Watford vs Everton

Friday, 31 January, 2020 71comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

With a welcome 10-day hiatus out of the way, Everton return to action this weekend with a trip to Watford as they look to move past the calamitous end to their last Premier League outing.

The Blues threw away two points in 60-odd poorly-managed seconds at the end of the home game against Newcastle United and had to settle for a 2-2 draw but a visit to Vicarage Road offers the opportunity to make amends and also put right what has become a forgettable record on that ground.

Everton have lost each of their last three away games at Watford and haven't actually won in this part of Hertfordshire since 2007.

This is the Carlo Ancelotti era now, though, and there is growing satisfaction with the way the Italian has his new charges playing a month into his tenure. The first 93 minutes of the match against the Magpies was as well as the Toffees have played all season and with more players returning to fitness, particularly in midfield, there is hope that things can only continue to get better.

Ancelotti has been boosted by the availability of three potentially key players ahead of this game with Richarlison (knee), Gylfi Sigurdsson (groin), and Alex Iwobi (hamstring) all having recovered from their recent respective injury problems.

It means that only long-term absentees André Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are ruled out, although with the Portuguese now training with the first team, he could add to the manager's options further by making an earlier than expected return to first-team action.

Those options will, by Ancelotti's own admission, make picking a team that little bit more difficult. The side has largely picked itself in recent weeks but as the boss told evertontv: “Richarlison and Iwobi are available. Gylfi Sigurdsson is available so it will be difficult to choose my line-up.”

Richarlison being available presents Ancelotti with perhaps his biggest conundrum — does he pair his two top scorers together in the striking duo that has easily proved to the most potent thus far and drop Moise Kean to the bench in the first game after he finally got off the mark?

Or does he try and deploy all three together, perhaps using Richarlison wide on the right instead of Theo Walcott and preserve the partnership between Kean and Dominic Calvert-Lewin that was so brilliant against Newcastle or going 4-3-3 and perhaps sacrificing Bernard's inventiveness but at the potential expense of Lucas Digne's best partnership down the left?

Then there's the question of how to deploy Alex Iwobi, a player who has really only looked effective playing in a central role behind the strikers in Marco Silva's 4-3-1-2 system, although given the former Arsenal man's lack of fitness — he hasn't played in well over a month — that might be a moot point this weekend.

As far as central midfield goes, no one has really offered much consistency but Fabian Delph and Morgan Schneiderlin was as good as any pairing this season in the Newcastle game and they might have done enough to persuade the manager to persist with them, particularly against what is a robust Watford midfield.

Mason Holgate's impressive cameo as a central midfielder against Manchester United last month does offer Ancelotti one further option, of course, now that Michael Keane is fit again and able to partner Yerry Mina if needed.

For their part, Watford have undergone a remarkable revival of fortunes under their own new boss, Nigel Pearson. The Hornets were rock bottom of the Premier League and seemingly doomed when he took over from Quique Sánchez Flores on 6th December and he has guided them to within two points of safety.

They have benefitted from having Troy Deeney back in the team but will be without one of their main attacking threats in the form of Ismaïla Sarr who is out injured while former Blue, Tom Cleverley, isn't match fit and will sit this one out.

Kiko Femenía is also ruled out but Danny Welbeck is fit again and could start while Will Hughes, another important member of their midfield, has trained this week and should also be available.

Everton have, of course, beaten Watford twice already this season, both times at Goodison Park and on the second occasion, the League Cup tie in late October, the Blues were by far the better team and deservedly ran out 2-0 winners.

Again, Watford are a different proposition under Pearson who has stiffened their resolve and made them much harder to beat and they will also have the advantage of home turf this weekend.

Another impotent attacking display like the one Ancelotti's men turned in at West Ham in their last away game would make this a difficult one to win but if the Italian can inspire something akin to or better than the display against Newcastle then another three important points could be theirs.

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday, 1st February, 2020
Referee: Craig Pawson
VAR: Jon Moss
Last Time: Watford 1 - 0 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Sidibé, Mina, Holgate, Digne, Delph, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Walcott, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (71)

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Brendan Fox
1 Posted 30/01/2020 at 22:15:56
Let's hope he can choose a team and squad who manage to score first and defend a lead – unlike against the Barcodes.
Simon Smith
2 Posted 30/01/2020 at 22:20:20
I'm still reeling from the last game. I have a bad feeling about Watford.
Hoping that Richarlison can steal the show though and bag a brace against his old employers.
Colin Glassar
3 Posted 30/01/2020 at 22:26:13
Great news about Richarlison. Not too bothered about the other two tbh.
Derek Knox
4 Posted 30/01/2020 at 22:27:17
Watford are certainly a different proposition since Nigel Pearson took over, which is quite a feat in itself, as it is with virtually the same players who couldn't buy a win, before he arrived and well firmly rooted to the bottom of the League Table.

