Connect with us


Everton vs Watford: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction



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.

Recent Form

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Team News

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Predicted Line-Ups

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

English Premier League

Summer signing Josh Bowler finally starting to look the part for Everton

The summer signing from QPR is starting look the real deal for Everton.



In the summer Everton made a number of new signings for the first-team, but what perhaps went under the radar was the improvements they made to the under-23 squad. One recruit signed with the future in mind was QPR attacker Josh Bowler.

As reported by Sky Sports, Everton paid the West London side £4.25 million for the talented winger, who signed a deal at the club until 2020.

He had previously played just 20 minutes of first-team football for QPR, so his signing did come as something of a surprise.

It is quite a financial outlay for a teenager and, looking at his statistics for the campaign, many Everton fans will be concerned he was a waste of money.

In 15 games for the Everton under-23s, the attacker managed to register zero assists or goals in what was an ultimately disappointing first season.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

However, in the recent 2-2 draw against Manchester United, Bowler summed up his season for the Everton youngsters.

The 19-year-old was easily Everton’s best player in the game. He tormented the Manchester United defence for 90 minutes with his direct style, pace and trickery. It was a tremendous performance which missed just two things, an end product and a bit of luck.

Bowler though is showing all the right attributes to become a future Everton star. After a slow start to the season, he has come into his own in the final weeks of the campaign and Everton fans can rightly start to get excited about their summer recruit.

What Bowler now has the perfect base to build on during the summer. He needs to bulk up a little to be a pertinent threat in the Premier League, which is where the summer can come in handy.

Staying fit and continued to improve are all Bowler really needs to do in order to prove himself a top talent in the Everton system.

At the moment, the trajectory is looking good for this 19-year-old talent.

Continue Reading

English Premier League

If Everton are serious about top four challenge they must battle rivals for Clement Lenglet

The Frenchman has been sublime for Sevilla this season and Everton need a new central defender.



After a summer of investment Everton‘s aim for this season was to challenge for the top four. It was a bold and ambitious plan which failed miserably.

They spent much of the first half of the campaign in the relegation reckoning, sacked their manager and have now limped their way to the top-half playing a dreadful brand of football under the guidance of Sam Allardyce.

It is fair to say, Everton fans are not happy.

Next season, the challenge again will be to try and compete with the Premier League’s elite.

But if Everton are going to do that, they need to improve one area of their team drastically – the defence.

Ashley Williams has been woeful this season and Everton fans would happily see the back of him.

Phil Jagielka does his best, but age is starting to get the better of him. Michael Keane took a while to settle following his move from Burnley.

Meanwhile, Ramiro Funes Mori has been injured most of the campaign and Mason Holgate has had an inconsistent season.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

A new centre-back is a must and, if Everton are serious about challenging for Europe, it needs to be a top defender.

Plenty are about at the moment, but the one which springs to mind for Everton is Sevilla star Clement Llenglet.

He caught the eye of English football fans after shackling Romelu Lukaku at Old Trafford in the Champions League.

The Frenchman has been in fine form for the club this season and now Lenglet is being linked with a host of clubs.

One such team is Liverpool, and with good reason. Lenglet has a release clause in his contract at Sevilla which stands at just €30 million (£26.25 million) – according to Marca.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Considering the price paid for the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Aymeric Alporte and John Stones after the past year that fee is an absolute bargain.

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is expected to dig deep into his pockets again this summer as Everton look to mount a renewed campaign next season.

Beating the likes of Liverpool to Lenglet’s signature would be the biggest signal of intent yet that Everton are ready to push into the Premier League elite.

Continue Reading

English Premier League

Everton’s under-the-radar £6m signing Lewis Gibson is a star of the future

The England under-18 defender looks a star in the making for Everton.



Everton’s under-23s brought their season to an end this week with a 2-2 draw with Manchester United. It was not the campaign they would have wanted, after the brilliant PL2 title-winning season of 2016-17. But with David Unsworth stepping up to first-team duties earlier in the season and plenty of their stars from that season sent out on loan or joining the Everton first-team is what always going to be a tough one.

But in the final weeks of the campaign one player who has really stood out as an exceptional talent is 17-year-old defender Lewis Gibson.

His signature may have slipped by some Everton fans in the summer. The Toffees brought the England under-18 international to Finch Farm from Newcastle United. The fee for the player, according to the Liverpool Echo, could eventually rise to £6 million, so he was clearly identified as a top investment for the future.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

He has certainly looked the part this season.

Gibson has played 16 times for Everton’s under-23s this campaign, playing at both his preferred centre-back position and left-back. The talented defender was a member of the England under-17 team that won the World Cup last summer and he now looks like he could be the next great hope from the Everton youth system.

This summer he turns 18 and, given the standard he has showcased in the under-23s, he could genuinely start pushing for first-team football at Everton from next term.

(Photo by Filipe Farinha/Getty Images)

With the defence still an issue for Everton, improvements are likely in the summer. But Gibson should not be simply overlooked just because of his tender years.

Whilst he should not be a Premier League regular it would be great to see Gibson get game time in the League Cup and maybe find his way into the matchday squad on occasions next term.

Everton should not rush the defender, but if you are good enough then you are old enough. Gibson is starting to look like he could be the future of Everton’s defence and should get some reward from next season.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2017 The Boot Room.