This week Toffees manager David Moyes once again put off any talk of a new contract, and with Arsene Wenger going from bad to horrific at Arsenal, more than one press source has put two and two together to get twenty two and linked Moyes with an upcoming London vacancy. A lot of the early season momentum Everton had has all but evaporated and a truly difficult closing stretch away from Goodison faces them, starting with Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday.
For Norwich, Chris Hughton has the daunting task of pulling his team out of a two-month long slump. The Canaries have only scored one goal in their last six games, and last won a game in mid-December. Norwich were looking like they would be settled in mid-table but this poor run sees them in fourteenth spot, six points clear of the drop zone. Hughton even took his side on a four-day vacation to Dubai, presumably not for the shopping, for a change of scenery.
Team News -
Victor Anichebe went off with an injury against Oldham and could miss the game. Of the two injured right backs Tony Hibbert is still out while Seamus Coleman should return to the squad.
Ex-Everton goalie John Ruddy is still injured and Mark Bunn should continue in goal. Striker Grant Holt has recovered from his back injury and should play. Hughton could also give transfer window loanee Kei Kamara a start.
Keys To The Game -
Everton are in their own poor run of form and will desperately be seeking to control the game and put in some goals. If Coleman is fit to play and Kevin Mirallas is on his game, they should be able to match the movement of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar and stretch what has been a pretty good Norwich defence. Marouane Fellaini has been quite subdued lately while Nikica Jelavic has looked more like Louis Saha sadly enough.
Carrow Road has been a tough place to play at this season, and the home crowd will be egging their Canaries on very vocally. They have kept back-to-back clean sheets and will be looking to frustrate Everton with their physical style in defence. With Luciano Becchio supporting Holt, and Wesley Hoolahan running the midfield, Everton will need strong performances from their back four and a mistake-free day from Tim Howard to steal a win.
Match Facts -
- Everton have won only one of their last five Premier League matches.
- The Toffees have not lost to Norwich in their last seven games, dating back to 1994.
- Moyes has quite the short bench, using just 22 players all year long.
- After scoring in 18 straight games, Everton have drawn a blank in three of their last five.
- Norwich lead the League in 0-0 draws, with five so far.
- Everton are the only team in the top flight that Norwich have scored 5 or more against.