This won't be an easy game but as has been mentioned with the right team selection and tactics not an impossible one either. I think not having played last Saturday or Sunday has given Carlo not only longer with the squad, but a chance for injured personnel to recover.

Tony Twist
5 Posted 30/01/2020 at 22:29:24
I don't know what it is, I'm just not convinced by Ancelotti and I just think he will try and play safe with Sigurdsson strolling back into the team. Kean should play with Calvert-Lewin up front with Richarlison coming on when Watford tire. Bernard keeping his place and no Sigurdsson - Schneiderlin combo, please. In Carlo I don't trust.
Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 30/01/2020 at 22:38:45
Tough, game Pearson, will have them up for it. If and a big if, we don't get bullied, then we have a chance.

Midfield and good start is key. How long will take our team to get into the game?

I'll take 2-3, to us, Richarlison, to get a brace.

Kieran Kinsella
7 Posted 30/01/2020 at 22:43:35
Lyndon & Colin,

Yes, I see Richarlison listed but not the other two “key” men... though, in unrelated news, Sigurdsson and Iwobi are back.

Derek Knox
8 Posted 30/01/2020 at 23:51:42
Something for the weekend, Sir?

Well, now you mention it, score more goals than the opposition, try not to let any goals in, and above all see any lead out to the bitter end!

Rudi Coote
9 Posted 30/01/2020 at 23:53:23
Three key players? I can only see one! Iwobi has yet to prove his worth and we all know Schneiderlin is crap.
Chris Bentham
10 Posted 30/01/2020 at 23:55:02
Usual unexpert opinion on here. To have a full squad back training minus 1 is a massive improvement on what we have had for the first half of the season. Quality of training and competition improves. The manager has more options on tactics... seriously, if you don't think Sigurdsson and Iwobi are not a positive to the squad, you need your head testing.
Bill Watson
11 Posted 31/01/2020 at 01:13:57
Derek #8

Steady on; that's a bit revolutionary, isn't it?

Bill Gienapp
12 Posted 31/01/2020 at 01:44:35
In spite of the snark, I'm glad to have Iwobi back. He's hit-or-miss (to say the least), but he's always looking to drive the attack forward and make things happen.

The only problem is, he's less effective on the wing, but I don't think he has enough defensive presence to play centrally in a 4-4-2.

Phil Sammon
13 Posted 31/01/2020 at 01:51:51
Having read the headline I'd hoped to discover Schneiderlin had suffered three injuries.
Drew O'Neall
14 Posted 31/01/2020 at 03:55:13
Hah Phil!
Peter Gorman
15 Posted 31/01/2020 at 04:11:09
Oooof Phil. Brutal.
Brian Cleveland
16 Posted 31/01/2020 at 05:42:50
Nice to have Richarlison back, but he always seems to try too hard against his old club and ends up getting subbed because it doesn't come off for him.

And Watford would be 3rd in the league I think on current form, they are storming on. This is not an easy game by any means.

Ray Smith
17 Posted 31/01/2020 at 06:47:22
Tony 5


Who would you have then?

Whether you like Ancelotti or not, he's here for the long term.

We can't keep changing managers.

Providing he's prepared to stay! Get behind him.

Ajay Gopal
18 Posted 31/01/2020 at 06:52:02
This game will show the character of the team – are they hurting badly enough from the Newcastle debacle to show that they are better than that? I think Kean will play from the outset – a front 3 of Kean, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, with the midfield 3 of Delph, Siggy and Schneiderlin.

Sidibe Mina Holgate Digne
Delph Schneiderlin Siggy
Richarlison Calvert-Lewin Kean

Subs: Lossl, Coleman, Keane, Davies, Iwobi, Bernard, Gordon.

That looks like a very strong team and substitutes bench on paper. 3-1 to the Blues, I reckon! (4 Englishmen, 3 French, 1 Columbian, 1 Brazilian, 1 Italian, 1 Icelander in my starting XI!)

