Michael Keane has recovered from a virus but will he walk back into the side at the expense of Phil Jagielka?
Everton are up against London opposition for the fourth successive game as they travel to Craven Cottage to face Fulham.
The Blues are bidding to make it four wins on the bounce on their latest visit to the Capital where they must travel once more to face Crystal Palace before the final fixture of the campaign at Tottenham's new stadium.
They take on a Fulham side that recently had their relegation back to the Championship confirmed and while Scott Parker has only been installed as caretaker boss, they will already be preparing for a tilt at bouncing straight to the Premier League once more.
The Cottagers' season contrasts starkly with that of Wolves, another promoted club that spent heavily last season but was able to assemble a more cohesive team under a manager who has earned plenty of admirers.
Claudio Ranieri, meanwhile, had to be drafted in to replace Slaviša Jokanović who didn't last until Christmas but the former Leicester manager was dismissed himself in February after results failed to improve.
They come into this weekend with the pressure off but also on the back of a nine-match losing streak. Indeed, since beating Huddersfield at the end of last year Fulham have only one once, a 4-2 win over Brighton at the end of January.
Resigned to their fate, they gave title-chasing Liverpool a stern test four weeks ago and that should indicate to Marco Silva and his men that they won't be able to coast through this one.
In terms of team selection, the Portuguese will have his sights trained on the bid to finish in seventh place which is just a point away, although Wolves have played a game fewer. In that respect, he has been making as few changes as necessary and Phil Jagielka certainly gave him something to think about with his match-winning performance against Arsenal last Sunday.
The club skipper, stepped into the void created by Michael Keane's illness and scored the only goal against the Gunners but Keane is available again and could reclaim his place. Elsewhere in the lineup, few changes are expected.
With five matches to go, Everton's quest to finish as “best of the rest” and, possibly, earn a crack at qualifying for the Europa League is still very much on and a fourth consecutive win for the first time since the early part of the 2016-17 season would keep them very much in the hunt.
“"You grow as a team if you play against the best teams,” Silva said on the subject of European competition in his pre-match press conference. “Playing these type of games, week in and week out, we can grow faster as a squad.
“We have to keep fighting to achieve the best position possible in the table.This is most important for us. Our goal is to improve on the season before and we will keep doing that to the end of the season. Then we will see what it means for us.”
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 13 April, 2019
Referee: Lee Probert
Last Time: Fulham 1 - 3 Everton, March 2014
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne, Gueye, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (71)
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1 Posted 12/04/2019 at 05:52:45
2 Posted 12/04/2019 at 06:34:43
We can't rest on our laurels. Must treat this game the way as our last three.
This is the sort of game in the past where we would surprisingly slip up agsinst. Important to go into this with the right attitude and mindset against an already relegated side, and we will be fine.
3 Posted 12/04/2019 at 06:35:10
There is no reason that the blues should not keep this recent form going...
Same team as last week... same comitment but more goals please...
4 Posted 12/04/2019 at 07:16:09
Fulham will be playing for pride in a very losable match for us but we are confident right now and I hope harder to score against.
4 wins in a row would be very nice.
5 Posted 12/04/2019 at 07:50:39
I'm so confident that I'm going to miss this one -- traveling. So I expect you Forum Fanatics to take care of business for me.
6 Posted 12/04/2019 at 08:06:59
I think Richarlison, and particularly Bernard will prove to be too much for Fulham . Bernard has been a complete revelation this last two months. He has become more aggressive in his play and more offensive when in possession, the penny has dropped to attack the full back and commit him . When Bernard does this the opposition full back is often left floundering.
The determination to get back behind the ball and close down play after our side loses possession has been exemplary too in recent weeks. Both Richarlison and Bernard have improved with this necessity massively and the upturn in our fortunes has coincided with it. It closes down the space in midfield and allows our midfield 3 to gain control of the game. Gomes doesnt need much time or space to turn defence into attack , the wide men battling back gives him the inch he needs to execute his quality.
