was more space in key areas around the oppositions penalty area, so if we can get Eriksen into the key areas in-between the Everton midfield and defence, he will cause problems and be major threat to Everton, in my view, when he plays well, Tottenham play well, hopefully he can continue to improve as the season goes on. At left back, despite Danny Rose expected to be back from a chest injury, I would continue to play Ben Davies and give him his first Premier League start at White Hart Lane; he’s done very well against Partizan and Hull City and doesn’t deserve to be dropped in my eyes. He’s better defensively than Rose, so against possibly Mirallas and Coleman, I’d have more confidence in Davies than Rose.

Match stats & facts provided by Opta:

– Tottenham are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games against Everton at White Hart Lane (W3 D2 L0).

– Everton have made a league-high six errors leading to goals this season.

– Three of Tottenham’s five Premier League wins this season have come via 90th minute goals.

– This will be Tottenham’s 31st Premier League game on a Sunday since the start of last season.

– Spurs have conceded five goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season (29% of their total).

– Two of Samuel Eto’o’s Premier League goals for Everton have come away from home (all nine of his PL goals for Chelsea came at Stamford Bridge).

– Leighton Baines has already assisted six goals in the Premier League this season, two more than he managed in the whole of 2013-14.

– Before this game, Everton’s last six Premier League games against London sides have all taken place at Goodison Park.

– Everton have kept just two clean sheets in their last 21 Premier League visits to London.

– Tottenham have conceded more goals from the penalty spot than any other side in the Premier League this season heading into matchday 13 (3).

A big game, with the Tottenham players having a lot to prove at White Hart Lane in the Premier League! A tough opposition, with a talented manager. I’m expecting a tight game, but hopefully we’ll get some excitement and quality throughout the game with some real talented players on both sides. I’m looking forward to this one! I’ll be attending the game, but I’ll update as much as I can from the stands at White Hart Lane! You can watch the game live on Sky Sports 1, but remember to follow me on Twitter, here: @AddictedToSpurs.! Let’s get three points!! COYS!

My predicted/preferred team to face Everton at the Lane:
Chiriches – Fazio – Vertonghen – Davies
Stambouli – Mason
Lennon – Eriksen – Lamela

Mauricio Pochettino targets focus on tough game vs Everton (3mins forward):