With the European campaign having ended with their elimination from the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues, Tottenham Hotspurs’ focus moves to the domestic scene where hopes of a Premier League title seem to be within the realms of possibility. A crushing 4-0 win over Stoke City last weekend cemented Tottenham’s position in the 2nd spot with 53 points, but still a yawning gap of 10 points with EPL table leaders Chelsea. Spurs now host Everton at the White hart Lane on Sunday in what will be a clash between two top scorers of the Premier League. Harry Kane’s 17 goals for the Spurs includes three hat-tricks, all of which have come in 2017 itself. No wonder Tottenham have lost just one of their 9 Premier League fixtures this year, scoring as many as 19 goals and conceding just three. Hugo Lloris, who has been on Real Madrid’s radar of late, has been superb between the posts for Spurs and the defence marshalled by the likes of Kyle Walker, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Ben Davies have made Tottenham the most difficult side to score against in the Premier League. That could very well be tested against another 23-year old prolific Premier League goalscorer, Romelu Lukaku. The young Belgian striker has matched Harry Kane’s tally of 17 goals and scored in 5 out of eight EPL outings for Everton in 2017. Apart from scoring against Manchester City, he had a major hand in his side’s emphatic win of 4-0 over Pep Guardiola’s men at the Goodison Park in mid-January.
Form-wise Ronald Koeman’s men have matched the Spurs as far as 2017 goes. Beginning the year with a 3-0 win over Southampton, the Toffees have gone on to beat Manchester City, Crystal Palace, AFC Bournemouth and Sunderland, with needless draws against Stoke City and Middlesbrough otherwise blotting a perfect run-up to the March 5 clash. Koeman will stick to his favoured 4-3-3 formation with usual suspects Ashley Williams and Seamus Coleman manning the defence, the formidable Morgan Schneiderlin in the mid-field and Ross Barkley teaming up with Lukaku as strikers. The Everton defence that seemed to be floundering in 2016 has recovered admirably in 2017 having conceded just 4 from their 7 games this year. Compare this to the 20 they let in from their 19 EPL outings last year. But against Harry Kane & Co. the Toffee back line will be severely put to test.
Of the 10 times these two have last met, Everton’s only win came way back in December 2012. Since then they have played out as many as many as 6 draws with 3 games going in favour of the Spurs. For Everton, a win is a must if they are to move up from the 7th spot they are in presently. Despite their much-improved form in the current year, Ronald Koeman’s boys are likely to find a win difficult to come by at the White Hart Lane on Sunday. The odds very much favour the hosts.
Everton to win or draw, Best Odds 11/8 @ Betfair