Everton's jam-packed and difficult month keeps on rolling as the team travel to Vicarage Road to take on Watford. Roberto Martinez and company will look to stop the Hornets from leaping ahead of them in the table as the two sides only sit one point apart in the standings.
Disappointing losses and subsequent drama seem to follow the team like a shadow as of late. An uninspired performance at Old Trafford was followed by Leighton Baines controversial yet refreshing comments regarding the lack of chemistry within the squad. Despite Martinez's assertion to the contrary, that Baines was misinterpreted, there are clearly some serious issues in the Everton dressing room.
If ever there was a game that Everton can and should win, it would be this match against Watford. The Hornets' early season from has dropped off significantly as of late along with the scoring of Odion Ighalo. The Nigerian striker had looked like an early season favorite to win the Golden Boot, but recently both he and the team have found goals hard to come by.
Like Everton, Watford appear to be hinging the disappointing second half of their season on the FA Cup. Watford have also made the semi-finals and will face Crystal Palace for a spot in the Final the day after Everton take on either West Ham or Manchester United. If all goes well, we could be seeing a rematch of the two teams come May.
Everton continue to remain relatively injury free and will be boosted by the return of Gareth Barry. Barry will no doubt slide back into the defensive midfield role and provide the cover that the squad have been lacking recently.
Watford have fared even better in the injury department and appear to have no injuries of note. Expect a full-strength line up from Quique Flores' men.
The Final Word
This is a game Everton need to win and realistically should win. Despite their struggles, they are facing a team that is struggling just as much, if not more.
What I'm really hoping for is that Roberto Martinez does not put out one of his patented crazy, out of position, line-ups on the pitch.
Predicted Starting XI: Robles, Baines, Stones, Jagielka, Coleman, Barry, McCarthy, Cleverley, Barkley, Lennon, Lukaku