Date: 8th February 2014 at 4:21am
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On Sky

A big 3pts will be on the line at White Hart Lane as top 4 hopefuls Everton and Spurs face off on Sunday. Everton bounced back from their horror showing in the Derby and came from behind to defeat a spirited Villa side 2-1. Spurs seem to be suffering their first minor blip under new management with the side failing to bounce back from their own horror show against Man City as they were held 1-1 against Hull City. As it stands right now, both sides are on the outside looking in with Everton 5th, one point and one place better off than Spurs, however, with Liverpool facing league leaders Arsenal, 3pts for either side could give them a massive boost in the race for 4th and consequently deal a blow to the hopes of the other side.

Vital Quotes:

Everton manager Roberto Martinez on the Sherwood managed Spurs

‘Spurs are one of the teams in form. Since the new manager has come in, they play with a real freedom. I think they have got rid of that responsibility and tension of having a lot of money spent in the summer – I think it’s the opposite now. They have a very good group of players trying to enjoy their football. They come out in games expressing themselves. I feel that they are a difficult side to face now and it’s going to be a terrific test. In many ways they are still very similar [to the side from the last meeting] because they have the same playing personnel and they have a strong footballing concepts that have been maintained. But on the other side they are very different in the psychology of the team.’

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen on Everton

‘It is games like this we have to win if we want to compete for fourth place,’

‘They’re a very good team with very good players. They impress me. They have a good manager. They’re a good team to watch.

‘I like to watch Everton all the time because they play proper football.’

Tottenham Hotspur Team News:

Spurs could be boosted with the return of winger Andros Townsend after a lengthy layoff from a hamstring injury, Townsend has participated in training this week and is a very good chance to return. Spurs are also set to welcome back Moussa Dembele after he missed the draw with Hull with an ankle problem. The game has come too early for Sandro who is a doubt with a calf problem. He will join Erik Lamela (thigh) and Chiriches (unspecified) on the sidelines for the match.

Possible Starting XI: Lloris, Rose, Vertonghen, Dawson, Walker, Paulinho, Dembele, Townsend, Eriksen, Adebayor, Soldado

Player to watch: Emmanuel Adebayor

The often criticised striker has been the main beneficiary of the new manager and Adebayor has definitely paid off Sherwood’s belief in him. Under Villas Boas, Spurs really struggled to find the net on a consistent basis, however under a more attacking Sherwood, Spurs have begun to find their scoring boots and Adebayor is leading their charge scoring some crucial goals in the past couple months. Not only is Adebayor a threat on goal, but he is also decent in the link up play between the midfielders and will pose a major threat for Everton

Everton Team News:

Everton are set to welcome back right back Seamus Coleman after he overcame the hamstring injury he suffered 3wks ago, he was on the bench for the win over Villa, but is expected to resume his role at right back against Spurs. Everton are also set to welcome back Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu, who has been sidelined since December with a hamstring injury, however, he will make his return from the bench. Everton could hand a debut to new signing Lacina Traore after he overcame a hamstring injury, however, given his match fitness, you would expect that he would make his debut off the bench on Sunday. Everton will be without striker Romelu Lukaku who still faces at least another week or two on the sidelines with an ankle injury, he will join Bryan Oviedo (broken leg), Alcaraz (muscle fatigue) and Gibson and Kone (both knee) on the sidelines.

Possible Starting XI: Howard, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, Pienaar, Barkley, Naismith

Player to watch: Kevin Mirallas

With injuries hitting the Everton squad recently, Mirallas has seemingly stepped up and really helped Everton stay alive in this race for 4th. With many of the first teamers returning from injury, fans will be hoping Mirallas can maintain his form for the rest of the season as his quality could be vital in the home stretch of the season. Mirallas’ quality was on show last weekend for everyone to see as his stunning free kick got Everton the points against Villa, and fans will be hoping he can emulate last season’s performance against Spurs where the scored a terrific solo goal in the 2-2 draw. With Spurs hopefully pushing numbers forward, Mirallas will be licking his lips at the potential space he can utilise in attack and poses a big threat to the Spurs defence.

Match Facts & Stats

1. Spurs haven’t had much success against Everton recently, the Londoners have only won twice in their last 13 league meetings. However, overall in the Premier League, Spurs have had the better record, especially at home. In the Premier League, Spurs have beaten Everton 12 times in the league, which is tied with Newcastle for the most against one side.

2. 110yrs ago this week was the first meeting between the two sides. The FA Cup tie was won by Spurs. Since then, there has been 166 meetings between the two sides with Spurs winning 60, Everton winning 55 and 51 draws

3. Everton and Spurs have lost the most Premier League games since its inception in 1992. Everton have lost 292 games while Spurs have lost 288 games.

4. Spurs have been less than stellar at home, they have taken 11pts from their last 10 home games, however, Everton haven’t been great away from home having only won once in their last 5 away games.

5. Everton have conceded the most penalties this season with 6, Spurs have won 4 penalties at White Hart Lane this season, which is only behind Liverpool (5) for the most this season.

Match Prediction:

I expect it to be a very different game from the match up at Goodison where it ended in a tight and cagey 0-0 draw, under Sherwood, Spurs are much more adventurous going forward, and under Martinez, Everton have become a bit more attacking, so hopefully we will be in for a free flowing, exciting game of football. Spurs will be under a tiny bit more pressure being at home, where they have struggled at times this season, and hopefully Everton can exploit this. With so much on the line, this type of match typically ends in a draw, so I am just sitting on the fence and say a 2-2 draw with Adebayor and Paulinho on the scoresheet for Spurs and Mirallas and Traore for Everton. COYB!! PROVE ME WRONG!! 3PTS HERE WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE LADS!!!!!!