Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers

It’s a repeat of this season’s curtain raiser as Wolves travel to Goodison in a clash that could determine who finishes seventh come the end of the campaign. 

Surprisingly, Everton have now won two of their last three league games, despite it feeling an age between the 2-0 win over Bournemouth and the midweek victory over Huddersfield Town. 

Tuesday night wasn’t pretty, but it was effective — a much needed three points and a third league away win this term. But the Blues will have to be right on their game when Nuno Espírito Santo’s side come to town. 

Wolves were tipped for a good season before a ball was kicked and they haven’t disappointed so far. 

Their connection with ‘super agent’ Jorge Mendes has sent the club in the right direction. 

It makes Wolves an attractive outfit and is the exact reason they could persuade a player of Ruben Neves’ quality to join them when they were still in the Championship. 

After 24 fixtures, Wolves are sitting in seventh on 35 points, two above eighth placed Everton. 

Wolves were at their brilliant best during the midweek clash against West Ham United, they fired three past the Hammers without reply. 

In their four games prior to that they beat league leading Liverpool in the cup, were battered by Manchester City, came out on top of a seven goal thriller against Leicester and scraped a replay with Shrewsbury. 

A bit inconsistent to say the least. 

A brilliant Richarlison double, a suspect red card for Phil Jagielka and strikes from Neves and Raul Jimenez meant the points were shared. 

This will be the sides’ first meeting at Goodison since a 2-1 Everton win in November 2011. 

One to watch —

Everton kept a much needed clean sheet against Huddersfield but defensive frailties were still prominent. 

That is why Jimenez will prove to be a problem once more just like he was at Molineux in August.

The big Mexican centre forward is Wolves’ top scorer this season with 10, he has also provided five assists. Two of those goals came against West Ham on Tuesday. 

Standing at 6ft3, he’s sure to give Kurt Zouma and Michael Keane a torrid time on Saturday afternoon. 

Team news — 

Phil Jagielka is still missing, Yerry Mina is doubtful. Everton could be without a recognised left-back for the clash, with Lucas Digne serving a suspension and Leighton Baines on the treatment table. 

Man in the middle — 

Lee Mason will take charge of this one. This will be the third Everton game he has refereed this season. He officiated the Blues’ 2-1 win over Southampton and a 1-1 draw against Newcastle. 

In 20 games this season he has shown 55 yellow cards and two reds.

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