Bernard is a great player to watch on the ball too, he has that natural grace and control that David Silva has got . The next step is to improve his finishing and there is a complete player there in Bernard.
It is a wonderful feeling to be looking forward again to watching the blueboys knowing we will see some good football .
Correct score, Blues have too much quality and are bang in form . We are playing the best football in the Premier League this last month .
Fulham 0 Everton 3
7 Posted 12/04/2019 at 08:26:53
I didn't think I'd be making statements like that a few weeks ago, but I suppose better late than never applies. As Tony Everan says the only thing we should be worried about is complacency, and treat this game as if our existence depended on it.
8 Posted 12/04/2019 at 09:45:53
9 Posted 12/04/2019 at 10:11:18
10 Posted 12/04/2019 at 10:19:32
Digne and Bernard remind me of Baines and Pienaar, and Coleman is developing a good relationship with Richalison.
I'd just like to now see Lookman being first choice from the bench in any of the 4 attacking positions, right last or centre would suit him, and as a forward Richalison could go up top with Lookman wide.
11 Posted 12/04/2019 at 12:57:46
I can't see any merit in changing what is looking to be a quite efficient unit, just maybe some earlier subs to rest tired bodies if we have a bit of a cushion. I think Lyndon's nailed the starting 11 although we just might see Jags starting in the same role if Keane has dropped out on training because of his virus. I don't know what it is he had but viruses do knock you for six even when you are feeling better.
It won't be a walk in the park and I will predict 1-0, (maybe 2-0 if someone can bring their scoring boots).
12 Posted 12/04/2019 at 13:14:25
13 Posted 12/04/2019 at 13:42:12
Now we're showing that the results are happening, I just hope we can continue in this vein until the end of the season. Pity it's come a bit late on but looks like Silva is finally getting the message across. I fancy us for another win tomorrow. I'd take 1-0 – keep the clean sheets coming!
14 Posted 12/04/2019 at 14:12:59
15 Posted 12/04/2019 at 14:23:01
Whereas, we should be full of confidence following the last 3 games, however, we might have to be on our guard to face an all-out attack from the Cottagers.
Hopefully, in the end, we will win comfortably 2 or 3 nil.
16 Posted 12/04/2019 at 14:30:20
We have absolutely dominated play in the last few games but Richy and Siggy seem to have "dried up".
Lets hope we can put a few away and it would be nice for DCL to bag a couple with one for Bernie. Blues to win 3-0.
17 Posted 12/04/2019 at 15:20:24
18 Posted 12/04/2019 at 16:22:45
Zouma for Jags.
I'd play Davies for Gomes. Davies needs match time and experience to develop. If he falters, Gomes off the bench who looked to me like he was tiring last week.
Should be three points. Emphasis on should.
19 Posted 12/04/2019 at 16:34:42
Sorry pal, I am not picking on you but after a week of number crunching I may be a bit stir crazy. I just imagined Zouma passing the ball to Zouma,
20 Posted 12/04/2019 at 16:40:05
Gomes, after a little dip after his blistering early form, is starting to come back into his own and was excellent against Arsenal. While Davies isn't a bad player, hes got a long long way to go to be at Gomess level.
21 Posted 12/04/2019 at 16:54:12
Version 1 - demoralized by relegation and with nothing to play for, they simply roll over
Version 2 - freed from the pressure/strain of relegation, they show some fighting spirit for the sake of the fans
If we simply go about our business the way we have these past couple weeks, it shouldn't really matter. The biggest concern would be if we dominate the match but can't find the back of the net... and then they manage to sneak a goal, cranking up the pressure.
22 Posted 12/04/2019 at 17:05:49
This game will really show if Silva has everybody psyched up.
23 Posted 12/04/2019 at 17:12:33
24 Posted 12/04/2019 at 17:15:52
You're not nuts, I am after a week of printing T-shirts!
