One – Everton’s fab four
Everton have their own take on the fab four, with Stones, Barkley, Deulofeu and Lukaku (all under the age of 23) in fantastic form. The current market value for the four must be close to the £200m mark. On Saturday all performed exceptionally, although in truth it was a walk in the park for Stones, with Villa offering very little in attack. The England centre back still played an integral role in Everton’s impressive performance starting two moves which led to Everton goals. Barkley and Lukaku grabbed two goals apiece and were involved in the build up to at least one further goal each and Deulofeu continued his incredible form, with arguably another man of the match performance.
Two – Serious top four contenders?
With Chelsea enduring a difficult campaign the Premier League’s chasing pack are eyeing up a fourth place finish and a stab at the Champions League. Spurs on a run of 12 games unbeaten are attracting a lot of press interest, as are Liverpool who look revitalised under Jurgen Klopp and of course Leicester, sitting top of the league after a third of the season cannot be ignored. But Everton are starting to enjoy a rich vein of form and with a kind run of fixtures between now and the New Year, Everton could find themselves in a very strong position as the festive celebrations die down.
Three – Goals are flowing, but not shared freely
With 24 goals so far in the Premier League, Everton are the top flights third highest scorers with just Leicester and Manchester City having scored more. However just five players (plus an own goal) have scored in the league for Everton this season. Something to worry about if these players were to lose form?
Own Goals 1
Four – Open play Blues top of the pile
Everton played some outstanding football at the weekend, with Ross Barkley’s opener and Romelu Lukaku’s second, both brilliant team goals. With that in mind, it is not surprising that Everton top the Premier League’s list of goals scored in open play this season. Remarkably all of Everton’s 24 goals have been scored from open play. For regular visitors to watch Everton this isn’t all that surprising, considering how poor Everton’s set pieces are, but with a team full of skilful runners, it is a surprise to see the Blues without a single penalty to their name so far this season.
Five – Everton still slow starters in front of goal
One of the most interesting stats of the season has been Everton’s inability to test the opposition goalkeeper inside the first 15 minutes of a match. Despite Everton dominating possession they again failed to have a single shot on or off target in the opening 15 minutes of the Aston Villa game. As soon as they did test the keeper, Deulofeu’s shot across goal was parried into the path of Barkley, who promptly put Everton in front, the time on the clock…16 minutes!!!