Silva confident goals will come

Marco Silva has defended his strikers at Everton but has not ruled out making a move for another forward in the January transfer window.

The Toffees have scored just two goals in their last four leagues games and are the lowest scorers of the top eight with 21 goals from their 15 games so far.

They are in sixth position in the table, albeit well adrift of Arsenal in fifth and ahead of a match at home to Watford, Silva's previous club, on Monday, the Everton boss is backing his strikers to come good.

He told a press conference: "If you want to just look at the last few games, look at the games we played. It is not easy for strikers to score at Stamford Bridge, and Liverpool have conceded just one goal at home [in the Premier League] this season.

"Yesterday [against Newcastle] we controlled the match and all the moments. We created many chances but just scored one goal. To look at the last four games is not fair because we had chances to score more than one goal. The chances we created in the first half were enough to win the match against Newcastle."

Silva added that all clubs in the Premier League were in the market for a striker who can score 20 goals a season though he stressed he was happy with the players at his disposal.

Everton are 8/11 to win at Goodison Park on Monday night with Watford 4/1 and the draw 5/2.

Silva also told the assembled media that Jordan Pickford had responded well against Newcastle after his error in the 96th minute led to Liverpool winning Sunday's Merseyside derby.

He also said that Morgan Schneiderlin could be fit enough to return against the Hornets on Monday.

Everton are 9/2 to finish in the top six in the Premier League while they are 80/1 to break into the top four.

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Keane comes to Pickford defence

Everton defender Michael Keane has defended his goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after his error handed Liverpool a late winner in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

The hard-fought contest appeared to be heading towards a goalless draw when Virgil van Dijk's sliced effort in the last minute of injury time was not dealt with by Pickford, before Divock Origi tapped the ball home.

Keane has admitted the result was a tough one to take but has defended his keeper Pickford and feels the England shotstopper has been a key player for the Toffees this season.

"Everyone is devastated and silent in the dressing room, we are consoling Jordan," said Keane.

"He got unlucky. He has been brilliant for us. Everyone is devastated because of the work we put in. We had our chances and came close. We are devastated for ourselves and the fans."

Everton will look to bounce back in midweek action on Wednesday when they play hosts to Newcastle United in the Premier League.

The Magpies have won three of their last four games in the league as they prepare for the trip to Merseyside.

Everton are 3/5 to win, 29/10 to draw and 6/1 to lose to Newcastle.

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Sticky Toffees hold firm

Everton held Chelsea scoreless at Stamford Bridge, denying their hosts the chance of briefly returning to the top of the Premier League pile.

Blues boss Maurizio Sarri extended his unbeaten start to a record 12 Premier League games but his side were frustrated in a bad-tempered encounter with the Toffees.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was impressive as he denied Marcos Alonso, Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard clear goalscoring chances, while there were seven bookings dished out in what became a tempestuous contest following an off-the-ball incident between Bernard and Antonio Rudiger on the stroke of half-time.

Chelsea's Jorginho and Alonso were perhaps fortunate in escaping with yellow cards for challenges which caught the ankles of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Theo Walcott respectively.

The home side had to wait 41 minutes to register a shot on goal, Alonso denied by Pickford.

Morata went close after the interval, with the visiting stopper again alert amid a scramble, while Sigurdsson stung the palms of Chelsea's goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga at the other end.

Alonso hit the post late on as Chelsea looked to steal all three points, but the Merseysiders held firm for their point at a ground where they haven't won a league game in 24 years.

Chelsea are 13/8 to win their next game against Tottenham at Wembley on 24th November. Spurs are 8/5 while the draw is 12/5.

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Premier League Review: Everton Put On Their Sunday Best

Chelsea 0-0 Everton

Stamford Bridge was fairly silent from early on.

Everton were doing their job, and the West Londoners were being thwarted in their quest to return to the top of the Premier League table.

That was ultimately the case for long spells at Stamford Bridge as the Toffees showed spirit to ensure a stalemate.