Danny Baily
19 Posted 31/01/2020 at 07:12:19
Wins against Southampton, Villa, Bournemouth and Palace at home are essential if we're to stay up. Anything against Watford is a bonus.
Tony Hill
20 Posted 31/01/2020 at 07:45:01
Jon Moss is a terrible referee. That apart, midfied control will be, as always, key. Sigurdsson does not deserve a place.
Trevor Peers
21 Posted 31/01/2020 at 08:12:00
Davies badly needed resting – he just can't play well regularly – but no doubt his ability will rocket in his absence as usual.

This game will be a real battle; whoever scores first should win. Let's hope it's the Blues.

James Stewart
22 Posted 31/01/2020 at 08:58:32
No way Kean is dropped after his last performance.
Mike Hayes
23 Posted 31/01/2020 at 09:06:04
Sigurdsson had better pull his 㿙M finger out of his arse and give us a 㿙M display instead of 45p!
Robert Leigh
24 Posted 31/01/2020 at 09:10:54
Sidibe - Holgate - Mina - Digne
Richarlison - Schneiderlin - Delph - Bernard
Kean - Calvert-Lewin

Subs: Lossl, Keane, Coleman, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Walcott, Gordon

2-0 Blues, Richarlison and Kean to score.

Mike Hayes
25 Posted 31/01/2020 at 09:14:26
Ajay, if that midfield was any slower, our games would have to be extended by 3 hours.

I wouldn't have them in an over-50s walking football team – they'd slow it down!

John Raftery
26 Posted 31/01/2020 at 10:03:19
I am not sure this game will suit Bernard. When he is on form he gives the team extra guile in the final third. His quality on the ball is however more apparent at Goodison than it has been in away matches.
Les Moorcroft
27 Posted 31/01/2020 at 10:16:13
We will have to match them in aggression. Pearson's team's are built on getting in your face.
Jim Bennings
28 Posted 31/01/2020 at 10:27:52
Hopefully if we do manage to get ourselves in front at some stage the manager will not start making three defensive minded changes.

I wouldn't even begin to criticise Ancelotti as his CV is unreal but no manager is beyond some questioning.

People say he has little to play with which is partly true but the subs against Newcastle, Brighton and the team selection for the FA Cup derby were all head scratchers for me.

In the derby why did we need three right sided players on the pitch?

At home to Brighton we went ultra defensive and almost suffered, same against Newcastle only we weren't so lucky.

Hopefully lessons have been learned in time for tomorrow.

I don't expect much other than a dull scrap to be honest.

Christopher Timmins
29 Posted 31/01/2020 at 11:11:09
This won't be an easy assignment as they are one of the form teams in the division at the moment. Our central defenders need to be up for the battle and this might be a game for Seamus at right back.
Clive Rogers
30 Posted 31/01/2020 at 11:13:42
I think our fullbacks are better wingbacks than defenders, so he may go three at the back with Keane fit. I think he will retain the front two and find a place for Richarlison.
Tony Everan
31 Posted 31/01/2020 at 11:43:52
We know what to expect, an uncompromising Watford side, led by the hard man Troy Deeney. We are the better side technically, but we will come away with nothing if we don't match them physically and fight them toe to toe.
Derek Taylor
32 Posted 31/01/2020 at 12:04:39
Can't see us having many problems with Watford. Three points will cement our mid-table position and re-launch the canonization of Ancelloti. (Until the next balls-up like the Newky game, that is !)
Mark Rimmer
33 Posted 31/01/2020 at 12:55:36
You can't make amends for the Newcastle game, they're 2 points lost and will never be seen again. That raw disappointment of that disaster has stuck with me longer than the derby fiasco!
Good to see Richy back, and like the predicted line-up, unfortunately Sigurdsson will come straight back into the team and we won't see Gordon again baring suspensions and midfield injuries.
Will be a tough and ugly match of course, reckon they've already slotted us in for last game on motd, can see this being another draw as we're tough to beat these days, I'll go for an uninspiring 1-1, but I hope I'm wrong. COYB.
Marc Hints
35 Posted 31/01/2020 at 14:31:00
Typical won't be seeing Gbamin now then until next season
Jamie Crowley
36 Posted 31/01/2020 at 14:57:27
Watford scare the crap out of me. Heard on the radio yesterday that Nigel just has them play long balls to Deeney, and basically wants the opposition CBs facing their own net chasing balls.

It's set up for a Liverpool-Lite performance of balls over the top, putting our CBs under pressure running at our own net. Not our strength!

Keane can not play in this game. And we have to sit stupidly deep.

I think Carlo knows this. This will be a tough one.

