Everton play the second of two successive home games before testing trips to Anfield and Old Trafford as improving Hull City come to Merseyside.
The Blues have made Goodison Park something of a fortress in 2017; they're unbeaten since the turn of the year and can boast clean sheets in four of their last five in home turf.
Having comfortably dealt with West Bromwich Albion last Saturday, Ronald Koeman's men face a Hull side still battling against the danger of relegation but which has been much improved since the clubs last met at the end of last year.
Since then, Marco Silvia has them looking far less like the soft touch they had become under his predecessor, Mike Phelan, although it's fair to say they were surprisingly potent against the Blues. They have won four of their last eight games, although the match winner on two of those occasions was Oumar Niasse, the striker on loan from Everton who is ineligible to play this weekend.
They will also be without one of the goalscorers in the reverse fixture, Michael Dawson, as well as Dieumerci Mbokani and Ryan Mason, while the other scorer, Roberto Snodgrass is no longer with the club. It's also worth noting that those recent wins all came at the KCOM Stadium and that their last away match was a 3-1 defeat at fellow strugglers, Leicester City.
It points to what should be another routine home win if Everton perform the way they have in front of their own fans in the League for the past 10 weeks.
Of course, there is the potential shadow over proceedings cast by Romelu Lukaku's contract situation to consider. The Belgian's decision not to extend his contract with Everton has rocked the club this week but it's unlikely to have much bearing on the contest with the Tigers.
Lukaku's focus has always been on doing his best for the team and advancing his own career and with emotion having played seemingly little part in his Blues career thus far, it doesn't seem likely that any fallout from his contract issues will affect his game.
And given the positive reaction that his interview with the media this past week has generated from many Evertonians, he probably won't receive an uncomfortable reception from the Goodison faithful either.
All being well, the 23-year-old will add his name to the scoresheet once more, become the first player to hit 20 league goals for Everton since Gary Lineker 31 years ago, and the Blues will leapfrog Manchester United into 6th place, for 24 hours at least.
Koeman will have Leighton Baines in contention again after he recovered from the back issue that forced him off halfway through the win over the Baggies.
James McCarthy is still ruled out, though, leaving the Dutchman the same central midfield options as last week. Gareth Barry started last time out and could retain his place after putting in a good performance if the manager views Hull's midfield in a similar vein as West Brom's.
Phil Jagielka, meanwhile, almost certainly did enough to warrant keeping his place in central defense alongside Ramiro Funes Mori and it's conceivable the Koeman will name an unchanged starting XI.
Kick off: 3pm, Saturday 18 March, 2017
Referee: Paul Tierney
Last Time: Everton 1 - 1 Hull City
Predicted line-up: Robles, Coleman, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Barry, Schneiderlin, Davies, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku
Quotes sourced from ToffeeWeb match page
Reader Comments (78)
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1 Posted 17/03/2017 at 22:24:17
2 Posted 17/03/2017 at 22:27:55
3 Posted 17/03/2017 at 22:30:23
They have had some decent results against the Blues but surely this won't be one of those games.
In one way I am glad Niasse is on loan because if he had played he may have been a problem given that he is now finding the net.
4 Posted 17/03/2017 at 22:33:38
5 Posted 17/03/2017 at 22:48:30
6 Posted 17/03/2017 at 22:55:44
7 Posted 17/03/2017 at 23:03:41
This talk of Rooney coming back, I mean really, he is on currently double Lukaku's contract offer. It does not take genius to work out Lukaku want's more than Rooney when he comes back (if true).
8 Posted 17/03/2017 at 23:03:58
That would be my pick for this game but I think he's trying to give Barry his last hurrah so that he gets the record for number of appearances and he may give Jags another shout and keep Funes Mori as a potential sub for Bainesy in case of recurrence of his back trouble.
Who said the team picks itself?
10 Posted 17/03/2017 at 23:25:31
11 Posted 17/03/2017 at 23:36:54
Hull deffo have a threat in behind and from set pieces, diminished since the departure of Snodgrass.
3-1 the Ev
12 Posted 17/03/2017 at 23:38:53
Worth noting that hull have scored two away goals since October. One of those goalscorers is no longer at the club. They are woeful away from home. We simply have to capitalise and what an opportunity to push Arsenal and Man Utd for a top 6 spot.