Highlights of the game

Chelsea failed to satisfy us tips and ended their match against Everton with a goalless draw

Chelsea ended the game against Everton in Stamford Bridge with a frustration

Certainly, few us fans could argue the opening 45 minutes would feature in any of the Premier League 2018 highlights.

It was dull, it was cagey, it was a job well-done by the Toffees.

Indeed, the closest to a goal came from Everton (who had claimed four wins in their last five top-flight matches going into this) after just 12 minutes when Bernard’s shot whistled inches wide.

That is until five minutes from half-time when the hosts finally managed a shot on target – Jordan Pickford turning away a Marcos Alonso volley.

The first half ended embarrassingly: certainly, that was the best way to describe Antonio Rudiger whose reaction after a ‘coming together’ with Bernard was farcical.

It suggested he was trying to get his counterpart into trouble, and the play-acting really should be picked upon by television footage as the German made a fool of himself.

After such a low-key first half, there was nearly an explosive start to the second as Pickford showed fine reactions to palm away a touch from Alvaro Morata following an Eden Hazard delivery.

Kepa Arrizabalaga then pushed a long-range Gylfi Sigurdsson shot over the bar, and Willian placed the ball narrowly past the post after being played through on the hour, but still, the deadlock could not be broken.

We then had a flashback to the World Cup in the summer as Pickford and Hazard came up against each other.

First, the England shot-stopper kept out a drilled shot from Hazard and then produced an even better save to tip a goal-bound shot from the Belgian over the bar.

When Pickford was finally beaten in the 66th minute, Alonso saw a powerful left-foot strike come back off the post as Chelsea upped the ante.

After the woodwork came a disallowed goal.

Cesar Azpilicueta produced a fine ball, but Morata – with four goals in his last four league games (after scoring just twice in his previous 20 top-flight appearances) – had strayed marginally offside, much to his frustration.

Hazard again went close, and Everton’s increasing need to retreat was evident as veteran defender Phil Jagielka entered the fray for Sigurdsson.

The Iceland international had been struggling after a first-half challenge from the reckless Jorginho who could perhaps consider himself fortunate to only receive a yellow card.

Arrizabalaga was then called into action again to pounce on substitute Ademola Lookman as he tried to wriggle his way to goal and got past N’Golo Kante and Azpilicueta.

In the end, Everton deservedly and doggedly held on and it was lucky seven for visiting boss Marco Silva who had previously lost all six of his league games in London.

It wasn’t quite a complete end to their top-six travel sickness, but it was a fine point.

Key statistics

Until today, Everton had lost 11 of their last 13 top-flight games on a Sunday.

Chelsea are the only side in Europe’s top five leagues still unbeaten in all competitions.

Former Chelsea midfield duo Michael Essien and Michael Ballack were at Stamford Bridge watching the contest.

Chelsea are unbeaten in 13 league and cup games at Stamford Bridge, with their last defeat a 3-1 loss to Tottenham on Easter Day last season.

Maurizio Sarri is now the first manager/head coach to have avoided defeat in his first 12 Premier League games. Until this game, he had been level with Frank Clark (11 matches with Nottingham Forest in 1994).

This is only the second time in their history that the Londoners have been unbeaten in their opening 12 top-flight games. The previous occasion was in 2014-15 when they avoided defeat in their first 14 Premier League matches on their way to winning the title.

Everton have won one of their last 17 Premier League outings in London (drawn seven, lost nine), losing all four of their matches in the capital in 2018 before today.

Everton’s last top-flight win on a Sunday away from home was 2-1 at QPR in March 2015.

Top of Form

What’s next?

It’s the international break next and then Premier League 2018 betting odds will focus on what could be a belter.

Chelsea are the visitors to Wembley to take on London rivals Spurs.

They then welcome PAOK to Stamford Bridge in the Europa before a home derby against newly promoted strugglers Fulham.

