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Everton at Fulham: Match Preview | Toffees face Marco Silva reunion

The Portuguese faces the Blues for the first time since his sacking in 2019

Leeds United v Fulham FC - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Everton face a reunion with former boss Marco Silva when they travel to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham on Saturday.

The Toffees head south full of confidence after that fine win over Crystal Palace last weekend. It was one of those rare things: a (relatively) stress-free Everton win.

Everton v Crystal Palace - Premier League - Goodison Park Photo by Isaac Parkin/PA Images via Getty Images

They were superb from the outset and clearly determined to bounce back after three straight defeats. Credit must go to Frank Lampard for resisting the temptation to change the side, proving once more that us Evertonians on social media are not Premier League managers for good reason!

The team has looked much more solid this season compared to last campaign but what was most encouraging against Palace was the attacking intent, something they lacked on the road against Tottenham and Newcastle.

They face just three more league games plus a Carabao Cup tie before the World Cup break, starting with their teatime date with Marco on the banks of the Thames.

It is nearly three years since Silva was sacked as Everton boss with the club in the Premier League relegation zone after a 5-2 defeat at Liverpool.

I think most Blues fans will agree it was the right decision to part ways with the former Hull and Watford boss, but there is also an acknowledgement that he suffered from some rotten luck at times. Remember that VAR decision at Brighton?

Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

He remained respectful of the club even after his departure and I’m sure the majority of Toffees fans will be pleased to see him doing so well with Fulham. It was clear there was a decent coach in there, even if we hope we don’t see it on Saturday.

The opposition

After two relegations and three promotions over the last four seasons Fulham (closely followed by Norwich) are rapidly turning into a yo-yo club - but is this the year they stop the cycle?

The Cottagers stormed to the Championship title last season (helped by an incredible 43 goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic) and have made a promising start to this campaign as they seek to secure consecutive top-flight seasons for the first time since their 13-year stay in the Premier League first came to an end in 2014.

They go into this game sat in seventh place and looking for a third successive victories after wins over Aston Villa and Leeds, scoring three times in both games.

They are particularly strong at home, losing just once at Craven Cottage so far this season, and have won two of their last three meetings against Everton – though that is as many as they achieved in the previous 16 meetings.

Previous meeting

Everton 0-2 Fulham, February 14, 2021

Everton v Fulham - Premier League - Goodison Park Photo by Jason Cairnduff/PA Images via Getty Images

Josh Maja’s double earned Fulham all three points the last time the two sides met behind closed doors at Goodison in February 2021. A pretty miserable evening all round.

Team news

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

Nathan Patterson returns to the squad after recovering from an ankle injury suffered with Scotland last month, though it remains to be seen whether he will come straight back into the side for Seamus Coleman.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has showed no ill-effects from last weekend as he edges his way back to full fitness.

Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina and Andros Townsend remain sidelined.

What they said

Everton FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Everton manager Frank Lampard: “We are working towards something daily.

“You get games when things come together and a lot of positives are there. There are always things you can improve, too. As much as it was good, it’s important to also reflect on what can be better.

“We’re moving in a good direction and we needed a result and a performance [against Palace]. The lads delivered but it’s important we do that consistently now and improve.

“I was pleased with the application of the lads in every position and in every relationship on the pitch. They took on what we wanted to do and did it really well. That’s with and without the ball.

“We can never become complacent. It was a good moment last week, but now we go to a difficult opposition who are playing well themselves this weekend, so it all starts again.”

Fulham FC v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Fulham boss Marco Silva: “They reacted really well in their last game after the three defeats in a row. The reaction from them at home was really good.

“They will come here in a good mood but they know that they will play against a team that is in a very good moment as well.

It will be good to see some people who we shared very good moments with, other [moments] not so good.

“It’s part of our life, our careers as well, be good to see some good people, some good professionals as well.

“Before the match, after the match, during the match, we want to win. They want the same, and I think it will be a normal game.”

Final word

That win over Palace has restored some of the belief that had begun to slip away after those three defeats and means Everton should head to west London with confidence.

It has all the ingredients for an entertaining game and although the Toffees are well capable of winning, I don’t think a draw should be sniffed at either.