Christy Ring
37 Posted 31/01/2020 at 16:43:30
Ajay@18 A very strong team, with Delph, Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson in midfield, you must be looking at a different team to me. Spec Savers wouldn't go amiss.
Tony Twist
38 Posted 31/01/2020 at 16:52:04
Hi Ray (17), sorry maybe my post isn't clear, I don't want the manager changed! I am, however, being consistent -ish. If Silvas side had thrown away a two - nil lead, at home, in the last minute of injury time, I wouldn't give him a free ride. Carlo has been manager for two debacles already in the Newcastle game and losing to RS youth. It does not wash with me when Carlo's explanation for the Newcastle game is just...one of those things...does he think we are stupid. On paper we have a great manager, in reality, at the moment, he needs to do a lot better. Starting hopefully with a win at Watford. Best of luck blues.
Jim Bennings
39 Posted 31/01/2020 at 17:36:19
Fair point, Tony.

If that was Silva that lost to Liverpool's kindergarten club and then made those substitutions against Newcastle, contributing to helping toss the game away, we'd have torn Marco a new one.

Carlo is a fantastic man, intelligent, and his record as a player and manager has been illuminated by endless successes.

No manager however, even the Laughing Cow across the park, should be exempt from questioning when it's laid bare in front of us.

I'm going to put it down to it being early doors for Carlo, maybe he's still getting to know limitations of players and where he can go with certain members of the squad.

Nobody is too old to learn though and I don't think he covered himself in glory with some of those selections and subs.

Jay Evans
40 Posted 31/01/2020 at 17:54:31
The toughest team wins tomorrow. The team with the biggest bullies in it wins tomorrow. The team that stands up to the opposition best, and stands up for their teammates the most, wins tomorrow.

It's clearly not going to be pretty so let's win the fight against a strong, strapping Watford side and winning the game will follow.

When men were men...

This means no Michael Keane, no Gylfi Sigurdsson, no prefects or suck holes or altar boys or teacher's pets. Just big, massive kahunas on display and let's see what we are made of.

Onward Evertonians. Full support. 💙

Derek Taylor
41 Posted 31/01/2020 at 18:21:15
We all know this squad is crap and Carlo must need the money very badly to have taken the job. If he is a miracle worker, he will be able to end his marvellous career as a legend... but, if he keeps on making mistakes – such as against Newcastle and the Liverpool Youth team, it will do for him with a vengeance. Let's just hope it's the former.
Steve Ferns
42 Posted 31/01/2020 at 18:27:46
Jim, I was glad to see that Antony Evans, Morgan Feeney, and Lewis Gibson were called up to first team training by Ancelotti so he could have a good look at them before letting them go in their various ways. He didn't just take Unsworth's or Brands's view on Evans, he had a good look at him in at least one training session.

Not sure how often Feeney has been with the first team but he's been on more than one video since Carlo came. Same with Gibson. Everton were paying Martina and Niasse but letting them train away from the first team, Carlo has them part of the first team squad. So he knows for himself now.

It'll be interesting to see what 11 days without a game has done for Carlo. He said he prefers a game every three days. But he's had ample time to really assess the squad and make proper alterations.

Derek Taylor
43 Posted 31/01/2020 at 19:00:20
Steve, I don't think you can consider one or two training sessions with the first team as 'ample time' to assess the U23 players who have been sent 'on loan' today. History tells us that for the vast majority (about 90%) never see first-team action when they return even when they get extended contracts!

Ossie and Barks were the exceptions with players signed from lower league clubs showing a far better success rate than our 'own grown'.

Brent Stephens
44 Posted 31/01/2020 at 19:43:28
Cheers, Peter. Is that a Branthwaite's position? I thought he was a centre-back.
Peter Gorman
45 Posted 31/01/2020 at 19:46:11
I did too, but information hard to come by atm. Not sure even the OS has any mention of it yet.
Ashley Roberts
46 Posted 01/02/2020 at 00:18:02
christy # 37 l could not agree more!! How anybody could contemplate putting Delph and Shneiderlin in the midfield just totally baffles me. I think Delph should be on the bench at most and Shneiderlin I don't think is anywhere near good enough to make the match day squad. These 2 would get the prize for being the slowest pairing probably in all 4 divisions. We have Iwobi and back we have Bernard and Davies who are much more mobile and even though Sigurdsson has had a bad season he is infinitely better than Delph and Shneiderlin. If these 2 start then there will only be one outcome in this game.
Bill Gienapp
47 Posted 01/02/2020 at 00:27:27
Ashley (46) - "If these 2 start then there will only be one outcome in this game."

