Everton v Tottenham Hotspur

After a short break, Everton are back…

Ronald Koeman has had two weeks to reflect on what he saw at Stamford Bridge in the Toffees’ last fixture.

Hopefully he’s had the time to address some deep lying problems that were evident in west London.

But after three consecutive away clashes, Everton are back on home turf. Welcoming a so far inconsistent Spurs side.

Unfortunately for the Toffees, it’s not August anymore, which only means one thing – Harry Kane once again knows where the net is.

If the history books are anything to go by, is there really any better team to play when you’re enduring a barren-spell in front of goal than the boys in Blue?

Want another jinx? Go on then… that man Kane is just one goal off a century in a Spurs shirt.

At this stage, don’t read too much into the league table, but the north-Londoners are level on points with Everton. Only goal difference is separating the sides.

But if Koeman’s troops are to mount a serious top four challenge then they cannot let the opposition pull away, even if it’s just by three points on the fourth set of Premier League fixtures.

It’s been five years since Everton have tasted victory over Spurs, yes, five whole years have passed since THAT Apostolos Vellios overhead kick right into the path of Nikica Jelavić in the 92nd minute.

Ones to watch –

Another league fixture, another side where it would be easier to identify who not to watch, with the Spurs side boasting so much quality throughout.

The obvious candidates are England internationals Harry Kane and Dele Alli, the pair put together are a menace for any defence.

With a combined 47 league goals between them last campaign the duo give Spurs’ attack a frightening look to it.

But the man who’s there to create it all is Denmark international Christian Eriksen, a classy footballer who seems to get better and better every season.

Whether it’s in open play or standing over a dead ball, the Dane is a massive threat. He is a vital factor in Tottenham’s rise and a key component in Mauricio Pochettino’s ranks.

As well as a plethora of attacking talent, the tough task of breaking through a well drilled Spurs defence lies ahead for Everton.

Belgians Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, accompanied by France stopper Hugo Lloris are all colossus at the back.

It’s not often strikers get the better of that unit.

But that’s just what the Blues will be looking to do…

Everyone has come out of international duty unscathed, but still no positive news coming from any of the long term absentees.

However, Davy Klaassen should be fit and raring to go after a short layoff and Morgan Schneiderlin, a massive miss last time out against Chelsea, is back from suspension.

Most surprising team news of all, Koeman has admitted forgotten man Oumar Niasse is back in the first team picture. Could the Senegal international reignite his Everton career?

Gylfi Sigurdsson, fresh from leading his nation to a 2-0 win over Ukraine, scoring both goals in the process, is set for his home bow in royal blue.

There could also be a first Everton appearance for deadline day buy Nikola Vlašić.

Both will be eager to show the Goodison faithful what they’ve got.

The sides couldn’t be separated in this fixture last season, both managers will be eager to better the 1-1 draw at the Grand Old Lady on the opening day of last years league curtain-raiser and come away with all three points this time round.

Up the Toffees.

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