Seamus Coleman is expected to go straight back into the team after sitting out the win at Barnsley in midweek (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
With the John Stones transfer saga put to bed – albeit with inactivity on the incoming-transfer front causing uneasiness among supporters – Everton travel to Tottenham for the late afternoon televised kick-off tomorrow hoping for a rare win in N17 on the heels of that thrilling Capital One Cup adventure in Barnsley.
Like Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane has become a frustrating place to visit for Everton in recent years, where they haven't won since a Vedran Corluka own goal in November 2008 handed David Moyes three points that, at the time, moved the Blues seven points ahead of Spurs who were languishing in 15th place. They came close two years ago when Gylfi Sigurdsson snatched a draw with a late goal but it's largely been a difficult fixture for the Blues in the Premier League era.
Tottenham come into this weekend in a similar position in the fledgeling 2015-16 table, having managed two draws from their opening three games. Two of those early fixtures were away from home where they were edged 1-0 by Manchester United on the opening day and held by an exuberant Leicester who were coming off back-to-back wins to start the season.
It's Tottenham's only home game so far that will give Everton cause for optimism, though; Mauricio Pochettino's men threw away a 2-0 lead against Stoke and eventually had to settle for a 2-2 draw that suggests they can be vulnerable both mentally and defensively. It also provides scope for Martinez to go after them in an attacking sense to some degree, although he will hopefully be mindful of the manner in which his side surrendered a precious advantage in this fixture last season with a poor second-half showing that rendered Kevin Mirallas's stunning goal moot.
Although many eyes will inevitably be on Stones, Mirallas will feature prominently in Evertonian minds as they ponder how Martinez will set up his side for this one. For reasons best known to the manager, the Belgian was an un-used substitute against Manchester City last Sunday in a 2-0 defeat that was crying out for his attacking talents and although it was only League Two opposition, he underscored how important a player he is – particularly in terms of weighing in with goals –with his performance against Barnsley on Wednesday evening.
Though Gerard Deulofeu came off the bench at Oakwell to turn in a game-changing display of his own, you would think that Mirallas would be the more reliable starter for Everton at White Hart Lane... although there are plenty who would like to see both wide men on the field together at some point this weekend given how dangerous they were in the cup midweek.
Martinez will, obviously, need to balance any attacking intent with defence and with Gareth Barry taking a rest for the Barnsley game, it's almost certain that he will make his 700th senior appearance tomorrow, alongside James McCarthy as the defensive-midfield axis protecting the back four. That is if Martinez doesn't elect to drop Barry into a left-back role in place of Bryan Oviedo who made a welcome return to the side on Wednesday but betrayed plenty of rustiness following six months on the sidelines with injury. In that instance, Tom Cleverley or Muhamed Besic would partner McCarthy in the middle.
Brendan Galloway's prognosis isn't yet known but he has been ruled out, along with Darron Gibson, Steven Pienaar, Tony Hibbert and Leighton Baines. Seamus Coleman will almost certainly return at right back after he too was left out of the Barnsley game.
From Tottenham's perspective, they will be without their chief play-maker in Christian Eriksen who misses a second match with a knee injury – music to Everton ears given how influential he can be to Pochettino's side. New signing Clinton NjiÃ© will be available to make his debut but will probably start on the bench, while Heung-min Son, a big-money striking acquisition from Bayer Leverkeusen will have to wait for international clearance before he can make his debut.
As the emphatic win at Southampton a fortnight ago showed, Everton can turn on the style when they're in the mood and they seem to have enjoyed playing away more than in front of the home fans at Goodison recently. Since the debacle at Stoke, the Blues have won three, drawn one and and lost one in the League and if they can approach this one with the same intensity as they did the game at the St Mary's, they could give the Londoners a shock.
Kick off: 5:30pm
Referee: Mike Jones
Predicted line-up: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Oviedo, Barry, McCarthy, Cleverley, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku
Reader Comments (54)
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1 Posted 28/08/2015 at 20:05:34
Let's hope we are not in a charitable mood tomorrow.
