Everton hope to turn around their poor home form as they welcome Wolves to Goodison Park
After a disappointing defeat to Sheffield United left their European hopes hanging by a thread, Everton take on Wolves on Wednesday hoping the return of fans to Goodison Park can inspire them to a strong finish to the season.
There’s a common feeling that Everton have been one of the teams most affected by the lack of fans in grounds this season, and the Toffees home record certainly reflects that. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have taken just 19 points from 18 games on home soil this season, something that has killed off their chances of a top six finish. In fact, if Everton had taken as many points at home as they have away from Goodison this season, they’d be second in the Premier League.
As for Wolves, they’ve never really got going this season thanks to injuries at various stages of the campaign. Raul Jimenez saw a specialist regarding returning to play after his fractured skull on Tuesday, but he’s not expected to be involved against Everton. Possibly an emotional return in front of a Molineux crowd next week may be a potential return, with Manchester United the opposition.
Fellow key players Daniel Podence, Jonny Otto and Pedro Neto are also sidelined for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, but teenage powerhouse Owen Otasowie may return from a knock.
For Everton, Yerry Mina missed the defeat to Sheffield United as the club took the cautious approach to bringing him back from an adductor problem, but he is expected to be part of the squad again. Josh King missed that game also, but is another that should be involved after what Ancelotti described as a “small back problem”.
If Everton can pick up a win in front of 10,000 fans, they’ll go level on points with West Ham in seventh, and hope the Hammers lose against Brighton later on Wednesday. 7th place in the league is set to be the route into the new UEFA Conference League, which begins next season. Sixth isn’t totally out of the question either, but does require Spurs losing both of their last two games.
As for Wolves, a win will keep them 12th, while a defeat could see them slip below Crystal Palace if results don’t go their way.
Everton take on Wolves at Goodison Park on Wednesday, May 19th. Kick-off is at 6pm.