Six games have passed in the Premier League, and it is safe to say Marco Silva’s Everton are in a slump. A wrong they must put right against newly promoted Fulham.
The Blues are winless in the league since the 2-1 victory over Southampton at Goodison in the second game of the campaign, with two disappointing draws and two losses since.
Everton’s most recent defeat had many positives, such as the exciting brand of football and the way in which the team attacked Arsenal, especially in the opening 55 minutes, but something is missing in the Toffees’ squadron… A natural goalscorer.
Someone who was born to score goals leading the line last weekend would’ve seen Everton come away with all three points at the Emirates. But a wonder-goal and an offside strike sealed the win for the North Londoners.
It is Londoners again this week for the Blues, with Fulham making their first trip to L4 since their relegation season in 13/14. It finished 4-1 that day but a lot has changed for the Cottagers since.
After a few seasons stagnating in the Championship, Slavisa Jokanovic finally crafted a side destined for the top flight in the 17/18 campaign.
The Serbian boss led them up via the play-offs but Fulham were unbeaten for over half the season on their way to a famous 1-0 play-off win over Aston Villa at Wembley.
It was the second Championship promotion of Jokanovic’s career after he achieved the same feat with Watford three years ago, but contract disputes meant he never saw any top flight football with the Hornets.
Much like Everton, Fulham have got off to an indifferent start. Just one win from their six fixtures so far, but they’ve already had to play Manchester City, Spurs and resurgent Watford.
So even at this stage, every point comes with value as they aim to stay in the division. And Fulham should be confident travelling to Goodison, having seen what West Ham did there just two weeks ago.
Of the 61 meetings between the clubs, Everton have come away victorious on 29 occasions, Fulham on 19 and 13 have ended in stalemate.
One to watch
Eyebrows were raised when the Cottagers splashed out a fee of around £27 million for Aleksandar Mitrovic in the summer as the Serbian forward hadn’t really cut it for Newcastle in the top league. But he was prolific during a loan spell at Craven Cottage last term.
But against all the odds he has brought his prolific nature to the PL, after six match days, he finds himself joint top scorer alongside Eden Hazard with five goals.
The powerhouse attacker will feel confident of adding to that tally when he comes up against a side who have already shipped 11 goals in the league.
Andre Gomes, James McCarthy and Phil Jagielka are all set to miss out again whilst Seamus Coleman is making progress. Yerry Mina has suffered a foot injury in training and his long awaited bow is delayed once more.
Man in the middle
Roger East will take charge of his first PL game this season, having only refereed a League One game and a Carabao Cup tie so far. In those two games he has dished out nine yellow cards.