Premier League Preview: Everton v Southampton

Carlo Ancelotti’s side finally broke their 22-year Anfield hoodoo last time out and the Italian coach is set to stick with a largely unchanged team.

Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin both made a key impact off the bench against the Reds, and they could start in this one, with Andre Gomes and Mason Holgate dropping out.

As for the Saints, they did end a worrying losing streak against Chelsea last weekend, but they slipped back to defeat against Leeds in midweek.

Boss Ralph Hasenhuttl needs to find a solution to their worries, and quickly, if he wants to avoid falling into the relegation zone.

His situation is no helped by a growing injury list at the club but the returns of Danny Ings and Takumi Minamino should provide his attacking options with a real boost.

And it’s a late one to wrap up this weekend fixtures with 8pm kick off on Monday night at Goodison Park.

To hear this story on your smart speaker just say “Open Sport Social and play me the Everton vs Southampton Match Preview.

Everton granted planning permission for new stadium

Due to the scale of the development, the detailed application for the 52,888-capacity ground now passes to Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick’s office for consideration.

If there is no objection at that level, and the proposals do not get “called in” for scrutiny higher up in Government, then the club would look to start work this spring or early summer.

There is a 150-week build plan in place which will potentially see the Toffees start the 2024-25 season in their new riverside stadium.

After a number of false starts over several years, Everton considered 52 locations to move to from Goodison Park and Bramley-Moore Dock was deemed the only viable option.

The project has gained widespread public support although objections were raised by heritage body ICOMOS, acting on behalf of UNESCO, as well as the Victorian Society and Historic England – with the latter having had input on the design.

But the council’s report concluded the plans – which integrate a number of historic features – could actually deliver “heritage benefits” by “enhancing degraded on-site heritage assets, improving access to the World Heritage Site and unlocking access to the history”.

Everton believe the new stadium can play a key role in Liverpool’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with the stadium and a multi-purpose redevelopment of Goodison Park generating a £1.3billion boost to the local economy.

To hear this story on your smart speaker just say: “Open Sport Social and play me the latest Everton news.”

Everton secure historic 2-0 Premier League win at Anfield

But after 22 years of Premier League hurt, Everton have finally finally won at Anfield.

In a season of the surreal, with Liverpool’s title defence faltering, goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson that mean Carlo Ancelotti is the first boss to take three points back across Stanley Park since 1999.

And with the nerves jangling for both teams ahead of kick off, the swirling wind just seemed to be blowing in Everton’s direction, as fans favourite Richarlison fired them ahead.

Ozan Kabak’s error was recycled into James Rodriguez and he posted the Brazilian through to smash past Alisson.

And that early breakthrough did spark a reaction from the Reds as Jordan Pickford produced two superb stops from Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

But Everton were in no mood to go quietly before the break, as Seamus Coleman drew a world class save from Alisson.

A furious Klopp sent his players out early after the break as they swarmed on Everton before the hour with Sadio Mane inches away from a leveller.

But as much as Liverpool looked to hammer down the door, Coleman, Pickford and the Everton back line refused to budge as the minutes ticked down.

And with eight minutes to go on the clock, substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin tumbled inside the box and fellow sub Sigurdsson tucked home the most important penalty of his career.

Full Time on a historic night at Anfield it’s Liverpool 0 Everton 2

Everton 1-3 Manchester City: 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League for City

Carlo Ancelotti’s side did manage to lay a glove at least as Richarlison cancelled out Phil Foden’s opener, only the second time in the last nine league games City have failed to keep a clean sheet, but there was no denying them a 17th straight win in all competitions.

And, as they became the first English top-flight side to start a calendar year with 10 consecutive league wins a row, it is harder to see who might deny Pep Guardiola a third Premier League title.

This match should have been played in December, postponed at short notice a little over six weeks ago due to a coronavirus outbreak within the City camp, but they look in rude health now.