Everton next host Cardiff (November 24) and then make the short journey across Stanley Park to face Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on December 2.



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Martial stars in United win

Anthony Martial grasped the opportunity to lead Manchester United's attack, starring as they beat Everton 2-1.

Jose Mourinho dropped Romelu Lukaku to the bench, with Fred coming into the side and Martial was give the chance to lead the line upfront and certainly took his chance at Old Trafford.

He was involved in both goals for his side, being fouled in the area for a penalty in the first and then scoring the second with a great strike.

The Frenchman was involved in United's first chance when he found Juan Mata in the area but the Spaniard couldn't direct his header past Jordan Pickford.

Martial was again on the attack halfway through the first half, getting a shot in but it was comfortably saved by the England keeper.

However, United were ahead a couple of minutes later, awarded a penalty after Martial went down in the area after a challenge from Idrissa Gueye.

Paul Pogba took the penalty which was saved by Pickford but the keeper was unlucky with the rebound which fell back to Pogba who this time made no mistake, slotting the ball home.

Martial went on another dangerous run soon after, finding Fred whose shot was saved and Marcus Rashford fired home the rebound only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

Everton had the first chance of the second half, Richarlison forcing a good save from David de Gea but United soon doubled their lead, Martial finding space on the left and delivering a magnificent shot into the top corner, giving Pickford no chance.

The Toffees had a great chance to reduce the deficit soon after but Bernard, having rounded the keeper, could only find the side-netting.

However, with around a quarter of an hour remaining Marco Silva's side did get a goal back, from the penalty spot, Gylfi Sigurdsson dispatching a perfect penalty after Chris Smalling fouled Richarlison in the area.

Despite that late scare United held on fairly comfortably for the win that takes them up to eighth in the Premier League table, five points behind Arsenal who sit fourth.

United are next in action next Saturday when they travel to the south coast to take on in-form Bournemouth who are above them in the table.

United are 1/1 to win with Eddie Howe's side 27/10 and the draw 12/5.

United are 3/1 to finish in the top four while Bournemouth are 8/13 to end the season in the top half of the Premier League.

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Silva hails ‘solid’ Pickford

Marco Silva picked out Jordan Pickford for special praise after Everton extended their winning run to three games by beating Crystal Palace 2-0 on Sunday.

The England international goalkeeper saved Luka Milivojevic's spot-kick with his foot on the hour mark when the Goodison Park clash was still goalless.

A tight encounter was still locked at 0-0 until substitutes Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun scored in the last three minutes as Everton moved up to eighth in the Premier League table.

A delighted Silva said of Pickford: "He has this quality, this profile. He is solid in that moment and can keep calm to take the right decision. It was an important moment in the match.

"It is important for us and me as a coach that when the three substitutes come in, they help the team. This must show us everybody is ready to play and everybody is fighting for his position in the squad."

Everton play Manchester United on Sunday and can be backed at 9/2 to beat Jose Mourinho's team and at 9/2 to keep a clean sheet at Old Trafford.

Silva added: "Now we are in a good momentum and it is important we keep (that).

"But we know the Premier League is really hard and every game is a different challenge and you have to be ready for everything."

Palace are 15th and 5/1 to be relegated after managing to score only five goals in the first nine top-flight games of the campaign.

Toffees snatch late win

Two late goals gave Everton a second win in a row in the Premier League and pushed them up to eighth in the table.

They beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Goodison Park with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring three minutes from time and Cenk Tosun adding a second two minutes later to make the game safe.

However, it could have been very different had Roy Hodgson's team converted a penalty when the score was still 0-0.

Everton had the first chance of note just before the half hour, Seamus Coleman finding Gylfi Sigurdsson in the box but Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey did well to tip it over the bar.

Palace responded with Wilfried Zaha instrumental, beating two men and feeding Andros Townsend who crossed but James Tomkins headed wide.

The visitors went even closer minutes later, hitting the woodwork, Cheikhou Kouyate heading against the bar with Jordan Pickford beaten.

