Watford vs Everton Match Preview.
(Picture - Zimbio)
It only seems like yesterday that Watford were walking out to the bright Merseyside sun at Goodison Park to kick off the Premier League season.
Back on that day, Watford were held to a draw as a late Arouna Kone goal put Everton back on level terms and meant that Quique Sanchez Flores' men brought a point back to Hertfordshire.
But how time flies, as the football season is now entering the final home straight with just over a month left of fixtures before the summer break.
This weekend Watford and Everton meet again, this time at Vicarage Road with Quique Sanchez Flores' men desperately hoping to arrest a slump which has seen them only pick up one point from their last five games in the Premier League.
The Hornets' 4-0 defeat to Arsenal last weekend was hugely disappointing and the club's heaviest defeat of the season and the Golden Boys will surely be hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend, with the table showing that the club still aren't mathematically safe as well.
Everton also enter this fixture in a poor run of form, having only won one of their last five in the league, meaning that they are only two positions above the Hornets in 12th place at the moment.
Whilst Roberto Martinez has guided the club to an FA Cup semi-final this season, pressure is starting to mount on the Everton manager due to the club's inconsistent league form, with supporters feeling the club should be higher in the table.
The key player for Everton on Saturday will undoubtedly be striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian international has been superb all season, with his pace and power causing defenders all sorts of problems.
Lukaku has proven to be one of the most lethal strikers in the division, having scored 25 goals in all competitions this season. He currently sits in third in the Premier League top goal-scorer charts and his form has seemingly attracted the attention of other clubs, with the striker being prominently linked to a move away from Goodison Park this summer.
Saturday's match against Everton is certainly a winnable game. Despite the Toffee's possessing a good squad, they are inconsistent and their defence is rather brittle. You only have to look back to their defeat to West Ham a couple of weeks ago, as they allowed the Hammers to come back from 2-0 in the final ten minutes to win 3-2.
But if the Hornets want any hope of beating Roberto Martinez's men they will have to perform much better than they have done against Stoke and Arsenal in recent weeks.
The Golden Boys have been poor in all departments in recent weeks and despite Everton's poor season, they will have to improve if they want any chance of gaining a point, let alone three.
It would be such a shame for this good season to fizzle out, so a much improved performance is required from Watford on Saturday.
For Watford, Valon Behrami is available after sitting out last week's game against Arsenal due to Illness. Joel Ekstrand and Tommie Hoban are still ruled out.
For Everton, Roberto Martinez will welcome back Gareth Barry who returns after serving a two match ban. Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman are doubts.
Predicted teams -
Watford - Gomes (GK), Nyom, Britos, Cathcart, Ake, Amrabat, Watson, Capoue, Jurado, Deeney ©, Ighalo.
Everton - Joel (GK), Coleman, Stones, Jagielka ©, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Cleverley, Barkley, Lennon, Lukaku.
Referee - Kevin Friend.