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Everton at Tottenham - Match Preview | Toffees look to bounce back in north London

A reaction is needed after that Man Utd defeat

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Everton make the tricky trip south to take on Tottenham on Saturday with their momentum checked following Sunday’s 2-1 defeat against Manchester United.

It was one of those games where you just have to hold your hands up and say the best team won.

Despite the boost of an early goal Everton were poor for much of the first half and deservedly fell behind. A late rally raised hopes of snatching a point but in truth they rarely looked like scoring.

Everton FC v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Thankfully such performances and results have been the exception rather than the norm so far this season, but it certainly gave Frank Lampard and his coaching staff plenty to think about ahead of a big week that includes away days at Tottenham and Newcastle, before a home clash with Crystal Palace.

Lampard has repeatedly said that progress will not be a straight a line and this was certainly a sobering reality check. But the applause from the fans at the final whistle highlights the unity between the manager, players and supporters – not something you could have said over recent years.

That said, the last thing you need after a home defeat is a tough trip on the road, but that is exactly what they have.

Last season’s game at Spurs was one of the lowest moments of the campaign. It ended 5-0 but Tottenham eased off significantly in the second half. Had they needed to score ten they almost certainly would have done.

It prompted a shift in Lampard’s approach to a more pragmatic style that eventually dug the team out of a hole, but it was a slow painful process.

Even if they don’t win on Saturday simply putting in a more competitive performance to banish the ghosts of that grim Monday night in London would be an important first step.

The opposition

Tottenham Hotspur v Eintracht Frankfurt: Group D - UEFA Champions League Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

It wasn’t that long ago that Tottenham and Everton were close rivals in the Premier League. But the gap is now as wide as it has been for a very long time.

The appointment of Antonio Conte was something of a coup for the north London club last season. He is an elite manager with high expectations and he duly delivered as he secured qualification for the Champions League.

A busy summer of investment, including the £60m capture of a certain Brazilian striker from Goodison Park, looks to have given them both the quality and depth to compete on multiple fronts this season.

They go into the game third in the Premier League having gone top of their Champions League group in midweek.

To make things even more imposing for Everton, Tottenham even have history on their side.

The Toffees have won only one of the last 19 meetings with Spurs and have won just once in north London since 2008 – on the opening day of the 2020-21 season.

Previous meeting

Tottenham 5-0 Everton, 7 March 2022

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

As mentioned, this was an absolute horror show back in early March. Michael Keane’s own goal kicked things off, but a double from Harry Kane and further strikes from Heung-Min Son Sergio Reguilon completed a humiliating night for the Toffees.

Team news

Everton v Manchester United - Premier League - Goodison Park Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Everton will be without Anthony Gordon through suspension after the winger picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Manchester United.

Abdoulaye Doucoure is available though after he missed Sunday’s game because of a family issue.

Mason Holgate, Nathan Patterson and Ben Godfrey are all back training but are not ready for a return. Yerry Mina picked up a minor calf issue in midweek so will not be considered.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin made his first appearance of the season against the Red Devils but is unlikely to start on Saturday, with Everton managing his return to action very carefully after so many setbacks.

Andros Townsend is still a few weeks away from returning to the training pitch.

What they said

Everton Training Session Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton manager Frank Lampard: “People may make us underdogs in these two matches. I understand that, because we’re away against two strong teams. Let’s enjoy that and show what we can do.

“We’re in a position now where if we take any hits, we have we have to come back stronger.

“We took a lot of hits last season when I came in and before I came in. We were on the floor in terms of confidence. Now we want to be stronger than that mentally, as a club. These games are a big test for us.

“We have got a long way to go. We’re progressing but we mustn’t think we’re near where want to be because we’re not yet. We have work to be done.

“A lot of the big elements are fresh and new – our back four, our midfield three, some players who have not played together a lot… We can’t expect immediate answers, but can we progress every day and get a bit better? That’s in our hands.”

Tottenham Hotspur v Eintracht Frankfurt: Group D - UEFA Champions League Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Spurs boss Antonio Conte: “Everton is a really good team with a really good manager. Frank Lampard is showing to be a really good manager. He had a really good experience with Chelsea and now he’s working well at Everton. They’re showing great stability, especially defensively.

“We played only two days ago and we lost a lot of mental energy because the Champions League is a fantastic competition to play but you lose a lot of energy in this competition.

“But I think we are ready to play a good game.”

Final word

This is a tough, tough game and not one you want immediately after a defeat. But I take confidence from Everton’s greater defensive resilience which should mean we avoid a repeat of the humiliation we endured last season. Keep things tight at the back then you never know.