14 Posted 18/03/2017 at 00:27:10
Er, Rom, what the fuck are you doing, why are you here?
3 - 0
Oh, and by the way, your locker belongs to... er, what's 'is name...
15 Posted 18/03/2017 at 01:01:59
The world has to know that we (Everton) are massively bigger than any one media constructive footballer called Shhhh... you know who.
I've had enough of this guy now and by the way if your reading this you are becoming a total bore.
You bore me with your style of play, you bore me with your attitude to my club, you defo bore me with your drama queen I hate Donald trump because he objectifies women but you never got on the street when it came down to Clinton, i.e. Monica...
In short I'll bet you are as thick as pig shit, and you know nothing about the world and the way it works.
Here's a really good contract for you, it has this for you to sign.
Everton are not good enough for me and that goes for their supporters. signed ROM
I want you out of my club as fast as possible,
Because you are a twat.
Signed Jon Cox
16 Posted 18/03/2017 at 01:07:11
17 Posted 18/03/2017 at 01:42:53
Not for me.
18 Posted 18/03/2017 at 02:13:38
19 Posted 18/03/2017 at 02:20:59
As for Lukaku, he will leave in the summer, so I don't give a shit what he says anymore. I hope he scores a hat trick in every remaining match this season. Every goal adds a couple million to his selling price, so fire away, Rom.
20 Posted 18/03/2017 at 02:31:41
21 Posted 18/03/2017 at 02:52:02
If we get 7 by half time then bring on some fringe players so as not to totally humiliate them with a 2-1 in the second half. Three for Rom, 2 Mirallas, 1 Davies, Gana, Williams, Lookman, Valencia. Their consolation is a worldy so there's no criticism of Robles.
22 Posted 18/03/2017 at 03:08:10
A marriage of convenience. Keep scoring goals until transfer do us part.
There's no big problem is there?
23 Posted 18/03/2017 at 03:17:12
24 Posted 18/03/2017 at 03:48:15
Agree with Lyndon's prediction... Hull play a similar style to West Brom and our lineup will therefore be the same as last week. However, I hope for one change... Davies needs a break. He's barely missed a minute in two months. He's 18. Growing boys need rest.
25 Posted 18/03/2017 at 03:58:10
Genuinely believe that those days are long gone. Different culture around football nowadays. Not least to mention our barren period since 1995.
26 Posted 18/03/2017 at 06:34:08
27 Posted 18/03/2017 at 06:42:36
28 Posted 18/03/2017 at 06:49:36
29 Posted 18/03/2017 at 07:02:22
Not signing the contract is one thing, but his interview was quite another. It was unnecessary, and frankly despite the fact that many fans agree with what he was saying, it was insulting to the club and designed to be so. This just at a time when we're working so hard to change our image. Rom said what he said in order to make the club sell him. It shows a lack of respect. I know it's always been a marriage of convenience between player and club, so I don't expect him to love the club, but I do think he should respect the institution which pays his wages. After all, we have always done right by him.
It's really changed the way I think about him. I always knew he would go, but I thought he would do so showing some class. Turns out I was wrong.
30 Posted 18/03/2017 at 07:43:20
Hull will come with a different attitude. They are fighting for their lives. I expect another victory, but it will be harder to come by. I'd trade an uninspiring 3-0 for an exciting match where we won by the odd goal.
31 Posted 18/03/2017 at 07:49:44
Just seen Jon Cox's post # 15.
Full moon maybe?
Computer night in Broadmoor?
This is genuinely what I imagined Link
The only illumination provided is about the poster - narked, bitter, completely unhinged, simply unable to (rationally) deal with the world not turning the way he wants it to.
"I've had enough of this guy now and by the way if your reading this you are becoming a total bore."
I bet in the fantasy world Mr Cox exists in, Lukaku IS reading this and pacing around nervously thinking "Maybe I should sign - this guy who doesn't know the difference between your and you're is definitely a man I should listen to"
And just in case we were in any doubt about his completely fucking nutsness, in a tirade against Lukaku, he does a sharp 'right' turn into Trump being hard done by.
Wibble wibble wibble - NURSE!!!
32 Posted 18/03/2017 at 07:53:35
33 Posted 18/03/2017 at 08:08:54
34 Posted 18/03/2017 at 08:14:18
35 Posted 18/03/2017 at 08:46:18
He's definitely thick as pig shit too, I heard he only speaks 6 languages fluently. Moron.