2 Posted 28/08/2015 at 20:08:37
3 Posted 28/08/2015 at 20:26:44
Take Eriksen out, that isolates Kane to an extent. Still, I think we need Barry and McCarthy to win the midfield battle for this one. Hopefully Oviedo has recovered from his 120 minutes at Barnsley to start.
4 Posted 28/08/2015 at 20:35:50
Unlike everyone else I'm not a fan of Cleverley. He passes the ball sideways, wins very 50/50 balls and has no pace. Would like to see Besic start ahead of him
5 Posted 28/08/2015 at 22:26:15
I would hope that the squad will be buzzing after the club came out with the statement regarding Stones, a big lift to us fans and players alike.
If we get at Spurs early on and get a goal then I can see the Spurs fans quickly showing their displeasure and this will play right into our hands.
Spurs 0 Blue bBoys 2.
6 Posted 28/08/2015 at 22:28:35
Coleman Jagielka Stones Barry
Deulofeu Barkley Mirallas
Bit of a tasty line up in my opinion.
7 Posted 28/08/2015 at 22:29:19
8 Posted 28/08/2015 at 22:41:57
Are we in green, by the way?
9 Posted 28/08/2015 at 23:12:06
10 Posted 28/08/2015 at 23:14:50
11 Posted 28/08/2015 at 23:20:14
This is one we have to win if we want to be serious CL contenders; and it's surely one we can win. I'm feeling more optimistic than of late...
12 Posted 28/08/2015 at 23:33:42
Coleman Stones Jagielka Oviedo (Galloway)
Deulofeu Cleverley Barkley Mirallas
14 Posted 29/08/2015 at 00:12:07
15 Posted 28/08/2015 at 00:12:54
I suspect Barry's 700th game will be at left back with Cleverley alongside Macca. Don't be surprised to see Ossie make his first start of the season.
1-1 is my confident prediction !
16 Posted 29/08/2015 at 00:15:09
We are at last looking like we will always score goals. It is the defensive errors we have to eradicate and a lot depends on the mental state of Stones.
Let's hope the Chairman's terse but unequivocal statement helps to settle him. If so,and if Howard maintains his concentration, a clean sheet is possible.
Let's also hope that, as we are in the capital, Chelsea don't try some revenge destabilisation via their gutter press cronies. Given their recent conduct they are capable of anything.
Prediction-2-0 to the Blues.
19 Posted 29/08/2015 at 01:06:15
I watched the Barnsley game yesterday, woeful defending by the Blues so this game is hard to predict. A good performance is needed; a win or draw would be a bonus.
Have we any new players yet?
21 Posted 29/08/2015 at 07:25:21
You know they always get it right!!
22 Posted 29/08/2015 at 07:49:49
I know we are certainly due one there, for some crazy reason we always struggle there. I say crazy because Spurs are not exactly a top 3 or 4 side; we should be beating them more.
It's a big game under the circumstances and one we need a performance in.
23 Posted 29/08/2015 at 07:54:11
24 Posted 29/08/2015 at 07:55:35
25 Posted 29/08/2015 at 08:26:35
What we'd give for more of that today eh?
26 Posted 29/08/2015 at 08:29:17
27 Posted 29/08/2015 at 08:32:19
I seem to recollect a recent Spurs encounter where right back Dier latched onto the ball on our empty left side and hit an unexpected early diagonal cross which caught our mighty defence by surprise, allowing the alert Harry Kane to nod one home. Real schoolboy stuff. An all round loss of concentration.
With or without wingers, we have a very talented bunch of lads who are capable of causing much trouble for the opposition. Unfortunately, we seldom keep a clean sheet and the manager doesn't seem too bothered about it. Unlike Pellegrini who personally conducts all the defensive training sessions with City and it shows. They do everything right, we do everything wrong. Until a top class defensive coach is hired, we will continue to suffer.
Nevertheless, Spurs are not on the same planet as City and we do have the ammunition to blow them away. My heart couldn't take another 3-5 victory. 1-2 will do just fine.
28 Posted 29/08/2015 at 08:37:47
So no change line up for me with exception of Oviedo in at LB.
I would love Barry to have a niggle or pull a hammy to let Besic in!!
29 Posted 29/08/2015 at 08:46:17
They are not playing well so far make sure we keep it that way and don't play them into form... COYB
30 Posted 29/08/2015 at 08:51:01
We could have done without extra time at Barnsley and I hope we're not too tired...
