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Looking Ahead: Everton in November 2012

A brief preview of the upcoming games Everton have in November in the Premier League.

Alex Livesey

November is the month when Everton really get into the meat of the Premier League schedule. With five games in the month and fifteen points to play for, Everton stand a good chance to reinforce their fifth position in the table. After collecting only three points out of nine in October, David Moyes' side lost some ground and need to play catch up. Once again they will have three games against teams in the lower half of the table, with matches against teams right up in the table near them bookending those three fixtures. A return of about ten points would be considered as quite successful for the month.

First up are Fulham away on Saturday 3rd November. The Cottagers are in fine fettle again this year and have had some impressive results, and will be provide a stern test for Moyes' boys who have only one loss this season. Martin Jol has built a squad that is truly tough to play against and scores quite freely too - their nineteen goals puts them at third among the League's top scoring teams and they find themselves in seventh place, just two points behind Everton.

That will be followed by Sunderland at home the week after on 10th November. Martin O'Neill's side had some pitched battles against the Blues last season before Everton demolished his team twice in a matter of two weeks in both the FA Cup and the Premier League. It has been a bit of an oddball season so far for the Black Cats, they have just one loss this season, but that is tempered by the fact they also have just one win.

Next on the calendar will be newcomers Reading, as Everton will travel to the Madejski on November 17th to take on the side that, along with Queens Park Rangers, are yet to make a mark on the 'Wins' column of the league table. With the two guilty sides playing each other this weekend there is a chance that this statistic might be moot by the time Everton play Reading, but don't wager the mortgage on it. Don't be deceived though, Brian McDermott's squad can be a tricky proposition though, having held Newcastle and Fulham to home draws and really should have done better at Anfield than the 1-0 loss they suffered.

After that Everton welcome Norwich City to Goodison Park on Saturday, 24th November in the first of two home games in five days. The sixteenth-placed Canaries surprised Arsenal recently in a 1-0 win with a goal from Grant Holt (who else). This is a fact all the more impressive because it feels like the last time Everton beat the Gunners a significant proportion of the Blues fanbase were still in primary school.

Speaking of Arsenal, the Gunners then visit Everton on 28th, a midweek game with an evening kickoff. Arsene Wenger's side have recovered from a horrid start to the season and have started their march up the table, and this game will provide a perfect test for Everton to prove that they are indeed better than the Gunners in sixth. Arsenal have only conceded six goals in their nine games, good enough to be the best in the Premier League.