Everton will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on underperforming Watford at Goodison Park this weekend, and are the betting favourites to do so according to MBS and other bookmakers.

After a stellar start to the season under new boss Rafael Benitez, the Toffees have suffered a dip in form in the past month, slipping to eighth in the standings.

Everton's run of poor form has coincided with the absence of headline performers Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin through injuries, with the star duo's availability for this showdown still up in the air.

However, another underwhelming display against newly-promoted Watford could see Benitez run out of excuses as the Merseysiders seek their first European qualification since 2017/18.

There is a good omen here, as Everton have never lost a home match-up against the Hornets across all competitions, winning 13 of their 15 historical meetings at Goodison while drawing the other two.

Everton Preview

West Ham United came out victorious at Goodison last time out, courtesy of Angelo Ogbonna's second-half winner, inflicting the first Premier League home defeat on Everton this term.

Benitez's side had won each of their opening three Premier League home fixtures prior to West Ham's visit last time out, returning a resounding +6 goal difference from that three-game sequence (GF:8, GA:2). 

Everton's home action usually sparks into life after half-time, as witnessed by the fact that seven of their eight top-flight goals scored on home turf this term arrived in the second half of play.

With each of the Toffees' three top-flight home victories this season coming by a two-goal margin, the Merseyside faithful have plenty of reason to look forward to this encounter.

However, as noted by Football Today in their weekend previews, Everton have already fallen to eight Premier League defeats at home in 2021, last losing more top-flight games at Goodison throughout a single calendar year in 2005 (nine).

What's more, they have lost five of their last eight Premier League home clashes against newly-promoted sides (W2, D1), including two out of three in 2020/21. 

Player to watch: Andros Townsend

In the absence of Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, Andros Townsend has soaked up the limelight as Everton's most prolific forward this season.

The 30-year-old winger has tallied five goals and three assists in ten competitive appearances this term, with four of his five Premier League goal contributions coming at Goodison.

Watford Preview

Since beating rock-bottom Norwich City 3-1 at Carrow Road in mid-September, Watford have gone winless in their subsequent three Premier League outings (D1, L2), including a horrendous 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool last time out.

Additionally, the Hornets are winless in their last 15 Premier League away matches against the sides starting the day in the bottom half of the table (D2, L13), conceding a staggering 41 goals during that run.

Seeking his first Premier League points as in charge of Watford, manager Claudio Ranieri will have to find a way to bring his side's away game to life following a series of lacklustre showings on the road.

The visitors have suffered nine defeats across their last ten top-flight fixtures on hostile turf (W1), frustratingly drawing a blank in seven of those nine reverses. 

Ranieri himself laments an indifferent managerial H2H record against Benitez, having beaten his Everton counterpart twice across their eight meetings to date (D2, L2). 

Player to watch: Ismaila Sarr

Ismaila Sarr, who played a prominent role in Watford's promotion-winning Championship campaign last season, has been nothing short of outstanding this term.

The sought-after Senegalese prodigy has scored 57.14% of his side's Premier League goals this season (4/7), netting twice beyond the hour mark in Watford's solitary away win so far.

Everton vs Watford Predicted Line-ups

Everton (4-4-2): Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Lucas Digne; Andros Townsend, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Tom Davies, Anthony Gordon; Demarai Gray, Salomon Rondon.

Watford (4-2-3-1): Ben Foster; Jeremy Ngakia, William Troost-Ekong, Craig Cathcart, Danny Rose; Juraj Kucka, Moussa Sissoko; Ismaila Sarr, Tom Cleverley, Emmanuel Dennis; Cucho Hernandez.