Everton vs Norwich City

December 16, 2011
By: John Hansen

Everton continued to slip down the Premier League standings as they were beaten by Arsenal at the Emirates and the Toffees are now looking for a morale-boosting win in order to kick-start their campaign. Norwich climbed to the top half of the table with a hard-fought victory over Newcastle and they would probably be happy with one point from Goodison.

Not good enough

Poor starts have become a sort of tradition for Everton over the years, so nobody was surprised to see the Toffess struggle at the beginning of the new Premier League campaign. David Moyes’ side are showing occasional glimpses of quality that give us a hint of what this team are capable of, but without any consistency, the Toffees cannot seem to live up to the expectations. Everton have shown some signs of improvement of late, with back to back wins over Wolverhampton and Bolton lifting the players’ spirits, but unlucky home defeat to Stoke served as a bitter blow to their European hopes. Even if the Toffees couldn’t prevent defeat to Arsenal last weekend, David Moyes can certainly be delighted with the fact that his side have produced four very good performances in a row and everybody at the club is hoping that a win over Norwich can help the team return to the right track.

Royston Drenthe continues to miss out, but with no fresh injury worries, David Moyes is expected to field the same side that started the Arsenal game.

Norwich exceeding expectations

Virtually nobody believed that Norwich would be able to survive this season after the club failed to properly reinforce the squad over the summer, but Paul Lambert’s side have done brilliantly to prove the doubters wrong, seeing that they are now in top half of the table, seven points clear of the relegation zone. I must admit that this Norwich side reminds me of Ian Holloway’s Blackpool, as both sides enjoyed remarkable starts to the league campaign despite the obvious lack of quality within the ranks. Blackpool were eventually relegated and I am afraid that the Canaries are in for a similar destiny. Paul Lambert’s side have been pretty impressive at their Carrow Road, but their away performances leave a lot to be desired, which is one of the reasons why I doubt they can survive the trip to Goodison. Also, similar to Stoke, Norwich have been scoring most of their goals from set-pieces, but with Everton boasting a number of players who are great in the air, I don’t think that the Canaries can rely on this tactics.

Zak Whitbread and Grant Holt could be dropped, whereas Leon Barnett is set to return to the starting line-up.


In spite of the back to back defeats to Stoke and Arsenal, Everton’s form is clearly on the uptrend and the time has come for them to record a convincing home victory. Norwich tend to struggle every time they leave Carrow Road, and I seriously doubt they can match Everton in this clash.

Our prediction: Everton with -0.75 Asian handicap

Odds: 1.85 (17/20)

Bookmaker: bet365

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