Partly cloudy, 13°C, light showers, expected around kick off time. That is the extent of the useful factual information I can impart – and so to the pre match review.
Formidable hoopla in the media and Twitterworld this morning preceding our trip to Goodison. Barely a mention of the return of Ramsey. Ah well – you know how it is.
An important game certainly, and a game that both clubs will be looked forward to with a keen appetite.
A “season defining”, prove “a corner has been turned”, or “it will decide 4th place” kind of game ? I am assured by those much wiser than me, and who get up earlier on a grey Sunday morning to commit themselves digitally, it is in that rank. I think not.
Three points for us will provide a more comfortable margin for a CL place and keep us in touching distance of a higher PL finish than fourth. Three points for the home side and they will be right up on our shoulder, with their own bit of glory achievable and a chance to put right the shambles of 2005 when they crashed out in the qualifiers.
But this is just one game in six in the final phase of the season. Win five of the six and I would be very surprised if we were not in the CL draw in August irrespective of the outcome today. Win today but drop points in one or more of the other contests and we shall be in the soup.
Beyond a hoped for run out for Ramsey I have always reckoned Goodison a ground where Tommy V has enjoyed his football. Scored a couple on his debut and never had a poor game. I can see Tommy as an important player again today at both front and back. Bizarrely Sunderland the only club to win at Goodison this season so I predict a goal from an unexpected source.
Everton have enjoyed a good season, and some of that success has relied upon their borrowed players Lukaku, Barry and Deulofeu. To be fair to Everton their stand out player when I have watched them this season has been Barkley. What intrigues me is how Distin, 36 years old still manages to turn in decent performances week after week. Does the player not realise at that age he is past it ?
It will be for Everton to come out and take the win from us and I do not think my crystal ball will be required to predict a vigorous opening and test of our midfield and defensive credentials. In the two previous meetings this season they have not managed to overcome us despite creditable performances. The storms we have weathered and I have no doubt shall sail through today with no hint of panic.
Off to breakfast now and enjoy the game.
So at 3.25 today join with me;
“Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:— do I wake or sleep?”
Today’s post is brought to you by @anicoll5