Everton’s Champions League dream may be over after the 1-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light, but the Toffees are determined to finish the league campaign above arch rivals Liverpool and that is why they hope to extend the good home run against Fulham. The Cottagers could climb to the top half of the standings with three points from Goodison Park, but they will have to play a perfect game in order to win in Liverpool.
End of an era for Everton
The failure to remain in the race for a top 4 finish could mark an end of an era for Everton, since long-serving boss David Moyes looks likely to leave the club in the summer. With that in mind, there are no doubts the Scottish manager will give his best to leave on a high and take as many points as possible from the remaining four fixtures. The narrow defeat at Sunderland is likely to prove costly, but the Toffees can be proud of what they achieved this season, having played their best football against their top 4 rivals. This should keep them in good stead for the visit of Fulham, and this does look a great opportunity to extend the excellent home run. Everton not only won their last four home games in the league, but also kept three successive clean sheets at Goodison Park, while also conceding just one goal in last two away fixtures. The Toffees do need to show some improvement up front, but scoring goals should not be a problem against Fulham’s leaky back line, especially with the likes of Mirallas, Pienaar, Fellaini and Anichebe all ready to contribute to the attacking phase.
Victor Anichebe and Darron Gibson are injury doubts, but Phil Jagielka and Tony Hibbert should be available for selection.
Alex Kacaniklic returns
It was the entertaining 3-2 victory over QPR on April Fools’ Day that saw Fulham effectively secure Premier League survival, but that seems to have had a negative effect on the players. The Cottagers have since picked up just one point from next four games, failing to produce anything worth mention in the process. This just goes to show that Martin Jol’s side are desperately lacking in character, with key player Dimitar Berbatov not exactly helping a great deal with his casual style of play. It appears that when the Bulgarian is not playing well, neither are Fulham, as witnessed by the fact that Berbatov has failed to score in any of the last four matches. He is obviously not the only one to blame for the dismal run of results as his teammates are not doing much better either, and with key men still missing for Martin Jol, the Cottagers clearly face an uphill task at Goodison Park. Fulham can only match their more illustrious opponents with the right mental approach and having utterly failed to give their best in their last four games, the Craven Cottage outfit look set for the third defeat on the bounce.
Steve Sidwell starts a new four-match ban, while Damien Duff, Ashkan Dejagah and Mahamadou Diarra are out injured.
Everton have been so impressive in their last four home fixtures that they were at least a goal up by half-time and they can certainly be trusted to attack Fulham from the off. The Cottagers are not only missing key players at the moment, but they are also far from the desired form, so home win looks a banker here.
Top pick: Everton/Everton 2.30 (13/10) @ Stan James
Alternative pick 1: Under 2.5 goals 2.20 (6/5) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Everton to win to nil 2.62 (13/8) @ 888sport
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