Opposition: Everton FC

Facts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everton_F.C

Unknown fact – Everton have remained in the top division since 1954, and were founding members of the Premier League in 1992.

Venue – The Cathedral on the Hill

Date / Time: Sunday 1st November at 2pm on Sky TV

@Clark5Nick is taking a well-deserved week off after his superb Wolves preview so has passed the baton over to me once again.

At the time of writing, Everton are sitting pretty at the summit of the money league, and deservedly so in my opinion. After so many decades of what I can only describe as drudge and having flirted with relegation, they have finally found an owner who has invested heavily in the club. Their British-Iranian owner is showing some real ambition with the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti in 2019, a perennial winner in the game we all love.

Having lurched from crisis to crisis and manager to manager, they have really shown their intent in hiring the Italian, a move that was incredibly reminiscent of Ashley bringing in Rafa to our beloved Mags. What could have been with a bit of backing in a world class manager eh?

In the last decade, they’ve spunked some serious wedge on real tat – Cenk Tosun, Moise Kean and Davy Klaasen, with no real strategy, but the last 2 years have been significantly better, with the likes of Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Allan, Doucoure, and James Rodriguez showing that they have some serious talent amongst their ranks. Sigurdsson has always been a player that I’d have loved to see gracing St James’, but it wasn’t to be, sadly.  

For decades, Everton have lived under the shadows of their more esteemed city rivals; like a turd that won’t flush, if you will. Now they have the aspirations to challenge the likes of Liverpool, City and Chelsea at the top of the PL. 

In Dominic Calvert-Lewin, they’ve unearthed a real gem, having signed him in 2016 from Sheffield United for £1.5m and being moved from a box-to-box midfielder to a striker. I’m not sure what they put in his Weetabix over the summer, but he looks a proper talent now, and made his England debut recently, bagging on his debut at an empty Wembley against our sheep shagging neighbours. Huge credit must go to Ancelotti and former mag menace “Big Dunc” for his meteoric rise from decent centre forward to a top-class bagger.

Save for their 2-0 defeat at the Saints on Sunday, they’ve looked a really attractive outfit to watch, and with a solid defence, a blend of steel and guile in midfield and a proper attacking threat, they’ll be a tough nut to crack this weekend. Fortunately for us, they’ll be without both Richarlison and Digne, both of whom decided an early bath was in their interests in the last 2 games.

Recent games between the two have thrown up some classics. Last time out it took 2 late, late goals from now departed Florian Lejeune to bag an unlikely point, but the game that sticks in my mind was at home in March 2019. Leading 2-0 at half time, their tiny armed ickle mackem goalie was poncing around giving it big licks to the Leazes. Mint that we wiped that smile off his boat with 3 second half goals to send the bastard packing with his dinosaur tail between his legs. The other game that sticks in my mind is when Sir Alan scored a thunder-bastard back in December 2002, surely one of his finest in the black and white shirt!!

So, what of the Mags? Credit to Sir Steve for his selection against Wolves, but christ on a bike, it was a turgid watch once more – You’d have thought a team with Wilson, Miggy, Fraser, ASM and Murphy would have shown a little more intent, and whilst all the stats suggested a comfortable Wolves win, we came away with yet another 1-1 at Molineux.

So, 6 games into the new season we are unbeaten away from SJP and have picked up a solitary win at home, with 2 gut churning pumpings to Brighton and Man Utd. –  Mebs we prefer playing away from the cauldron that is St James (insert ponder emoji)

So, it’s prediction time. As I’ve learnt from Nick, predicting Toon results is like picking 6 winning numbers on the lottery. Or for the punters amongst us, having an accumulator sail in these days; well-nigh impossible.

If Brucie maintains his lucky bastard tag, then I think we can come away from this with something.  My mate said to me last night, they could pick 25 stone Neville Southall in goal, Dave Watson at the back and Big Dunc up top and we still won’t beat them. Go ultra-defensive and we’ll get beat. So come on Steve, show some bloody attacking intent, use Miggy and ASM properly and let’s get at them! I’m going for a 2-1 win with a “little arms” howler the highlight of the day.

Challenge for you – How many ex players can you name who have represented both clubs – I did this with Castle Farm Mag last year on a train – There are loads!!

Howay the Toon

@peekeekay