2021-22 Premier League: Week Nine – Everton vs Watford

Everton welcome Watford to Goodison Park as Rafa Benitez’s Toffees look to get their top four challenge back on track. 

With Brighton, Tottenham, Manchester United and West Ham all not in action until later in this matchweek, Everton can go fourth with victory.

Watford meanwhile can improve to 14th if Crystal Palace and Southampton lose elsewhere.

 

Team News

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Abdoulaye Doucoure is ruled out for Everton with a stress fracture in his foot which means that the midfielder won’t be available to face his former team.

Richarlison (knee) and Andre Gomes (calf) could both be in contention for selection but Dominic Calvert-Lewin (quad) and Fabian Delph (shoulder) remain ruled out.

Watford could welcome Josh King back from a knee injury.

Peter Etebo (quad), Nicolas N’Koulou (fitness), Francisco Sierralta and Christian Kabasele (both hamstring) remain absent.

 

Stat Attack

  • Everton are unbeaten in three of their last five league meetings against Watford (W2, D1, L2).
  • Watford are winless in 16 previous visits to Goodison Park in all competitions (D2, L14), with both draws finishing 2-2 in August 2015 and December 2018 respectively.
  • Both teams have missed one penalty kick apiece in 14 previous Premier League meetings, with Everton scoring three of four penalties whereas Watford missed their only spot-kick.
  • Everton’s Allan has made more tackles than any other non European player in Premier League this season, producing 24 tackles in eight league appearances.
  • No Watford player has made more blocks in their opening eight league matches this season than William Troost-Ekong, with the Nigeria international making eight blocks in eight appearances.

 

Prediction

After falling to a narrow defeat against West Ham last weekend, Everton come into this match needing a win to get their European qualification bid back on track, although they must find that clinical touch and improve defensively which were their biggest downfalls last time out.

Watford meanwhile looked defensively lacklustre without much passion against Liverpool last weekend, even despite a change of manager which suggests that their issues lie beyond the manager, meaning that I don’t hold much hope for them here unless there is a marked improvement in all areas of the pitch.

On that note, I am anticipating an one-sided contest here unless Everton can’t find their clinical touch but the Hornets should at least look to keep the score respectable.

Prediction: Everton 2-0 Watford

Result: Everton 2-5 Watford

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