Though they travelled down the M62 without the in-form Ilkay Gundogan due to his groin injury, any sympathy for Guardiola lasted no longer than a glance at a substitutes bench including Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, and Fernandinho as City near full fitness.

But it was not the usual accomplished start, with some sloppy passing allowing Everton early glimpses of goal, while Aymeric Laporte – preferred over John Stones – almost fluffed a clearance in front of goal with Richarlison closing in.

Gradually City tightened up their game as play shifted towards the other end, where Silva went down under a challenge from Michael Keane but saw his penalty shouts fall on deaf ears.

Everton had another problem though as Yerry Mina was slow to get up and the Colombian was replaced by Seamus Coleman.

The reshuffled back four was soon under scrutiny. Mason Holgate got a vital touch to stop Rodri’s pass reaching the run of Joao Cancelo before Keane’s header prevented Mahrez’s cross from finding Gabriel Jesus at the far post.

And the pressure told with 32 minutes gone. Following a corner, Everton could only half-clear Mahrez’s cross and the ball fell for Foden whose shot took a deflection off Coleman to beat Jordan Pickford on the England goalkeeper’s return to the side.

City might have been expected to take complete control but instead they conceded six minutes later.

Coleman played an altogether different role in this one, picking out the run of Lucas Digne who fired onto the post, with the ball bouncing out to hit Richarlison on the thigh and go in.

It was only the second Premier League goal City had conceded in 45 days, and given the other was a Mohamed Salah penalty across Stanley Park, the first from open play.

The second half would be a different matter as City moved through the gears. Jesus, who had seven goals in his previous five against Everton, squandered a glorious chance when played in by Kyle Walker while Rodri headed Foden’s corner narrowly wide.

But the second goal came in the 63rd minute and in fine fashion.

Silva slipped the ball into the path of Mahrez as he cut in from the right, and with a sweep of his left boot the Algerian bent the ball in off the far post.

Ancelotti responded by sending on James Rodriguez and Josh King but there would be no second slip from City.

Instead they pushed further clear, with Silva putting his name on the scoresheet in the 77th minute as he linked up with Walker before lashing in a shot from the edge of the area.

Guardiola chose this as the moment to give De Bruyne his first action in almost a month, with this City juggernaut showing no signs of slowing just yet.

Premier League: Liverpool v Everton

The last time the Toffees got the better of their cross-city rivals, Kevin Campbell scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in a game where Steven Gerrard received the first ever red card of his career. You do get the sense that there’s never been a better time to beat Jurgen Klopp’s side than right now though, with Liverpool failing to win any of their last three league games at Anfield.

Burnley, Brighton and Manchester City have left their encounters with Liverpool with the points recently, but Klopp’s side did return to winning ways in midweek, beating RB Leipzig 2-0 in the Champions League.

Ozan Kabak enjoyed a much improved performance than the one he turned in against City, and is expected to start alongside Jordan Henderson at centre-back again, with Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez not close to returns. It was against Everton at Goodison that the Dutchman was last seen on a pitch, and it could be next season before we see him again.

Diogo Jota may return at the end of the month after a knee injury, but Naby Keita could be back in the squad after missing the trip to his former club in midweek. Fabinho and James Milner also missed that game with muscle issues, and both will be assessed closer to kick-off.

Everton’s selection issues centre around their top scorer, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin missing the games against Fulham and Man City with a hamstring problem. He is expected to make it providing there’s been no complications during his return to training.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin is the only certain absentee for Carlo Ancelotti, with the 25-year-old spending almost his entire Everton career on the treatment table since signing from Mainz in August 2019. He is close to a return though, and hopes to make just his third league appearance for Everton before the end of the season.

Liverpool will go above West Ham into fifth if they get the win, and also leapfrog Chelsea if the Blues don’t beat Southampton earlier in the day. Meanwhile Everton will go level on points with the Reds if they can extend the Anfield misery.

Liverpool take on Everton at Anfield on Saturday, February 20th. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.