The game was goalless at the break but, despite Everton starting the second half on top, it was the visitors who should have opened the scoring on the hour mark.

They were awarded a penalty when Coleman was adjudged to have fouled Zaha in the box but Luka Milivojevic missed from the spot, Pickford keeping the shot out with his legs.

Palace were made to pay for the miss late in the game when Calvert-Lewin got on the end of a cross from Ademola Lookman and headed home.

Palace pushed men forward in search of an equaliser but the Toffees made the game safe with a breakaway, Michael Keane punting the ball forward and Tosun controlled and scored.

The win moves Everton up to eighth in the Premier League while Palace are 15th, just two points clear of the bottom three.

Everton, 8/1 to finish in the top six, go in search of a third successive win next Sunday away to Manchester United. They are 9/2 for the win with United 8/13 and the draw 11/4.

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Pickford pens Toffees extension

First-choice England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is determined to keep on improving, having signed an improved six-year contract with Everton.

The 24-year-old moved to Goodison Park from Sunderland just over a year ago and has since established himself as his country's top keeper, playing a key role as England reached the semi-finals of World Cup 2018 earlier this year.

Now he has penned an extension to the initial five-year deal he agreed when he moved to Merseyside and Pickford sees only exciting times ahead for both himself and his team.

He told his club's official website: "When I made the move last year I thought Everton would be a great club to come to and the right step in my career.

"Getting the opportunity to become England's No.1 was down to being at Everton, I believe, and being able to put in solid performances week in and week out.

"Hopefully, I can continue to progress, become a better goalkeeper each and every day and keep that England No.1 shirt as well. That's another aim.

"My focus is on the team here and, as a team, we want to be pushing right up the table as high as we can be.

"There is a lot of strong competition out there, but in the next year or two, if we can get into a final of a cup and perhaps win a trophy, that would be a great step forward."

Everton are priced at 80/1 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, while they are 14/1 to secure a top-six finish, with the Toffees 20/1 to lift the FA Cup this season.

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Stekelenburg vows to push Pickford

Maarten Stekelenburg is looking to push Jordan Pickford for the goalkeeper's jersey at Everton after signing a new deal until summer 2020.

The vastly-experienced 35-year-old, who has had spells with Ajax, Roma and Fulham and played for the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final, joined the Toffees in summer 2016.

He made 21 appearances in all competitions in his first season, but injury problems and the arrival of Pickford 12 months ago has left him out in the cold at Goodison Park.

There has been speculation that Pickford will be the subject of a big-money summer offer, but Everton are adamant that he is not for sale.

If the England international does stay, then Stekelenburg will again be used as back-up, but he is relishing the propsect of pushing the 2018 World Cup star for his place and potentially help make him an even better player in the process.

"Jordan had a very good 2017-18 season and played superbly as well for England at the World Cup," Stekelenburg told evertontv.

"I understand my role and I will try to compete with Jordan and push him to continue to get better as well.

"For me, it was tough last year because I had an injury and it took me a few months to come back from that.

"But I'm fit now, I've played in our pre-season games and I'm very much looking forward to Jordan getting back here so we can push one another."

Everton, who are 7/2 to finish in the Premier League's top six this season, start their campaign against new boys Wolves at Molineux on 11th August.

The Toffees are 19/10 to win the game, while Wolves are priced at 7/5 and the draw is 9/4.

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Spotlight: The Best Premier League Players of FIFA 2018

Premier League was No.1 again, at least when it comes to the number of players sent at a World Cup.

For the sixth consecutive time, the English top flight had the largest representation in the quadrennial tournament. There were 107 players from the Premier League who featured for their national teams in FIFA 2018, with England’s squad even composed purely of players from the said domestic league.

Sure enough, most of the standout performers in the FIFA competition were from the English Premiership,  but we here at us pick only the five best Premier Leaguers that undoubtedly stood out the most in the month-long event.

