Everton vs Norwich City
England – League Cup
Date: Tuesday, 21th September 2016,
Kick-Off: 01:45 GMT+7
Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool.
Ronald Koeman’s Everton side will be looking to progress in the League Cup but Norwich City won’t roll over lightly.
The Canaries, recently relegated from the Premier League, are off to a fine start in the Sky Bet Championship and will travel to Goodison Park in good spirits. The hosts are also in fine form, they’ve had their best start to a season since the 1970’s and are setting their expectations high.
The League Cup presents a good opportunity for both sides to move on in a competition that can fall by the wayside for plenty of teams. Everton reached the semi-final last season for the first time in nearly ten years and may be looking to go one better this time around. They’ve gone far too long without silverware and Koeman could be the man to right that wrong.
The Blues dispatched of Norwich City in last season’s competition via penalties but should be looking to end the tie before that stage this time around.
It’s a competition where teams are likely to utilise their youth system but Koeman will likely use a rather strong team in hopes that his side can progress.
Last season’s tie
The Everton side that won in last season’s tie won’t be too different from the one Koeman selects on Tuesday evening. The core of the team is still there but Romelu Lukaku won’t have any part this time around.
The Belgian forward picked up a foot injury in the 3-1 win over Middlesbrough and will be rested. He’ll be replaced by Enner Valencia who will make his full Everton debut
Leon Osman got the Blues only goal last season and won’t be available for Ronald Koeman to call upon. He was released in the summer.
Norwich could have easily run out winners that night if it wasn’t for the heroics of Joel Robles. Robles is likely to continue his role as cup goalkeeper and should play on Tuesday evening.
Norwich City Danger Men
As with every preview, we’ll take a look at three danger men for the opposition. This week includes a familiar face to Blues fans everywhere, Steven Naismith.
Steven Naismith: Good old Steven Naismith returns to Goodison Park once again and should get a warm reception. Everton fans know Naismith could send the Blues packing in this competition if he’s not picked up properly in defence. The Scotsman ghosts in between the midfield and defensively lines and will work his socks off.
He may not get the start against the Blues but if he comes off the bench, he’s one for the defence to keep a very close eye on.
Jacob Murphy: Now, Murphy may be 21 and an unrecognisable face to many football fans but he has performed well very in Norwich’s previous cup ties. He, along with brother Josh, should start against the Toffees as Canaries boss Alex Neill rotates his side.
He is the type of player that is likely to put pressure on whoever plays at left-back for Everton. With Koeman also likely to rotate, Murphy will probably look to put his stamp on the tie by challenging Bryan Oviedo for as long as he’s on the pitch.
Graham Dorrans: Dorrans looks to be returning to form at Norwich and always seems to play well against Everton. He may look to take advantage of any potential Koeman rotation of the midfield. He’s also someone the Blues defence will have to pick up from long-range as he can unleash some great strikes.
However, he’ll have to avoid Idrissa Gana Gueye and that isn’t easy to do.
As stated previous, Romelu Lukaku will miss out due to injury so Enner Valencia will deputise. He could be flanked by Arouna Kone depending on Ronald Koeman’s system. It’s also possible that one of Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams is given a rest and replaced by Ramiro Funes Mori.
Mo Besic, Darron Gibson and James McCarthy are the only other Toffees’ unavailable due to injury.
For Norwich City, Nelson Oliveira could make his debut while Matt Jarvis and Alex Tettey are likely to miss out due to injury.
Everton: Robles, Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Oviedo, Gueye, Cleverley, Mirallas, Barkley, Deulofeu, Valencia.
Norwich City: Ruddy, Martin, Klose, Bassong, Olsson, Jacob Murphy, Howson, Dorrans, Josh Murphy, Naismith, Oliveira.
Everton have lost just one of their last 15 matches against Norwich in all competitions, winning seven and drawing seven.
Norwich have not beaten Everton at Goodison Park since September 1993, when the Canaries won 5-1.
Everton have won their last five League Cup matches against lower league opponents.
Everton vs Norwich City: Head to Head
Everton have dominated their last 5 meetings, they are unbeaten against Norwich in their last 5 games with 3 wins and 2 draws.
Their last 3 games was a 3-0 win for Everton at Goodison Park in may 2016.
At home, Everton have lost only 5 times against Norwich City and won 13 times.
Everton vs Norwich City: Prediction
Everton are the favorites in this game as they are playing in England’s top tier while Norwich City are in the second tier. Both teams are in 2nd position in their respective tables and are currently on a winning streak.
Norwich have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 games, but have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 3 game. Everton on the other hand have scored at least 2 goals in 4 of their last 5 games. Also, they have kept clean sheets in 3 of their last4 games.
Everton vs Norwich City
Everton win at 8/15 (1.53)
Over 2.5 goals 8/15 (1.53)
Lukaku to score at anytime 4/5 (1.80).