25 Posted 12/04/2019 at 18:03:55
Those players have contributed positively in recent weeks, helped in part by Silva sticking with a settled team and by a fixture schedule of one game per week. Providing they continue playing as a team and dont start believing they have cracked it they should have few problems bringing back the three points tomorrow.
26 Posted 12/04/2019 at 18:12:15
As Sam #4 says, the teams we have beaten recently have all come out to play and left space behind. Just hope Fulham try to do the same to impress, rather than sit tight. Arsenal's openness last Sunday was reminiscent of our display at home to Spurs.
Tony #6, you mention the improved 'not in possession' contribution of our wide men. The highlights for me last week were two interceptions that Bernard made in the old left half position and a diving block on a shot at the edge of our box. Three potentially dangerous situations averted.
With everyone working together as one, we have the potential to keep this run going. No complacency. Sometimes, our full backs can leave the centre back exposed, by being too wide or too far forward. It almost let Lacazette in early last week, but I expect Jags had a quiet word with Seamus as it didn't happen again. A pity time has caught up on Jags as his reading of the game has been missing from centre back this season. Just hope he can pass on some of his experience to Keane in the time he has left with us.
Had to add a post-post edit. The absolute highlight last week was a low 40/50 yard pass up the right from Gomes to Richarlison in the 2nd half, played with power, precision, right to left curl, side spin and perhaps a little back spin. Sublime. Something you'd see from Augusta as someone extricated themselves from the pine straw.
27 Posted 12/04/2019 at 18:57:06
28 Posted 12/04/2019 at 18:59:58
There are no scripts, there is no fate or destiny; it's just what we make for and of ourselves, and it's just having the steel (and style, we hope) to do it again and again.
That's what winners do, they make it look as though fate is on their side and that their victories are inevitable. I've always thought that Messi and Ronaldo are extraordinary in that way: not merely because they are supremely talented but because they have routinely defied sporting gravity. Has there been a similar feat of will over such a period of time in other sports? Maybe Don Bradman. Federer?
I love your final paragraph, by the way. This manager is going to bring back the grace and beauty of Everton football.
29 Posted 12/04/2019 at 19:08:09
30 Posted 12/04/2019 at 19:29:04
I know there are no easy games in the Premier league, so we have to be as committed as we have been in our last 4 games. Match their workrate and your class will show through. But if we think we only have to work hard against the top 6 sides then we wont win. Would be great if we can go till the end of the season unbeaten, now that would be a bench mark for next season. Might also help convince Zouma and Gomes we are a side going places, not just a side happy to get in the top half.
31 Posted 12/04/2019 at 20:14:50
32 Posted 12/04/2019 at 20:26:37
33 Posted 12/04/2019 at 20:51:40
I feel Fulham could be in for a thumping with all those missed chances against Arsenal being put right.
34 Posted 12/04/2019 at 21:06:04
But they are both going to leave at the end of the season! Final!
We might get them back before the next season starts, but our current ambitions are blocking any youngsters from getting a foot in.
So the other part of the conundrum is that Gomes/Zouma may have blocked other players from getting a more proper look-in with the first team...
But would those players have been able to help with doing about what we did since the LFC game (minus the 25 mins vs Newcastle)? Nobody knows!
Questions, assumptions and guesswork, that's what makes football "fandom" so heart-breakingly fun to keep track of, in the end!
35 Posted 12/04/2019 at 21:18:51
Fulham. Relegated and on a nine-match losing streak.
I can only see one outcome.
36 Posted 12/04/2019 at 21:53:05
If we keep the Sam focus and tempo of the last month, then this game is winnable, but we must be professional for 95 minutes.
Im expecting Fulham to go full belt early doors, but if we can get an early grip and take the game by the scruff of the neck, and battle all the way, them assuming we take our chances, we should win.
In the past these type of games have given the opposition, there 1st win in donkies years or months so, a lot to play for plus the Europa league.