A routine victory that we somehow conspire to throw away in the final minute? Because they started the last match and that was the outcome.

(all jokes aside, I have little interest in seeing either on the team sheet, particularly Schneiderlin, but they fared okay last week)

Chris Mason
48 Posted 01/02/2020 at 03:21:54
Which begs the question - which part of Hertfordshire have we won in recently?
Bob Parrington
49 Posted 01/02/2020 at 08:29:18
Jay@40. Yes. It's that type of opposition
Ray Smith
50 Posted 01/02/2020 at 08:45:26
Tony 38

Take your point m8

Sam Hoare
51 Posted 01/02/2020 at 08:51:26
A lot of people saying no Michael Keane despite him being our best aerial player. Watford play very direct and I suspect Deeney would relish contesting long balls with Holgate who wins a low percentage of aerial duels.

I'd be tempted to play a lower block with Keane and Mina and Holgate playing in DMC. Sit back a touch, win the long balls and counter quickly with DCL, Kean and Richarlison. Could play Walcott on the right and Richie on the left but hoping Bernie continues his Newcastle form.

Sidibe Keane Mina Digne
Richarlison Sigurdsson Holgate Bernard
Kean Calvert-Lewin

Conor McCourt
52 Posted 01/02/2020 at 08:55:56
Jay 40- I hope your wrong in your assessment as if we drawn in to that type of game there is only going to be one winner and it ain't us.

Today we need to be brave, but brave on the ball and use Keans pace to get in behind their back line. I think we are playing them at the right time because they have had the new manager bounce and now haven't won in their last 3 in all competitions.

Robert Tressell
53 Posted 01/02/2020 at 09:01:13
Apart from the last minute farce with NCL our midfield controlled the game. Would have thought delph and schneiderlin would resume positions if fit along the rest of them. Good to have iwobi back and interesting to see if baningime makes the squad.
Raymond Fox
54 Posted 01/02/2020 at 09:28:14
As they say anything can happen in this game.
We have the better quality of player, but its at their midden.
A draw would seem to be the most likely outcome.
Jerome Shields
55 Posted 01/02/2020 at 10:09:15
It will be interesting to see how Ancelotti got on at Finch Farm during the break, a cold weather one at last, not a warm weather one. Interestingly he had younger players amongst the training first team squad, according to Steve.

Hopefully it was a change from the holiday camp it normally has been and we get a team biting at the bit to get at Watford. Mid field will be the deciding factor and I quite frankly haven't a clue who Ancelotti will play in it.

I hope that Ancelotti has further developed the positive forward passing tactics he was trying to instil on the Everton team before the break , rather than the negative possession style as previously. A residue from previous regimes.

Hopefully everyone will stay awake till the final whistle this time.

Brian Harrison
56 Posted 01/02/2020 at 10:18:44
I feel a lot more confident going away from home with Ancelotti than I did with Silva. Apart from the top couple of teams anybody can beat anybody in the Premier league, as the league table suggests. I am sure that today will be a tough physical encounter, we have to make sure we are up for the fight because you know Watford will be. My biggest worry today is our old boy Deulofeu, when I think we allowed him to leave and look what we have replaced him with. Yes he can be inconsistent and can sometimes fade in games but he could also create a moment of pure class, as he is still doing for Watford. I think if he plays on their right then Digne could be in for a very busy afternoon.

But keep Deulofeu and Deeney quiet and it will go along way to help us win the game.

Christy Ring
57 Posted 01/02/2020 at 10:38:24
I agree with Sam, play Holgate in midfield, we're totally lacking a physical presence, and ball winning ability in midfield, with Delph or Schneiderlin.
Mick Conalty
58 Posted 01/02/2020 at 10:40:06
This has got to be the worst standard of top flight football ever seen in the English game. Teams have no bottle and just seem to be there for the easy ride and big payday. Roll on the cricket season.
Steve Ferns
59 Posted 01/02/2020 at 11:03:38
Yeah worst ever premier league, that's why we're the only league with every team still in Europe and had 3/4 CL semi finalists last season. I think you'll find this is actually one of the strongest premier leagues of all time. Just wait and see how many points the relegated teams go down on. There's no whipping boys this season and someone is going to go down on close to 40 not the standard 30-34.
Dale Rose
60 Posted 01/02/2020 at 11:54:34
A fair bit of Carlo bashing going on here. From what I've seen so far he is doing a good job so give the man some time.
Derek Taylor
61 Posted 01/02/2020 at 12:07:12
Steve, the Premier League is soooo strong the Red Shite can beat the fecking lot !
Brent Stephens
62 Posted 01/02/2020 at 12:08:38
Derek that just shows unfortunately how strong the rs are.
Tony Hill
63 Posted 01/02/2020 at 12:27:57
Schneiderlin played very well against Newcastle and Delph also did well. I'd start with both of them.
Tom Bowers
64 Posted 01/02/2020 at 12:38:31
Watford had some decent results not too far back and actually look better than their league position indicates.
They have a tough midfield and could be too strong for Everton's but once again it comes down to the attitude from the off and if they can take the bull by the horns.
Quite a few could be playing for their places next season.
John Pierce
65 Posted 01/02/2020 at 13:30:11
They are strongest on midfeld, we are weak there. Bypass the midfield and be direct. Cut the supply off.