Premier League: Everton v Manchester City

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have struggled with consistency at times this season, something encapsulated by the weekend’s league defeat to relegation-threatened Fulham – a result which came just days after a pulsating 5-4 FA Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur.

If Everton are to finish in the Champions League places this season, they will need to avoid slip ups like Sunday.

However, there is no doubt that Manchester City will place in the top 4 come the season’s end – City sit at the Premier League summit with a 7-point buffer to closest challengers Manchester United and the general consensus is that it is now their title to lose.

Everton’s challenge of returning to winning ways could not have been against a more difficult opponent. Pep Guardiola’s side have won the last 5 games against Everton in the top flight and are currently on a streak of 9 away wins in a row – part of a run which has seen them victorious 16 consecutive times in all competitions – a new record.

The Toffees shouldn’t be written off, however. Despite City’s excellent record against the Merseysiders in recent times, Carlo Ancelotti’s side have shown on plenty of occasions this campaign they are capable of doing damage.

Everton’s main weapon has been Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who was missing against Fulham and will also sit out Wednesday’s game with Manchester City.

Boss Carlo Ancelotti suggested in his pre-match press conference that the striker could be back in time for the weekend’s Merseyside Derby with Liverpool, though.

More positive news from the Everton camp is that Jordan Pickford and James Rodriguez are believed to have recovered from their respective knocks and Ancelotti could include them in the matchday squad.

For Manchester City, Ilkay Gundogan has been a key performer in their scintillating run of wins but the Germany international is not fit for the game at Goodison Park.

Pep Guardiola confirmed to the press that the midfielder’s groin injury will keep him out of action until the weekend at the earliest.

Fernandinho and Nathan Ake are also definite absentees with injury, but it has been confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero have both returned to training in recent days and could return to the side soon.

Everton v Manchester City is an 8.15pm kick off on Wednesday 17th February.

Struggling Fulham seal vital 2-0 win at Everton

Maja’s impact was the key difference on Baltic night on Merseyside, as Scott Parker’s side gave themselves a real fighting chance of avoiding the drop.

Neither team could create anything in a poor opening half hour at both ends.

And it was Blues skipper Seamus Coleman who came closest to breaking the deadlock before the break as the Irishman’s strike cannoned back off the post.

But despite a slow burner in the first half, the Cottagers exploded this game into life just after the break as Maja slid home Ola Aina’s cross.

And that strike looked to tip the balance for Fulham, as Everton struggled to gain a foothold, with Maja grabbing his second with 20 to play.

Harrison Reed’s drive beat Robin Olsen and back off the upright and Maja stayed alive to tuck home the rebound.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side did create a few half chances late on, through the lacklustre Gylfi Sigurdsson and Michael Keane, but in the end it was a big night for Fulham.

Full Time from freezing cold night at Goodison Park it’s Everton 0 Fulham 2

Premier League: Everton v Fulham

After a midweek goal fest, Everton return to league action this Sunday with a home game against struggling Fulham.

The Toffees edged a 5-4 thriller against Spurs on Wednesday night, with forgotten winger Bernard popping up with the winner in extra time. Scott Parker was probably happy to see Carlo Ancelotti’s side play two hours of football before their clash, but equally unhappy to see how easy they scored against Jose Mourinho’s famously defence-first side.

Fulham have struggled in front of goal recently, netting just three goals in their last six games in all competitions, and the gap between themselves and 17th-placed Burnley is now eight points. In fact, the Cottagers could kick off ten points behind their nearest rivals Newcastle should the Clarets beat Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been in sensational form this season and is clear at the top of Everton’s goal scoring charts, but went off with what looked like a hamstring injury against Spurs in midweek. Ancelotti confirmed he won’t be available for the Fulham game, but should be back for the midweek visit of Manchester City.

There’s more positive news for Everton in the shape of James Rodriguez, who was a doubt with a calf injury, being fit, but Jordan Pickford remains out with a rib injury, so Robin Olsen will continue in goal.

