Everton will look to put aside transfer speculation and return to winning ways when they host the trip of Watford on Friday night at Goodison Park.
In a week where Ross Barkley was given an ultimatum by Ronald Koeman, the Toffees will be hoping to bounce back from consecutive defeats to win their final home match of the Premier League year.
In similar fashion, Walter Mazzarri’s side will be aiming to record a first victory in three league matches and mathematically secure the Hornet’s status in England’s top-flight for next season.
See below for The Boot Room’s pre-match coverage of Watford’s trip to Goodison Park.
As alluded to above it hasn’t been the best fortnight for the Toffees, with heavy defeat against leaders Chelsea being followed by an embarrassing defeat to relegation strugglers Swansea City.
A down-turn in Everton’s form has seen them win just two of their last seven Premier League matches and ended their outside top-four hopes, leaving them destined to finish in seventh place.
The visitors haven’t fared much better in recent weeks, losing three on the bounce to drop them five places in the table; the Hornets have lost four of their last five games, only scoring once in this time.
Despite this run, and despite their current league position of 15th, Watford are actually still able to finish as high as ninth in the table if they win their remaining matches and other results go their way.
The main news for Ronald Koeman is that midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is fit enough to return to the starting line-up after missing the last two defeats with a thigh strain.
Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg is a doubt through a groin problem, whilst Ross Barkley is set to return to the starting eleven despite being given a contract ultimatum on Thursday.
For the visitors, Jose Holebas and Ben Watson have recovered in time for the trip to Goodison but Tom Cleverley is ineligible against his parent club and Miguel Britos and Craig Cathcart remain out.
Troy Deeney is also expected to be recalled after being dropped to the bench for last week’s defeat.
Match Prediction: Everton 2-0 Watford
After consecutive defeats against Chelsea and Swansea City, Ronald Koeman will no doubt be looking for a reaction from his side and want them to finish the season strongly ahead of next year.
A lot of talk has taken place during the week over the uncertain futures of Everton stars Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, but Koeman will hope his key men can put this aside on the football pitch.
Watford – already all-but safe – can mathematically secure their Premier League status for next season if they avoid defeat and, with no win in their last three, the Hornets will want to change that.
Despite neither side particularly having too much to play for the hosts possess enough quality in their ranks to have too much for the visitors, and should finish their home season off with a victory.