Manager-less Everton entertain impressive Watford at Goodison Park on Sunday. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter.
"The visitors have scored exactly twice in all five of their away days this term and look value at 1.79 in the Double Chance market."
Everton v Watford
Sunday 5th November, 16:30
Everton preparing for a "cup final"
Everton's caretaker boss David Unsworth says he's preparing his side for a "cup final" when Watford visit Goodison Park on Sunday. The Toffees have suffered five successive defeats in all competitions and won just twice in their opening 10 Premier League games to remain rooted to the bottom-three.
Unsworth opted to leave experienced heads such as Wayne Rooney and Leighton Baines at home for Thursday night's trip to Lyon in the Europa League as the Merseysiders fell to a 2-0 defeat. That result eliminated Everton after only four group games, the worst start by an English club in the competition.
The Toffees remain without Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman, Ramiro Funes Mori and Yannick Bolasie but can otherwise select from a fully fit and available squad.
Watford suffer first major disappointment
Despite enjoying over 70% of possession, Watford failed to muster a single shot on-target as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Stoke last weekend. It was the first time the Hornets have fallen to back-to-back Premier League losses under Marco Silva who now boasts exactly the same record W4-D3-L3 record as Walter Mazzarri after 10 fixtures.
The defeat to Stoke represented the first major disappointment for Silva who will now have captain Troy Deeney suspended. Not that it should effect Watford too much - the striker has not started any of the Hornets' victories this season and played a combined total of only 10 minutes in their three away triumphs.
Andre Gray is likely to start in attack with Silva tinkering between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-2-1 systems this season. Either way, the Watford boss will be looking for an improved defensive display, particularly from set-pieces where the Hertfordshire club have appeared particularly vulnerable.
Everton [2.22] have W5-D2-L1 in their last eight Premier League meetings with Watford and can boast a terrific W9-D1-L0 return when the two teams have locked horns at Goodison Park in the Premier League.
The Toffees are bidding to avoid three consecutive home league defeats for the first time since March 2016 and despite their traditionally strong record on Merseyside, appear too short for a team that's tasted victory just twice all season.
Watford [3.75 ] spurned a host of glorious opportunities to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and that's the Hornets' only loss on their travels under Silva (W3-D1-L1). The visitors have scored exactly twice in all five of their away days this term and look value at [1.79] in the Double Chance market.
David Unsworth's commitment to "playing on the front foot" is admirable but his misfiring side have seen only Wayne Rooney and Oumar Niasse get on the scoresheet in Premier League action as the hosts have fired blanks in half of their league outings.
Still, three of Everton's five Goodison Park games have broken the Over 2.5 Goals barrier and with Watford following suit in three of their five games as guests, backing a repeat should appeal at generous [2.04] quotes on Sunday as the visitors haven't kept their sheets clean since early September.
Richardlison signed for Watford in a reported £13 million deal over the summer and the Brazilian forward hasn't disappointed. Having scored five goals and created three assists for former club Fluminense last season, the Hornets new boy has continued his fine form in the Premier League.
Richardlison has been involved in more goals than any other Watford player this season (five), has attempted the most shots (35) and shots on-target (6) and no Hornets' player has created more chances for the club (13).
Such strong stats suggest the [3.95] available on the young star scoring at anytime is worth a flutter this weekend.