31 Posted 29/08/2015 at 08:51:49
32 Posted 29/08/2015 at 08:59:03
It's a case of can we be clinical and can we concentrate for the full 90 minutes?
One things for sure, I very much doubt we can keep a clean sheet, especially if we defend like Wednesday night.
33 Posted 29/08/2015 at 09:06:48
Conceding 5 goals against watford and Barnsley doesn't bode well, before you even chuck in the Stones issue.
Fingers crossed none of our two CBs get injured!
34 Posted 29/08/2015 at 09:10:52
I expect that we will start with the team that played Man City, as long as Brian is fit. I wonder if Martinez has thought about putting Stones on the bench and playing Barry or Besic at centre-half?
Mirallas could sneak in in place of Kone, but away at Spurs I expect that Roberto will try to stay in the game early on, and hope to do what we did at St Mary's on the break.
Hopefully our wingers will get on earlier today but hope that we don't need to bring them on at all. The Spurs performance at Man Utd may have been poor, but at home we have always found them a hard nut to crack, and Kane is still the man to fear. 1-1 for me.
35 Posted 29/08/2015 at 09:20:41
36 Posted 29/08/2015 at 09:25:20
It's just predictable that Harry Kane will get his first goal of the season tonight, his last goal?? Yep you got it, against us at Goodison on the last day in May.
Most teams or players struggling for a bit of form know they are quite safe when the football doctor is coming to town, Dr Everton, coming to a ground near you soon to cure your blues!
37 Posted 29/08/2015 at 09:35:58
38 Posted 29/08/2015 at 09:40:11
The press. Don't you just love em.
39 Posted 29/08/2015 at 09:51:36
40 Posted 29/08/2015 at 10:09:28
41 Posted 29/08/2015 at 10:10:18
Spurs are tosh and we should go and look to dominate them. We should start with Del Boy cos if he's on song and in confident mood following midweek he will tear Danny rose and new one.
Lukaku brace with a sweet one from Del Boy. COYB
42 Posted 29/08/2015 at 10:10:58
43 Posted 29/08/2015 at 10:43:06
I suspect that we don't react well to 'workhorses' preferring the 'showy' players like Deulofeu and, dare I say it, Stones. Perhaps it's all that's left of the School of Science – now sadly reduced to the School of Philosophy. As developed at the University of Wigan.
44 Posted 29/08/2015 at 10:59:45
Not at left back though. If Oviedo can't start for whatever reason, I think we could do worse than go with Besic in that position.
I would also like our players to display some of that "anger" that Pellegrini talked about last week - after all we are playing in London. I think we will be up for this one.
46 Posted 29/08/2015 at 11:13:01
47 Posted 29/08/2015 at 11:44:51
48 Posted 29/08/2015 at 11:48:43
In the FA Cup defeat at Arsenal, in March 2014 Ozil hadn't scored since December 2013, and guess what?
49 Posted 29/08/2015 at 11:50:48
You know he's injured anyway though right?
50 Posted 29/08/2015 at 12:26:41
They bet - Evens Spurs 3/1 Everton 11/4 the Draw.
Anybody's guess what the result will be!
51 Posted 29/08/2015 at 12:32:11
I know Eriksen is injured but some posters seem to think Spurs have a weak midfield. Based on what I saw in both games against us last seson, I for one would not agree.
52 Posted 29/08/2015 at 12:56:00
We need SuperKev to get at least a half-hour from the bench to put Spurs to bed. I freakin' hate Spurs!!
56 Posted 29/08/2015 at 15:41:46
57 Posted 29/08/2015 at 16:14:33
58 Posted 29/08/2015 at 16:18:08
59 Posted 29/08/2015 at 16:50:47
60 Posted 29/08/2015 at 16:59:10
After today's results it will be a large middle finger to Jose and a nice rendition of 'Singing The Blues' tonight ... and tomorrow ... and Bank Holiday Monday.
62 Posted 29/08/2015 at 20:47:39
63 Posted 30/08/2015 at 06:20:59
On or off or still going through paperwork, visa issues etc?
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