Will it be Christmas cheer or a festive flop for the Blues in 2018?

Goodison at night

The Christmas fixture pile-up is always a crucial period in any Premier League team’s campaign, and it’s no different at Goodison Park, where Everton are quietly putting together an excellent campaign under the stewardship of Marco Silva.

The Toffees are on the road twice over the Christmas spell, but kick off their festive fixture feast at home, where they’ll look to make up ground on the Top 6 and give themselves some real momentum heading towards the New Year.

Here, we take a look at the crucial three games Everton will face over the space of just six days over Christmas.

Tottenham Hotspur (H), Sunday December 23

Spurs sit third and have a big task ahead of them to better that position in the table, with Liverpool and Manchester City six and five points ahead of them respectively as of December 13.

One reason why in-demand boss Mauricio Pochettino’s side are right up there at the sharp end is their away form, with eight wins and two defeats in their 10 road games so far this season.

Everton, meanwhile, have lost just once at Goodison Park in the Premier League this season and should prove a tough nut to crack for Spurs.

If the Toffees can keep tight at the back, they could be celebrating a valuable point, or perhaps more, heading into Christmas.

Burnley (A), Wednesday December 26

Burnley are a mess right now. After their brilliant 2017-2018 season saw them finish seventh, they’ve fallen on tougher times in their 2018-2019 campaign.

Now the Premier League betting odds have the Clarets as favourites to go down, and Everton may be perfectly placed to take advantage of a side in apparent freefall.

Everton should have the key advantages in most areas of the pitch, and crucially, they’re a side looking forward, rather than over their shoulders. Their attributes should be enough to secure at least a point on the road at Turf Moor.

Brighton & Hove Albion (A), Saturday December 29

The middle third of the Premier League table is a tight, congested affair, and with Everton at the top end and Brighton at the bottom end, a slip-up from the Toffees could prove disastrous for their campaign.

Of all the games they face over the festive period, their trip to the AMEX Stadium to face Brighton is arguably the most important.

The Seagulls’ form has been patchy over the last two months, with the south coast side struggling to string together a run of positive results.  And as recently as November 3, Everton beat them 3-1 at Goodison Park.

But Brighton’s form at home is much better than their lower-mid-table position suggests. The Seagulls have lost just once at home this season and are averaging two points per game at the AMEX in 2018-19.That suggests that Everton face a tough test on December 29. An away win for Marco Silva’s Toffees team would be huge for their season and help stretch themselves away from the Premier League’s mid-table scrum.

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NSNO Staff

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