So we need functional performances from the midfield pair. Who? Sigurdsson and Davies.

Richarlison on right and the rest unchanged. I think Holgate in midfield is a red herring. We lose more at not having at centre back than gain playing him in midfield. He's quicker than the others and allows us to play a higher line, ‘squeeze that midfield'. That's more effective than have him play out of position.

I think we will win, after their huge bounce, Watford have leveled out.

Derek Taylor
66 Posted 01/02/2020 at 13:40:19
Strong or weak this league, you takes your pick. The table shows us 41points behind our neighbours which, in my view, means we are crap. But, some will say, we are only 4 points off ManU in fifth but we know they are crap as well.

Not wishing to give RS any credit, I stick by my view that this is the weakest Premier EVER. So there !

Drew O'Neall
67 Posted 01/02/2020 at 13:43:11
Today's selection will be telling.

Everyone should be in peak condition so we should learn Ancelotti's ‘go-to' starters, at least for this type of opposition, based on what he's learned about his players, subject to Gomes and Gbamin returning.

To my mind, Davies has to start because the other midfielders can't be in the club's long term plans. His partner/partners should be selected on the basis of who compliments him best.

For me I would be playing with a midfield three of Davies, Bernard and Delph or Sigurdsson, depending on the opposition.

Terry Venables has an adage which stands the test of time, and that was; if you can't beat them in midfield, outnumber them.

We've lost the quality and power from our midfield so we have to add numbers.

This formation suits a possession game and provides us triangles all over the pitch; Holgate, Sidibe, Davies out of the right, and Baines, Delph and Digne out of the left, allowing us to outnumber, win-back and build the play while we a) work the Digne/Sidibe overlap/crossing angle, which should be plan A for a team who scores as many headed goals as us; b) hit Bernard in transition, or c) release one of two runners in the channels/off the defender's shoulder.

Anthony Barnett
68 Posted 01/02/2020 at 14:00:51
Comments that we controlled most of the game at home against Newcastle, they had nine players out injured! Wouldn't bank on Delph & Schneiderlin looking as good against Doucoure, Capoue and Prereyra.
Michael Barrett
69 Posted 01/02/2020 at 14:02:06
Just walked through Liverpool 1, I was gobsmacked to see how many tourist shite fans there was decked with all the hats and scarfs... gutted that used to be us in the 80s... sad sad days indeed.

Michael Lynch
70 Posted 01/02/2020 at 14:03:35
Surprised Bernard drops to the bench for Sigurdsson and Iwobi. Less surprised that Kean makes way for Richarlison.
John P McFarlane
71 Posted 01/02/2020 at 14:15:05
Michael #69 I agree that it is gutting but in my experience it has always been the case, even in our halycon days of the 1980s. The city centre was always a hot-bed of redness, most of the staff in most of the bars were and are 'supporters' of the other side.

Everton's failure to win anything of note for 25 years and not having won the league or indeed even competed for it for over 30 years hasn't helped our case. I'm certain that even if we did go on a run of success nothing much would change within the city centre.

Those tourists you speak about are a new breed that weren't around in the 1980s at least not in such numbers but nowadays a trip to the other place is akin to visiting the Albert Hall or similar type attraction - with a game of football an added bonus thrown-in.

John P McFarlane
72 Posted 01/02/2020 at 14:23:50
Derek #66 It is the weakest Premier League by quite a bit, just because many of the sides are seperated by a handful of points doesn't mean that they are all 'competitive' it just means they are much of a muchness. Southampton were dead and buried when we beat them at the their place but now find themselves on the cusp of European qualification. This league reminds of the early to mid 70s a couple of stand out teams and the rest mostly dire and boring more interested in preserving their status in the top-flight than playing expansive and entertaining football.

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