Everton’s dismal away record coupled with the war of words over Marco Silva will add spice to this game.
Boss Sam Allardyce has lauded the Blues’ efforts at home but once they head out of Goodison Road it’s a totally different story.
Watford is never easy and the club have an axe to grind after accusing Everton of derailing their season by coveting Silva, later sacked, to be their boss.
So tension will be in the air after the Toffees gained much needed breathing space from the dreaded drop zone following the victory over Palace a fortnight ago.
But Watford are 11th, just four points worse off than Everton. And they will be anxiously looking over their shoulders – with just five points separating them from 19th place.
The hosts have the third worst home record in the Premier League this season, picking up 16 points out of a possible 39.
They’ve only won one game in their last six too. Bizarrely, a 4-1 demolition of reigning Champions Chelsea.
But the very next outing they were downed 2-0 by David Moyes’ West Ham, summing up the story of their season.
One to watch –
Former Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu is now on the books at Watford.
The Spaniard cut an inconsistent figure over his two spells in L4 but that triumph over Chelsea saw Deulofeu at his very best.
He boasts speed and trickery that can terrify any defence (especially one that has shipped 46 goals in the league this term), but there are serious doubts over his stamina, which seemed to effect his eventual downfall at Everton.
But Deulofeu will be keen to show the Toffees what they’ve been missing come Saturday evening.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
Team news –
The home side have a colossal number of knocks, niggles and serious injuries.
They face being without without key figures such as Tom Cleverley, Heurelho Gomes, Nathaniel Chalobah and Christian Kabasele.
It’s not looking much better for the Blues. Eliaquim Mangala is out after sustaining an injury against Palace and James McCarthy is a long-term absentee.
Leighton Baines has a chance of making his first match day squad since November of last year.
Seamus Coleman is out of this one whereas Ramiro Funes Mori has declared himself ‘fit and ready to go’, but only time will tell with the Argentine defender who has been out for 11 months.
Man in the middle –
Anthony Taylor will take charge of the fixture. Of the 18 league matches he’s refereed this season, Taylor has shown 68 yellow cards.
He made headlines earlier this week in Wigan’s memorable FA Cup downing of Manchester City, when he had a yellow card in hand before subsequently changing his mind and giving Fabian Delph his marching orders.