Premier League preview: Everton v Tottenham
By Football News
Everton will be looking to snap a four-match winless streak when they host an in-form Tottenham at Goodison Park on Sunday.
A surprise defeat at Reading has been followed by successive 1-1 draws against Norwich City, Arsenal and Manchester City for David Moyes' men.
And while they have kept in touch with the likes of Chelsea and Spurs and sit in sixth place, they are only two points ahead of 10th-placed Arsenal and need a win to keep pace with their rivals.
Without a clean sheet in their past 11 matches, Everton have not been solid at the back and they will be wary of Tottenham's range of explosive attackers.
Be it Gareth Bale on the left wing, the red-hot Jermain Defoe up front or the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Aaron Lennon, Spurs have begun to click under new manager Andre Villas-Boas.
A 3-1 Europa League success against Panathinaikos on Thursday made it four wins on the trot for the White Hart Lane outfit, who qualified for the round-of-32 with their win against the Greek side.
The run of form – sparked by losses to Norwich City, Wigan Athletic, Manchester City and Arsenal in less than three weeks – has seen Spurs shoot up to fourth on the table.
They will be without Bale (hamstring) after the Welshman injured himself in the club's 3-0 win at Fulham on Saturday but Defoe, who has five goals in his last four matches, will be equally hard to stop.
Everton appear likely to name an unchanged side for the third fixture in a row, with Phil Neville (knee) set to miss again.
Attackers Kevin Mirallas and Victor Anichebe (both hamstring) will also be ruled out, while Tottenham are likely to be without midfielder Scott Parker (Achilles) and defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee).
Everton's key man will once again be Belgian Marouane Fellaini, who has netted eight goals in his 13 league appearances this season.
Making that statistic more impressive is the fact he has played in midfield, with strikes in Everton's last two matches enough to earn them valuable points.
The last time the two sides met in a Premier League fixture, Nikica Jelavic's first Everton goal led his side to a 1-0 victory at Goodison Park.
Tottenham have struggled against Moyes' side in recent times, winning just one of the past 10 Premier League meetings between the two sides.