Premier League Preview: Everton v Manchester City

The Toffees have enjoyed a brilliant run of form so far in December with four successive wins going into this clash.

Carlo Ancelotti has opted to for an alternative defensive unit in recent weeks, and despite the return to fitness of captain Seamus Coleman, he’s set to stick with his current back four.

Allan, Lucas Digne and Richarlison will all miss visit of Pep Guardiola’s side with Bernard, Tom Davies and Andre Gomes in line to rotate in.

Guardiola’s visitors go to Goodison one the back of ten games unbeaten in all competitions, but the Spaniard is still likely to shuffle his pack.

Ruben Dias will continue to cover for Kyle Walker at right back, with Fernandinho replacing the injured Rodri in midfield, and Sergio Aguero returning for his first start since October.

And it’s a late start on Merseyside for this one with 8pm Kick Off at Goodison Park.

Everton returning to winning ways with 1-0 victory over Chelsea

Gylfi Sigurdsson’s early penalty proved the difference between the two sides as Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees picked up their first win this month.

Neither side created anything resembling an opportunity in opening quarter of an hour before Sigurdsson buried the game’s first meaningful chance.

Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy fumbled a long ball from Jordan Pickford and in his rash attempts to reclaim possession he barged Dominic Calvert-Lewin over inside the box.

Referee Jon Moss had no hesitation pointing to the spot and Sigurdsson casually tucked home.

Lampard’s side did look to sting themselves back into action before the break as Pickford superbly tipped Reece James free kick against the post and Mason Mount curled over.

Ancelotti’s side did edge back into it after the restart as Richarlison forced a smart stop from Mendy.

But the hosts were to be left incensed on 64 minutes as VAR denied them a second spot kick.

Moss again pointed to the spot as Ben Chilwell dragged down Calvert-Lewin but our friends at Stockley Park dragged it all the back for offside against the England striker.

That meant Chelsea still had a chance to preserve their unbeaten run late on but Lampard knew his luck was out on Merseyside as Mount’s whipped free kick bounced back off the upright.

Full Time at Goodison Park it’s Everton 1 Chelsea 0

Premier League Preview: Everton v Chelsea

Lampard’s team arrive at Goodison on the back of a nine-game unbeaten Premier League run and a strong result on Merseyside will keep the pressure up on Spurs and Liverpool.

Hakim Ziyech is the only new injury doubt for Lampard ahead of the weekend after the Moroccan was forced off against Leeds last time out.

Christian Pulisic looks the most likely to fill in for him on the wing with Olivier Giroud and Kai Havertz set to hold on to their starting spots.

The injury situation is more complex for Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti as he looks to pick up their first home points since October.

Injuries to full back pair Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman gives the Italian a headache in defence but the absence of playmaker James Rodriguez will be an even bigger concern for Ancelotti.

Ben Godfrey is expected to cover for Coleman again with promising youngster Niels Nkounkou stepping in for Digne.

Rodriguez’s is irreplaceable in this Everton team but Ancelotti is set to call on Gylfi Sigurdsson to bridge the creativity gap.

Kick off will be a late on tomorrow night on the Blue half of Merseyside with an 8pm start at Goodison Park.

Premier League: Everton v Liverpool

Carlo Ancelotti’s league leaders will go into the game with an added air of confidence, despite the fact they haven’t beaten their cross-city rivals in ten years.

The form of Dominic Calvert-Lewin in front of goal has been key to the Toffees hot start, with the young English striker currently the top scorer across Europe’s top five leagues.

Calvert Lewin’s 10 strikes in seven games for club and country includes two hattricks in Everton colours, and he’ll be hoping to add to his tally against a Liverpool side who shipped 7 goals last time out.

The Reds’ 7-2 humbling by Aston Villa has led many Evertonians to feel this is the best opportunity to beat Jurgen Klopp’s side in a decade.

However, Liverpool have made a habit of bouncing back from poor results in recent times, and they’ll love nothing more than to get back to winning ways at Goodison.

Everton’s summer addition of James Rodriguez has been inspired, whereas Liverpool fans are yet to see too much of their marquee summer signing Thiago Alcantara due to injury.

There are positives on both sides of Stanley Park on the injury front, as Liverpool’s Thiago and Everton counterpart Allan are expected to have recovered from their respective knocks in time for the game.

Sadio Mane will also return to the fold to increase Jurgen Klopp’s firepower, and Mo Salah is looking to become the 17th different Liverpool player to score 100 goals for the club – the Egyptian is currently perched on 99 strikes in 158 games – in line to be the third-fastest to achieve the feat.

Carlo Ancelotti is waiting to learn the severity of Lucas Digne’s injury though, after suffering with knee trouble in France’s game with Croatia on Wednesday.

Liverpool’s problems at the back against Aston Villa may prompt a change, with Joel Matip in contention for a start.

However, goalkeeper Allison remains out so the shaky Adrian will likely retain his place between the sticks.

The last time Everton won their opening 5 league games of the season was 51 seasons ago in 1969-70, a campaign where they would eventually go on to clinch the title.

Remarkably, the last time Everton won all 8 of their opening fixtures in a season was in 1894-95, so you could even argue the club are in the best winning form in their modern history.

Although, the last time Liverpool went in to a Merseyside Derby with Everton sitting top was in 1989, a year where they went on to secure the crown – incidentally, their most recent for 30 years before last season.

It’s all set up to be a cracker, with the game kicking off at 1230 on Saturday, 17th October.

Everton target James Rodriguez transfer, reports claim

Newspaper the Daily Star suggest the Colombian is close to a £27m switch to Goodison Park.

The report claims Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has been key in convincing the 2014 World Cup star to swap Madrid for Merseyside, having managed James before during his time in charge at the Bernabeu.

James has found game time difficult to come by in recent seasons at Real Madrid, with current gaffer Zinedine Zidane not thought to be a huge fan of the midfielder.

Zidane, now in his second stint as Los Blancos boss, sanctioned James’ two-season loan spell at Bayern Munich back in 2017.

Now it’s understood Zizou is willing to sell the 29-year-old midfielder this summer, with the Daily Star saying Everton is believed to be the top destination.

It would be a marquee signing for the Toffees as Ancelotti looks to strengthen his side ahead of the new Premier League season.

Koeman wants Keane at Barcelona

New Barca boss Ronald Koeman wants to bring the 27-year-old to the Nou Camp having worked with the centreback at Everton.

Koeman took Keane to Merseyside from Burnley in 2017 in a club-record sale for the Clarets of £30million, and any such move could fund the deal to sign Allan which is almost done.

Having failed to tempt him to Goodison in the January window, Italian media are reporting that Napoli have lowered their demands and the clubs are working on the finer details with an offer thought to be of €30m plus bonuses.

The deal is getting closer, but the two clubs are working on the finer details, such as the value of the bonuses and the achievement needed to trigger them. It’s also helped by the fact that Allan has made it clear he wants to reunite with Ancelotti.