Lucas Digne has recovered quicker than expected from a knock and may also return at left-back, and Andre Gomes should return to midfield as well. Allan and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are both out, although both are set to return to training next week.

As for Fulham, Scott Parker only has two long-term absentees, with Tom Cairney and Terence Kongolo both still sidelined with injury. Cairney has a knee injury, while Kongolo isn’t far off returning and making his first appearance of the season after a thigh problem.

Without a win in their last eight games, Fulham will be hoping Aleksandar Mitrovic can start scoring the goals they need to mount a survival challenge. The Serbian striker netted 26 times for Fulham last season but has managed just two in almost 1000 minutes of action this season.

Everton take on Fulham at Goodison Park on Sunday, February 14th. Kick-off is at 7pm.

Last gasp Everton snatch 3-3 Premier League draw at Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side dominated the first half but they let the Toffees back into it after break as Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 95th minute strike sealed a dramatic climax.

United absolutely bossed things in the early stages in this one with Edinson Cavani deservedly putting them in front.

Marcus Rashford’s cross into the box was inch perfect for the Uruguayan, and he got away from Michael Keane to head home.

And with United looking increasingly slick, star man Bruno Fernandes doubled their lead on the stroke of half time, as he whipped a superb effort past Robin Olsen.

Carlo Ancelotti did manage to rally the troops at the break as Everton looked a different side with a quick fire double hauling them level.

Abdoulaye Doucoure scrambled home Calvert-Lewin’s saved shot before James Rodriguez confidently battered one past David De Gea.

But United were not to be pushed aside in the closing stages as fans favourite Scott McTominay flicked home Luke Shaw’s free kick.

However, in keeping with the spirit of the comeback, it was again to be Everton that final say as the clock ticked past 90.

Keane’s flick on kept Lucas Digne’s cross alive inside the box and Calvert-Lewin pounced to nick a point.

Full Time from a cracking night at Old Trafford it’s Manchester United 3 Everton 3

Premier League: Manchester United v Everton

United are currently 2nd place in the table with only rivals Manchester City above them in the standings.

City have a game in hand and a three point advantage at the top of the league, but face a difficult game with Liverpool on Sunday.

United can pile the pressure back on to their cross-city rivals when they host a buoyant Everton side following a rare win at Leeds last time out.

Wednesday night’s victory for the Toffees at Elland Road was their first win at Leeds in 18 years and just their second victory on the ground in 38 visits, as well as breaking an away record which stood since 1985.

Talking of record breaking, Manchester United matched their record victory margin in a Premier League game by destroying Southampton 9-0 (yes, nine nil) at Old Trafford midweek.

It was the first time United had won by that scoreline since they thumped Ipswich Town in 1995 – embarrassingly for Southampton though, that was the second time in consecutive seasons they have been beaten 9-0 – a record margin.

The temperature always seems to rise when Manchester faces Merseyside and no doubt two sides with plenty to play for here will produce good entertainment.

United may have to manage without Edinson Cavani on Saturday though, with the Uruguayan – who scored his first Old Trafford goal against Saints – rated touch-and-go to play because of an ankle issue.

Everton won’t have the scarcely seen Jean-Philippe Gbamin available as he continues recovering from a long term issue. Brazilian midfielder Allan is nearing a comeback, whilst keeper Jordan Pickford may struggle to regain his place after Robin Olsen’s stunning display between the sticks against Leeds.

Pickford collided with a goalpost in the recent loss to Newcastle United and has sustained a knock to his ribs as a result.

Manchester United v Everton kicks off at 8pm on Saturday 6th February.

Leeds 1-2 Everton: Toffees pick up rare win at Elland Road

The striker notched his first goal in eight league games to take his tally for the season to 12 after captain Gylfi Sigurdsson had given the visitors an early lead.

The Toffees rode their luck after Raphinha pulled one back for Leeds soon after the interval, but held on to register a fourth successive away win in the league for the first time since 1985.

