Everton vs Watford Match Preview.
(Picture – Premier League)
Football is back! Watford are back and this time we are in the best league in the world!
The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool will all be visiting the Vic this season, as Watford aim to compete with the big boys in the Premier League and avoid relegation back to the Championship.
A trip to Goodison Park is first on the agenda for Watford as they face Everton, which coincidently, was the Hornets opening fixture during their previous season in the Premier League, which was back in 2006/07.
On that day, the Toffees ran out 2-1 winners, thanks to goals from Andrew Johnson and a Mikel Arteta penalty.
Everton are managed by former Swansea and Wigan boss Roberto Martinez and the Spaniard will be hoping to improve on last seasons 11th placed finish, which was the Toffees lowest in nine years.
Last season proved to be a difficult one as Everton failed to reach the heights that they managed to in Martinez’s first season in charge, as they limped to a 11th place finish, the first time that they have finished outside of the top 10 for nine years.
But the additions of Gerard Deulofeu and former Hornet Tom Cleverley have strengthened the Toffees squad and they will be looking to forget about 2014/15 and mount a challenge for European football this season.
The key player for Everton today, if fit, will undoubtedly be striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian is an absolute beast up top, posing a big aerial threat and is clinical when given the chance in front of goal.
He scored 20 goals for Everton last season in 48 appearances and the 22 year old is very quick for a player of his size. He will be a real menace to the Hornets defence today and they won't have a minutes piece.
Today’s match should be a close game between two sides who play good and attractive football. Watford are back in the big time after eight seasons away and the trip to Goodison Park will give an early indication as to whether the Hornets are ready for top flight football.
Quique Sanchez Flores has had a reasonably good pre-season with the Orns and the Golden Boys will have to put in a good performance to come away from Goodison Point with a point or maybe all three.
Come three o’clock the new season will be underway for Watford. Buckle up as it will be one hell of a ride.
For Everton, Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu are both doubts due to hamstring injuries and the Toffees will monitor the duo’s fitness before kick-off.
Steven Pienaar, Darron Gibsen Aiden McGeady, Tony Hibbert and Muhamed Besic are all out through injury.
For Watford, Almen Abdi and Steven Berghuis are doubts. New signings Miguel Britos and Giedrius Arluaksis, are both suspended.
Jose Jurado is fit after recovering from a muscle injury.
Predicted Team Line-ups –
Everton – Howard (GK), Coleman, Stones, Jagielka ©, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas, Cleverley, Barkley; Kone.
Watford – Gomes (GK), Nyom, Cathcart, Prodl, Holebas; Capoue, Behrami; Jurado, Ighalo, Anya; Deeney ©
Referee – Mike Jones.