Tottenham Hotspur will be aiming to close down the gap to Liverpool to six points when they travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton on Sunday

Gameweek 18 of the Premier League will culminate on Sunday, with just one game on show. This fixture will feature Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park, in an age old rivalry that has often delivered eye catching matches over the years.

Everton are going through yet another blip in Marco Silva’s first season, which seems to have become a trend of sorts over the course of the campaign so far. The Toffees are currently four games without a win, a run that has dropped them to 11th on the Premier League table following results on Saturday.

Tottenham, on the other hand, have stepped up, and how, over the last couple of months, with the 4-2 loss at the hands of Arsenal in the North London Derby only being a minor blip. In fact, Spurs got the better of their fierce local rivals earlier this week, as they progressed to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.

Following Chelsea’s loss to Leicester City on Saturday, Tottenham now have the chance of creating some headway. On the flipside, Manchester City’s defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace means Mauricio Pochettino’s men can cut the gap to second to just 2 points. Meanwhile, Everton can climb up to seventh with a win.

The corresponding fixtures last season had ended in a convincing 3-0 win for Tottenham, with Harry Kane scoring either side of a Christian Eriksen tap-in. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the Premier League encounter.

Team News & Tactics

Everton

Marco Silva needs to rally his men as they seek to end their four-game winless run. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Marco Silva needs to rally his men as they seek to end their four-game winless run. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Marco Silva does not have any major injury concerns hampering his preparations for the visit of Tottenham Hotspur. The Everton boss is only sweating over the fitness of Idrissa Gueye, who missed last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Manchester City due to a groin injury.

Silva will take a late decision on Gueye’s place in the starting lineup, although he should revert to the 4-2-3-1 formation irrespective of the Senegalese midfielder’s fitness situation. Tom Davies should start in midfield alongside Andre Gomes if the 29-year-old is unable to shake off the groin injury.

Meanwhile, the uncertainties borne out of the recent winless run should force Silva to tinker with his side once again, with Ademola Lookman receiving a rare start. The young Englishman should start on the right side of the Everton attack against Tottenham, with Richarlison lining up on the opposite flank.

Gylfi Sigurdsson should return to his preferred role behind the striker, who should be Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with the striker likely to be rewarded for a positive performance against Manchester City.

At the back, the change in formation should see Yerry Mina drop to the bench, with the thought of being given a breather after playing every game since making his debut against Chelsea last month. The likes of Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Kurt Zouma and Lucas Digne should comprise the back four, with Jordan Pickford lining up in the Everton goal.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Gomes, Gueye; Lookman, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin

Everton

Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino has a gamut of fitness troubles affecting his plans over the festive period. Against Everton on Sunday, the Tottenham Hotspur boss will be without as many as five first-team players due to various injuries.

In particular, midfield poses a major problem for the Argentine, with Mousa Dembele (ankle), Victor Wanyama (knee) and Eric Dier (appendix) all playing their final games in 2018 already. In the trio’s absence, Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko are the only recognised midfielders available, although Oliver Skipp provided Pochettino a handy alternative upon making his debut against Burnley last weekend.

Meanwhile, the other two absentees for Tottenham are Serge Aurier (groin) and Jan Vertonghen (thigh), although the duo’s unavailability is not as concerning as those of the three midfielders. Vertonghen’s absence, in particular, should be compensated by Juan Foyth, who should return to the starting lineup for the first time in nearly three weeks.

The Argentine should give company to Toby Alderweireld at the heart of the Tottenham defence, with Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier being the full-backs. Up ahead in attack, Pochettino has his entire arsenal at his disposal, especially with Harry Kane completely recovering from the illness that held him back against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.

The England captain should lead the line for Tottenham against Everton, while Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli seem to be certain starters well. The final spot in the side should be handed to Heung-min Son, with Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura being impact substitutes.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Foyth, Davies; Sissoko, Winks; Son, Alli, Eriksen; Kane

Tottenham

Betting Odds

Favourable Bets

1. Both Teams to Score – YES @ 1.61

Underdog Bets

1. Full Time Result – Draw @ 3.50

Key Stats

  • Everton are winless in their last 11 Premier League matches against Tottenham Hotspur (D5 L6). The Toffees’ last league victory over Spurs came back in December 2012 at Goodison Park (2-1).
  • Tottenham have won more games against Everton (25) than they have against any other team in the Premier League.
  • Everton are winless in their last 22 games against ‘big six’ opposition (D6 L16) since beating Manchester City 4-0 in January 2017.
  • Tottenham haven’t drawn any of their 17 league games this season – only Bolton in 2011-12 (18) have had a longer wait without a draw from the start of a Premier League campaign.
  • This will be just Tottenham’s third Sunday Premier League game this season – they’ve lost their previous two so far (vs Watford and Arsenal).

Player to Watch

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Will Sigurdsson be celebrating an Everton success against his former side? (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Will Sigurdsson be celebrating an Everton success against his former side? (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Sigurdsson had to drop down to the holding midfield role in the absence of Idrissa Gueye last time out. But, that is unlikely to be the case on Sunday, when Tottenham come visiting. And, if the return to his more favoured position was not motivation enough, the chance to get one over his former side could give the Icelandic playmaker the required push to produce a stunning performance.

With Everton in search of some inspiration to overturn their December rut, who else but Sigurdsson to raise his hand and inspire a turnaround in fortunes. In the process, a first Premier League win over Tottenham in over 6 years would not hurt either.

Prediction

Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Everton have continued their inconsistent season heading into the busy festive period in England. At home though, the Toffees have been a hard side to overcome, with only West Ham United managing to take maximum points away from Goodison Park.

Everton can also take advantage of the fact that Tottenham have played two energy sapping games in the last seven days, against Burnley and Arsenal. But, Spurs will be riding a wave of confidence following a stunning win over their fierce local rivals in the League Cup.

This is a match that could go the distance in search of the winner, and we expect it to end all square, thereby ending Tottenham’s run of results without a stalemate. But, the game is unlikely to be one of those drab draws, with The Hard Tackle predicting a 1-1 result that should be an end-to-end affair.

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