Give the guy a break John. From a young age he said that his hero is Drogba and his dream is to win things with Chelsea.
It didn't happen for him there and we paid him a lot of money to come here. You can't buy loyalty. He really likes Everton and wants us to do well (which is why he's banged in more goals than any striker we've had in the PL era and regularly urged the team to do better) but ultimately his ambition has always been to win trophies at Chelsea (who are about to win the league again).
If he gets the chance to go there, and we get a big payout out, then good luck to him and thanks for the goals.
36 Posted 18/03/2017 at 08:47:21
This is the only post I have ever read that actually makes more sense when read backwards.
No shit, try it!
37 Posted 18/03/2017 at 08:50:21
Let's do the business and crank up the pressure on those above us.
38 Posted 18/03/2017 at 09:00:15
39 Posted 18/03/2017 at 09:19:44
I will take three points today regardless of performance,in the knowledge that every game is a step towards the team that we will have next season.
40 Posted 18/03/2017 at 09:23:53
Maybe contract negotiation should only be allowed in the transfer windows too.
1-1 and the end to another one of our brief moments of form before the players want new contracts for actually playing well.
41 Posted 18/03/2017 at 09:36:29
Most days I read a little Van Gogh and Primo Levi just to set me up for the day - - “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”.
So will get ready for my trip to Le Maison Noir and onto Goodison - - have to cross The River today - - my wife is out all day - - either by bus or maybe I will call Pegasus and ask to be taken to Olympus and partake in The Golden Ambrosia (I drink a pint of Golden) - - gives me chance to put my headphones on and listen to some music - - once across The Mighty River Gateway to the Gods and where a Future Palace will be built for those who worship The Blue Gods - - I will get off by Greatie Market and walk along Scottie - - down Smith Street - - along Wessie road to El Dark House - - past what is now Thomas Winder Court where I would set off for Goodison in my youth - - - "Take me back Take me way way back to Great Mersey Street and Mrs Jones Corner shop - - a single rasher of bacon and an egg for Dad's breakfast - - neck ends from the butchers for Saturday scouse after the game - - feeling lit up" - - thank you Van for your wonderful inspiration - - past the stables where men play football now on plastic pitches and past the fire station which for a short time was "Rooney's Bar" - - now all locked up and derelict - - and then into TDH to talk Blue with old mates - - been an interesting week for me - -The Guardian did an Interview with me about Everton and modern football and Lukaku - - will post link when I get it - - and Talk Sport rang me on Wednesday - -hoping I think for "neggo waves" about Romelu - - my take was players, managers and directors come and go - - Fans are Forever.
So ready for the off soon - - "Can you surry, can you picnic?
Can you surry, can you picnic?
Surry down to a stoned soul picnic
Surry down to a stoned soul picnic
There'll be lots of time and wine
Red yellow honey, sassafras and moonshine
Red yellow honey
Sassafras and moonshine (moonshine)" - a normal day in TDH
Rave On - - have a good day Blues - - I will doing my 4-0 - - cosmic grooves all the way.
42 Posted 18/03/2017 at 09:38:15
Romelu, you have ten matches left to make your Goodison mark and then you can leave if the club allow you to so keep scoring and earning points for the blues and as long as you keep mum about the club, the supporters will support you or at least tolerate you.
It's pointless the crowd giving Rom a hard time, that won't help Everton FC or its points tally, let's try and get behind the team and help them to finish as high as possible in the league as we can't influence anything else that's left to the owners et al to sort out.
43 Posted 18/03/2017 at 09:46:37
For the good of the team my arse.
44 Posted 18/03/2017 at 09:53:04
45 Posted 18/03/2017 at 09:55:42
I say play lLukaku for as long as he scores goals and positively impacts on the team. Then if need be sell him in the summer for as much as we can get. More goals equals better chance for him of being bought and bigger money and better league place for us.
Not sure if those thoughts allow me to be a true supporter or not!
46 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:01:57
I hope we start well and do what we did to Hull, I don't think there will be a reaction to Lukaku, I think most of us have accepted that he will be gone in the summer. Lets hope he uses the remaining games to demonstrate to all his possible suitors that he is Champions league quality. Which will in turn result in a strong finish to the season for us.
47 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:08:10
Eugene (#31). That link. Me at my computer last week when it imploded and refused to do my bidding... pissed myself at it. How accurate. The link, not my PC.
