Everton’s under-21 team welcome Fulham’s development squad to the Merseyrail Community Stadium in Southport on Monday evening as they look to secure back-to-back wins.
It is the team’s second consecutive home game after they defeated West Ham United 2-0 last week thanks to goals from Conor McAleny and Callum Connolly.
The sides have already played each other once so far this campaign – that was back in August when goals from Marcello Trotta and Buomesca Tué Na Bangna ensured that Brendon Galloway’s strike 11 minutes from time was merely a consolation, with the Londoners running out 2-1 winners.
Fulham will also be aiming to make it two wins on the trot after an impressive 2-1 home victory over PSV’s under-21 side in the Premier League International Cup on Wednesday, which saw them break a three game losing streak.
They are also without a league win since the end of October, when they saw off the challenge of Liverpool.
Under-21s boss David Unsworth will be without top scorer Chris Long after the striker left Everton for a month-long loan spell at London club Brentford.
The striker, who has four goals in ten games for Everton this season, took part in the team’s victory over West Ham’s developmental squad last week playing half an hour as a substitute.
And other changes to the matchday squad are expected, with some of the young Blues having travelled to Qatar with the senior team for a mid-season training camp, so Unsworth is expected to call up a number of youth players for Monday’s clash.
Chelsea currently top the Barclays U21 Premier League, but are just three points above Everton who sit five places behind with a game in hand. A win for the home side would close the gap on the league leaders, who have a superior goal difference to Everton’s.
Fulham’s under-21s, however, sit in eighth place in the table having played a game more than their hosts, hovering just four points above basement-dwellers West Ham United.
Live text coverage of the match from Southport will be available via our Twitter account @RBMersey, and a full match report will shortly follow the game’s conclusion.