Everton have their first home match of the season on Saturday, hosting Watford, and they will be looking to add to the Hornets woes. Neither side got the start to the Premier League campaign that they wanted, although an away point for Marco Silva’s side at Crystal Palace was a far better result than Watford’s home drubbing by Brighton – which came as a shock to boss Javi Gracia, his players, and the fans.
Silva’s big worry is goals and has been all pre-season and was last term as well.
In their pre-season games, Everton managed just three goals in their seven warm-up friendlies and last weekend at Selhurst Park they again failed to find the back of the net.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the man who will lead the line and, while he certainly lacks nothing in endeavor, his goal return is not a great one. Brazilian ace Richarlison has all the tools, but is yet to reach that next level and had a pre-season disrupted by the Copa America.
He is not quite up to speed as yet, although he will be keen to show his former club what they are missing if he keeps his place in the starting line-up. He was Everton’s top-scorer last season with 14 but they need a more clinical finisher if they are to break into the top six.
Everton are also set to hand home debuts to Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Moise Kean and Alex Iwobi, who have all been added to the Blues’ attacking options recently.
Morgan Schneiderlin is out suspended and Andre Gomesis also set to miss out with an ankle injury that required a scan and new signing Fabian Delph is also a doubt.
If Everton’s was a steady start with a point at Palace then Watford’s was a real shock as they were comfortably beaten at home by a Brighton side who faced relegation until the final few games last term.
Their form, although there has been a summer break between games, is a worry for the side who have started to ship goals at an alarming rate.
Gracia is their longest-serving manager in a decade as their owners, the Pozzo family, tend to dispatch managers at a regular basis so he will be under pressure if their form continues to be poor.
New signing Danny Welbeck is not expected to be fit enough to be considered but the likes of Roberto Pereyra and Ismaila Sarr will push to feature from the start.
Finally, Gerard Deulofeu may drop to the bench against his former club as he looked way off the pace last week after being replaced at half-time amid ongoing injury worries.