48 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:15:27
Have a wonderful day, hope your bet (always) comes in.
49 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:17:52
50 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:27:26
51 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:33:52
53 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:38:56
54 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:39:57
I predict (for what it's worth) 7-0, Lukaku and Barkley getting a hat trick each, and Robles scoring one direct from a goal kick. There's nothing like being positive!
56 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:50:04
Well said. If Rom wants to go good luck to him. Nobody is irreplaceable. It's not as if he grew up following the blues. Once a blue always a blue.
57 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:50:54
58 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:57:47
59 Posted 18/03/2017 at 10:59:18
60 Posted 18/03/2017 at 11:00:54
61 Posted 18/03/2017 at 11:01:54
Our biggest game of the season by a mile. I would appeal to all of us to get behind the team 100% today... Who knows what will happen with Rom, lets just support the team and forget individuals. Everton will always be here, players will always move on.
62 Posted 18/03/2017 at 11:10:10
Reading these Saturday morning posts of yours is becoming part of my matchday routine.
63 Posted 18/03/2017 at 11:30:37
64 Posted 18/03/2017 at 11:33:24
65 Posted 18/03/2017 at 11:35:11
66 Posted 18/03/2017 at 11:35:34
67 Posted 18/03/2017 at 11:36:16
68 Posted 18/03/2017 at 11:59:28
69 Posted 18/03/2017 at 12:06:26
Koeman in contrast makes decisions too late, ie the last Tottenham fiasco. We struggled to manage the threat right up to the end of the first half but he still put exactly the same team on in the second half. The threat that Kane was in the first half should have indicated to Koeman's brain, 'look, we're in shit street here. Do something, do it now. No, I mean everyone else's now, not yours. mental note: you do look like a fat Benny Hill. I digress, change it now. End of cognitive review.' You just couldn't make it up!
70 Posted 18/03/2017 at 12:07:33
I still love The Blues as much as I ever did but find football and a lot of people connected to it hard to stomach, that includes players, managers and the media who hype them up then knock them down, I wish I was like you and just laugh at football and carry on enjoying the game.
Hope you have a great day with your friends, betting and a victory for 'Our Team', very best wish George, you've put me in a good mood just thinking of you and your day.
71 Posted 18/03/2017 at 12:14:52
The wonderful Laura Nyro. Great song, great voice, great memories.
Setting off myself from Neston now, a couple in Rigbys and on to that wonderful place.
Lovely emails on a Saturday as always.
Everybody get together and love one another right now.
72 Posted 18/03/2017 at 12:14:58
It is back to football today. Contracts are for the board room. Everton to keep showing their ambition on the pitch.
73 Posted 18/03/2017 at 12:19:24
74 Posted 18/03/2017 at 12:19:42
Do I hope he stays? Yes. Why? it's obvious.
Will he score today? Hopefully and yes, I think he will. Will I cheer him as he scores? Of course. Why? It's obvious. We support Everton and want to get as high up the table as possible and he can take us there.
If he walks at the end of the season to join "a Champions League Club" how will I feel? Disappointed but "fuck him" who are we buying with the £80 million? Happy days. What else can we do?
The players either want to stay and do well for us or they don't. If they do I'll support them. If they don't I couldn't care less about them. 3-0 today COYB (including Romelu)
77 Posted 18/03/2017 at 12:32:01
80 Posted 18/03/2017 at 12:47:35
81 Posted 18/03/2017 at 12:49:18
82 Posted 18/03/2017 at 12:54:35
85 Posted 18/03/2017 at 13:37:02
It will be interesting to see Rom's body language after this week's news, especially if he scores, or if someone else scores. We might see what kind of effect it has had on team morale.
One thing that has crossed my mind. if we want to dine at the top table, then we may have to get used to big names holding the club to ransom.
Imagine any of the top 5 being happy with our last two transfer windows!
To keep top player interested, then we need to be more successful in getting in our targets.
86 Posted 18/03/2017 at 13:39:26
Hoping for the win and the atmosphere ain't toxic after Lukaku's comments. COYB
87 Posted 18/03/2017 at 14:04:52
88 Posted 18/03/2017 at 14:54:15
I've stopped reading Van Gogh. It was double Dutch to me.
Wonderful. As Eugene at #31 so aptly says "Nutsness"