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Everton hope to put difficult week behind them against Tottenham

Toffees return to Goodison but face tough task against Pochettino’s impressive Tottenham side

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

After 13 days stewing over their below-par performance at Chelsea, Everton have the chance to bounce back from that Stamford Bridge disappointment against Tottenham at Goodison Park.

The international break was certainly more eventful than usual, what with the chaotic, last gasp scramble of deadline day followed up by Wayne Rooney’s late night indiscretions.

Everton’s failure to land a striker may well cost them later in the season while the turbulent private life of their no.1 forward is unlikely to make the situation any easier.

The failed transfer of Ross Barkley also meant the club were left with an unsettled, unhappy and unwanted player until January – and I’m not talking about Oumar Niasse.

It all means the club’s summer ended on a slightly low note, which is a shame given the number of impressive signings made earlier in the close season.

It also mustn’t be forgotten that things have gotten off to a decent start on the pitch, bar their trip to west London last time out.

Losing the game directly before an international break is always irritating as there is perhaps too much focus placed on it during the proceeding 14 days.

Saturday’s resumption is the start of yet another busy spell for the club as the season really clicks up a gear.

After all the off-field nonsense over the past few days, it can’t come soon enough.

The opposition

You get the feeling this is a very important season for Tottenham.

No team has collected more points than Spurs over the past two seasons but a failure to land the title – or win a trophy of any description – means the excellent work done by manager Mauricio Pochettino is tinged with disappointment.

The Argentine has assembled a hugely talented, hungry squad that stands up to anyone else in the division. But with a trophy still eluding them and the club unwilling or unable to break their rigid wage structure, it’s no surprise that there have been murmurings of discontent from some players about their future.

Pochettino needs to deliver something tangible or risk seeing his wonderfully crafted team break up.

The much-publicised temporary move to Wembley was always going to be a challenge given their imperious form at White Hart Lane; that’s before you throw in their dreadful recent record at the national stadium.

One point from their opening two home games will only heighten the tension, but don’t let that should fool you into thinking Spurs have become a bad team overnight.

They will pose a serious test at Goodison on Saturday, the latest chapter in Everton’s ludicrously difficult start to the season.

Team news

Ronald Koeman has confirmed Wayne Rooney is likely to start despite his off-field indiscretions.

Nikola Vlasic will also be included in the squad and could make his debut following his £10m deadline day move from Hajduk Split.

Kevin Mirallas could feature despite his desired move to Olympiakos failing to materialise on deadline day.

Jordan Pickford is fit to start after recovering from the muscle injury that forced him to withdraw from the England squad last week.

Morgan Schneiderlin is also available after completing his one-match suspension.

Predicted starting XI

Pickford, Baines, Williams, Keane, Martina, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin.

Last word

Tottenham have always been stubborn opposition for the Toffees and Saturday’s game is unlikely to be any different.

The defeat to Chelsea and recent off-field events have placed more even focus on Saturday’s game and the fans will expect a response.

Spurs remain a fine side though so a draw would be a respectable result and something to build on looking forward.

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