Stoke City v EvertonStoke City's last 5 matchesChelsea 4-2 Stoke City
Wednesday 1st February 20:00
Premier League Match #23
(Martins Indi, Crouch)Stoke City 2-0 Watford
(Shawcross, Crouch)Stoke City 0-1 Wolves
- FA CupSunderland 1-3 Stoke City
(Arnautovic x2, Crouch) Stoke City 1-1 Manchester United
(Mata OG)Everton's last 5 matchesHull 2-2 Everton
(Marshall OG, Barkley)Everton 3-0 Southampton
(Valencia, Baines PEN, Lukaku)Everton 1-2 Leicester
- FA Cup (Lukaku)Everton 4-0 Manchester City
(Lukaku, Mirallas, Davies, Lookman)Crystal Palace 0-1 Everton
Playing on a Wednesday night away to Stoke City is no longer the terrifying prospect that prevented Lionel Messi from joining a Premier League club. Gone are the days of Rory Delap throw-ins and Tony Pulis baseball caps, Stoke are now a modern football delight with flair and skill pulsating throughout the side as typified by goalkeeper Lee Grant and Peter Crouch combining more times (20) than any other against Manchester United at the weekend. The good news for the pessimistic Evertonians out there is that Peter Crouch is one goal away from his 100th Premier League goal and Mark Hughes is just a victory away from his 50th win as Stoke City manager. The more optimistic of Evertonians will be buoyed by the fact that Glenn Whelan is still starting matches in Premier League football, no really, he is. Stoke managed a point against Manchester United at the weekend but they haven't beaten any of the eight league teams above them in nine league matches (D3 L6) so far this season and they've conceded 23 goals in the process.
Marko Arnautovic could have been a replacement for Kevin Mirallas in the summer but the Austrian just couldn't get enough of the people and scenery that Stoke has to offer and signed a new contract with the Potters. Both have picked up their form in recent weeks and they both have incredibly similar stats so far this season. Not only have they scored and assisted the same amount of goals but they've also created the same amount of chances (24) and they've posted the same number of shots on goal (33) but Mirallas has had less time on the pitch, hence the better statistics. Arnautovic can't shoot very well or pass very well and that's the sort of analysis NSNO pay me to provide.
Despite accusations of poor sportsmanship from 'Disgracefully Sacked Former England Manager Sam Allardyce™', Everton pulled off a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace to make it 13 points from their last five Premier League matches and to put themselves into a league of their own behind Manchester United in 6th and ahead of West Brom in 8th. Tom Davies has provided a goal and two assists in his three Premier League starts for Everton. Not only have the Toffees won all those matches to nil but Everton have seen 13 league goals scored and 0 conceded in all the time Davies has been on the pitch this season. It's the first time Everton have won three consecutive league fixtures without conceding a goal since January 2010 and they haven't gone four league victories without conceding since March 1986 when they went on a five match run. Astonishingly, even after all these years, Mark Hughes is still a cunt.
Ronald Koeman is starting to leave his mark on an Everton side that have had a difficult couple of league campaigns under Roberto Martinez. The approach to the recent run of victories is indicative of the identity that Koeman wants to create at Everton; from the clinical display against City which produced the finest performance to date of the Koeman era to the persistence which led to victories over Southampton and Crystal Palace, all with a clean sheet intact. Winning over the fans has been difficult but a home record of 22 points from 11 home matches will certainly help, especially when considering Everton took just 13 points from the same amount of home fixtures last season. In fact, Everton only took 23 points from all home matches last season and three of those points were down to David Unsworth's final day victory over Norwich.
Statistics & Injuries