This Saturday marks a return to Premier League action for the mighty Blues.
First up at Goodison is Premier League newcomers Watford. The Hertfordshire club will be playing their first top flight match since 2007, when funnily enough they started the season away to…….. the Blues!
The summer started so positively for the Toffees with the early signings of Cleverley and Deulofeu. Unfortunately that’s where our spending stopped. Fast forward two months and our squad is starting to look extremely threadbare with potential injuries to nine first team players. For Evertonian’s the season is not starting with the usual optimism.
However today Roberto Martinez stated that both Kevin Mirallas and John Stones ‘should’ be available for Saturday, but Romelu Lukaku will be assessed over the next 48 hours. We need every one of those players available or it could well be square pegs in round holes again. Sound familiar?!
The Hornets have had a very busy post season, brining in no less than ten new players and of course a new manager in Quique Flores. Flores comes with decent European pedigree having won the Europa League and European Super Cup with Athletico Madrid in 2010. They are fresh off the back of a very successful season last year when they finished runners-up to Bournemouth by a point. They bring to Goodison an attacking threat that scored 91 league goals last season in Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra. With summer recruits Valon Behrami and Etienne Capoue brining them much-needed Premier League experience to the centre of the park.
Saturday will be at tough opening fixture, Watford will come to Goodison full of confidence. Everyone needs to be fit and Everton need to start with a quick tempo and put the away side on the back foot from the first whistle. Watford will try to pack the midfield and look to hit us on the break or grab a goal from a set piece. As is always the case in the Premier League, the first goal is so important. If we can get it, impose ourselves in the game and build pressure then three points should be staying on Merseyside.
Probable Everton Starting Line up:
Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, Cleverley, Barkley, Lukaku.
Prediction: Everton 2 Watford 1
Come on you Blues!