Eden Hazard, Chelsea

If there’s one player who deserves the Golden Ball award besides Croatia’s Luka Modric, it’s Belgium’s speedy and electrifying forward Eden Hazard.

He ended up winning the Silver Ball, the award for the second-best player in the tournament, but it can be argued that he was just as pivotal for Belgium as Modric was to Croatia. Had the Red Devils reached the final, it’s possible that he’d be chosen as the best player of the World Cup.

It was a fruitful FIFA 2018 campaign for Belgium as they finished in the top 3 of the tournament

Belgium captain Eden Hazard celebrates his goal alongside Dries Mertens during their third-place match against England

Hazard’s statistical contribution also speaks volume of how crucial he was in leading Belgium to their best outing in the World Cup. He scored three goals and turned provider twice, finishing as the team’s second-highest scorer and joint-top assist man (along with Kevin De Bruyne).

The 27-year-old was also fun to watch throughout as he used his burst of speed and flawless running on the ball to destroy the opposition’s defence. If you want proof, you don’t have to look further than his performance against Brazil in the quarter-final at Kazan Arena where he broke up the rhythm of Selecao’s play multiple times.

Jordan Pickford, Everton

Thibaut Courtois and Hugo Lloris, perhaps, should have been on this list instead of England’s Jordan Pickford. After all, Courtois was the best goalkeeper of the competition while Lloris anchored the defence of the new World Cup champions.

However, considering the surprise factor, we have to go for Pickford this time.

Seriously, who would have thought that the Everton keeper would be in contention for the best keeper of the tournament?

Pickford had his best moment in the penalty shootout against Colombia, producing back-to-back monster saves to propel the Three Lions to their first ever World Cup shootout win. The 24-year-old then followed it up with a clean sheet against Sweden, eventually ending the tournament with a total of 17 saves.

Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United

Harry Kane brought home the Golden Boot, thanks to his three penalty goals, but Romelu Lukaku was probably the best striker in the competition—or at least the most entertaining.

Lukaku, put simply, was a beast in the World Cup. Often criticised for his lack of creativity and imagination of his movements, the Manchester United man proved his doubters wrong by providing a physical threat and showing intelligence on his runs.

He scored four goals to bag the Bronze Boot award, but his presence for Belgium was what was important. In fact, in their comeback win against Japan, his clever movements drew two defenders and allowed Nacer Chadli to fire home the winner.

Meanwhile, against Brazil, he was a consistent threat on the counter and eventually produced one of the best FIFA 2018 highlights when he assisted De Bruyne for a two-goal lead.

N’Golo Kante, Chelsea

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante was one of the best Premier League players during FIFA 2018

French midfielder N’Golo Kante challenge Argentina star Lionel Messi for the ball during their round-of-16 clash in the World Cup

If there’s one thing we learned in the World Cup, it’s that N’Golo Kante is a lucky man! Imagine winning the Premier League title in 2016 and 2017 then winning the World Cup in 2018.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t luck that brought Kante to the biggest show on earth. It’s hard work. And he did his part to help the France national team defy the FIFA 2018 odds and bag the nation’s second World Cup trophy.

There’s a reason why his teammates chanted his name when they returned to Paris and visited France president Emmanuel Macron.

Kante was the driving force behind France ‘s success, virtually stopping all the opposing attackers that he guarded. He had more than 50 interceptions throughout and was even credited for stopping Lionel Messi in their clash with Argentina.

Christian Eriksen,  Tottenham Hotspur

Heading to the World Cup, Christian Eriksen was already looked upon as the hope of the Danish team. And boy did he live up to the hype!

He was at the centre of the Denmark offence and defence, and he did well in setting up the tempo of the team in every game. They may not have scored plenty of goals, finishing with just three in four games, but Eriksen has proven that he can lead the team.

He scored one goal and assisted on the other as Denmark made it past the group stage, second behind France in Group C. It’s a pity though that he failed to convert his penalty in their Round of 16 shootout again Croatia.




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