Leeds hit the woodwork twice and Carlo Ancelotti’s side were also indebted to a superb triple save in the second half from goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who was deputising for the injured Jordan Pickford.

After Olsen’s early save from Raphinha, Everton settled quicker on Elland Road’s new pitch.

Several players lost their footing in the early stages, and throughout the match, on a playing surface which has been re-laid since Leeds’ last home game against Brighton 18 days ago.

Andre Gomes’ excellent ball set Lucas Digne free down the left and the Frenchman’s cross was turned neatly home first time by Sigurdsson, who charged on to the ball between three static defenders.

Leeds went close to equalising in spectacular fashion in the 20th minute when Ezgjan Alioski’s volley direct from Raphinha’s corner crashed back off the base of a post.

Olsen then denied Leeds again, tipping the ball over the crossbar after Pascal Struijk’s header from Kalvin Phillips’ free-kick had deflected off Calvert-Lewin.

For all Leeds’ probing, Everton continued to look menacing on the break, but it was from a set-piece that they doubled their lead four minutes before the break.

Sigurdsson’s corner took a deflection off Ben Godfrey’s shoulder and Calvert-Lewin stole in at the far post to head home and give his side a 2-0 half-time lead.

Leeds’ response after the restart was swift. Patrick Bamford teed up Raphinha after Everton had failed to clear the danger in their box and the Brazilian rifled home his fourth Premier League goal of the season.

Olsen then saved heroically, three times in quick succession, to preserve Everton’s lead just past the hour-mark.

The Sweden international kept out Mateusz Klich’s shot, then blocked Raphinha’s follow up and moments later kept out Jack Harrison’s swerving effort as Leeds cranked up the pressure.

Richarlison fired inches wide following his driving run at the other end as the action flowed.

Bamford’s header from Stuart Dallas’ cross looped on to the crossbar and as the home side laid siege on Everton’s goal, Luke Ayling’s stoppage-time shot was charged down by Everton substitute Michael Keane.

Premier League: Leeds v Everton

Carlo Ancelotti’s side were beaten 2-0 at Goodison Park by Newcastle United on Saturday, a demoralising result for the Toffees but not one which derails their European aspirations.

The Merseysiders remain 6 points off the Premier League’s top 4 with two games in hand over the majority of the rest of the division.

Everton lost to Leeds earlier on this season but since that defeat they’ve returned 17 points from the 27 available and are still in with a shout of Champions League qualification.

Leeds meanwhile scored an excellent win over Leicester in their last game with Patrick Bamford the star of the show.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have been lacklustre of late so a comfortable victory over the Foxes will boost the confidence of the mid-table Whites.

United will be hopeful of a first league double over Everton in 30 years when the sides meet at Elland Road midweek, but the Blues have won their last 4 away games and have the chance to make it 5 wins in a row on the road for the first time since 1985 if they can beat Leeds.

However, Elland Road has not harboured good fortune for Everton over the years, with their last win there in 2002 – courtesy of a Wayne Rooney goal – their only top flight victory at the ground in 37 attempts.

In terms of team news, Leeds are sweating on the fitness of Patrick Bamford after the striker picked up a dead leg in his man-of-the-match display against Leicester. The Whites are hopeful that Bamford will recover in time to face Everton.

Defenders Robin Koch and Diego Llorente remain absent for Marcelo Bielsa, whilst winger Raphinha and striker Rodrigo are serious doubts with muscle strains.

Everton moved to sign Josh King from AFC Bournemouth on transfer deadline day and the Norwegian international could make his club debut at Elland Road – but it is unlikely to be from the start if that is the case.

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been in the firing line this season after some shaky displays but the England man may miss out against Leeds after injuring his ribs in a collision with the post against Newcastle last time out.

Allan remains absent with a muscle injury but is nearing a return, much like Fabian Delph who has been in full training this week and may be a surprise inclusion.

Leeds v Everton kicks off at 7.30 on Wednesday 3rd February.