Nice to be unbeaten to the end of this season.
37 Posted 12/04/2019 at 21:58:07
38 Posted 12/04/2019 at 22:18:18
And so right... Toffees 4-1. Ive gotta feeling we will concede tomorrow but score a few as well.
39 Posted 12/04/2019 at 22:46:51
40 Posted 12/04/2019 at 22:52:40
41 Posted 12/04/2019 at 23:42:53
42 Posted 12/04/2019 at 23:51:31
43 Posted 13/04/2019 at 03:08:15
44 Posted 13/04/2019 at 07:21:48
I haven't heard talk like that since the eighties. We're miles away from That mate, but after reading people prematurely throwing the towel in all season it made me smile.
It's only Just gone seven and you've already put up post of day
45 Posted 13/04/2019 at 08:09:15
Everton will NEVER be relegated! There, Ive said it.
46 Posted 13/04/2019 at 08:17:12
47 Posted 13/04/2019 at 08:58:13
if Fulham, as a result of confirmed relegation, make some changes that work and their players are more relaxed and prepared to take some chances.
But I'm with the Fulham 0 - 3 Everton brigade. So I hope I haven't put the jinx on.
48 Posted 13/04/2019 at 09:02:00
Things have changed for the best and no one predicted how well we would be playing at this stage of the season. Long may it continue, no game is easy but I fully expect a decent win by two clear goals COYB.
49 Posted 13/04/2019 at 09:19:11
50 Posted 13/04/2019 at 09:26:12
51 Posted 13/04/2019 at 09:49:47
52 Posted 13/04/2019 at 09:58:44
Leicester got beat last night, Watford play Arsenal, and Wolves are away to Southampton (who need the points) so it is possible we could find ourselves well on the way to 7th spot, provided we keep the momentum going.
I know a lot of people don't like the Thursday/Sunday fixtures that Europa League brings, but it's a foot in the door of Europe, and a possible entry into CL (mind you there's the small feat of winning it, to get that) plus it could sway any possible new signings.
53 Posted 13/04/2019 at 10:12:50
54 Posted 13/04/2019 at 10:12:52
55 Posted 13/04/2019 at 10:28:18
56 Posted 13/04/2019 at 10:29:53
57 Posted 13/04/2019 at 10:53:43
Optimism is high, but if we play like last week, we should win and win well.
If Keane fit then youd think, hell replace Jags, and the rest pick themselves.
58 Posted 13/04/2019 at 11:00:26
59 Posted 13/04/2019 at 11:02:02
60 Posted 13/04/2019 at 11:03:27
On the Fulham game - if we play as well as we did against Arsenal, and I fully expect us to, we will tear them apart.
61 Posted 13/04/2019 at 11:07:00
62 Posted 13/04/2019 at 11:16:10
63 Posted 13/04/2019 at 11:17:25
64 Posted 13/04/2019 at 11:44:35
Although I expect us to win it will not be a walk in the park with Fulham having nothing to play for but pride.
I tell you what though, no way did I think 7th was a possibility before the Cardiff game and even then I couldnt see us winning many of our remaining home games. How things can change eh?
Not that 7th should be the height of our ambition but it would at least provide some optimism for next season when hopefully we can really kick on.
65 Posted 13/04/2019 at 12:09:06
66 Posted 13/04/2019 at 12:18:03
If we continue to play as we have in the past few games we will create plenty of chances and this time convert them. An easy 3 points and little Bernie to rip them apart. We put 5 past Burnley away from home and I can see a repeat of that feat.
67 Posted 13/04/2019 at 13:37:08
68 Posted 13/04/2019 at 13:48:28
69 Posted 13/04/2019 at 14:16:01
1-1 bore draw !
70 Posted 13/04/2019 at 14:25:50
Do what you do blues and grab those 3 points.
71 Posted 13/04/2019 at 14:28:52
Im going all in, 4-0 DCL Hattrick
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