Silva ready for everything

Everton boss Marco Silva is adamant that he will be ready for a hostile atmosphere when he returns to Watford for the first time since he was sacked.

The Hornets axed Silva when their form dipped midway through last season after he had been the subject of an approach from Everton.

The Watford fans were unhappy with the manner of Silva's departure and he has endured a difficult time at Goodison Park this season – the Toffees are 5/6 to finish in the top half of the table after losing three of their last four matches.

"I think it's not the time to make or to do reflection on last season. We are in the middle of a season, it is not the moment to talk about the situation," Silva said.

"Watford will be a tough game. The reception? In football you have to be ready for everything, I am ready for everything.

"When I made the decision about the starting 11 for the last match [the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday] it was because I thought it was our best starting 11 for that match.

"It’s really important (Richarlison) maintains his early-season form. We cannot put all the pressure on two or three players. This week will be really tough for us."

Everton can be backed at 11/5 to win at Vicarage Road on Saturday with former Hornets striker Richarlison available at 6/1 to be the first goalscorer.

Silva seeking set-piece answers

Marco Silva accepts that he and his Everton players need to find answers as to why they have conceded so many goals at set-pieces so far this season.

A 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Manchester City saw the Toffees left in a 12th set-piece goal in the Premier League this season, with the Merseysiders having now lost three of their last four league games.

And afterwards head coach Silva was clearly irritated by the problems at hand and vowed to try and find solutions in the near future.

He told reporters: "What I want to speak about will stay with my players, we've spoken many times. Bad things are coming to us too easily, it's not normal.

"They work, they put focus on it, but sometimes it is so negative the bad things come to us and I want to be positive in this situation, because I know the players are working, they are prepared, they know.

"It's a matter for us to be more aggressive in that moment and be more confident.

"Each set-piece is difficult for not just our players, but the fans also and I understand why, but we have to be stronger."

Everton are currently in ninth place in the Premier League table, with their next assignment a Saturday visit to Watford, who are one place above them in the standings and who are also one of Silva's former clubs.

Everton can be backed at 23/10 to draw at Vicarage Road, with a 1-1 final scoreline 11/2 and a goalless draw available at 10/1.

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Silva not feeling the pressure

Marco Silva says he retains the faith of Everton owner Farhad Moshiri regardless of his side's poor form.

The Portuguese was appointed in the summer of 2018 after first being linked with Goodison Park while in charge of Watford the previous autumn and his arrival was seen as a long-term solution following a chaotic season.

Silva and new Director of Football Marcel Brands set about improving the squad with the arrivals of the likes of Yerry Mina, Lucas Digne and club record signing Richarlison.

All three are 25 or under and the coach says the club made a conscious decision to recruit younger players as they look to build for the future.

Inevitably results have been mixed, prompting questions regarding Silva's future and his side will again be tested on Wednesday at home to Manchester City.

Everton are 9/1 to win the game, with the draw 21/4 and the Citizens priced at 3/10 and a victory for the hosts will lift them up to ninth above Saturday's opponents the Hornets.

Qualifying for European football on a consistent basis is the club's long-term goal and Silva says he and Moshiri are happy to take the rough with the smooth on their path towards glory.

"It's something I've felt since the first day I joined the club," Silva said. "You are in this job, it's (the scrutiny) normal. When you are winning games people say good things, when the results are not what you expect, this type of situation is normal.

"This is nothing new in our club. If you look at the last three seasons at Everton, it's something you listen to not every week but almost every month.

"About the confidence he has shown to me, you are always in contact. I know his feelings and what our project is."

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Silva seeking Toffees solutions

Everton head coach Marco Silva accepts that now is the time for himself and his players to show a reaction, having lost five of their last seven Premier League games.

The Toffees were beaten 3-1 at home by Wolves on Saturday, with Silva well aware that recent performances have not been good enough and that an improvement is needed sooner rather than later.

He told the club's official website: "It is now our obligation to turn things to our favour to give something back, firstly to ourselves, but of course to our fans.

"Now is not the moment to find excuses. Now it is the moment to find solutions.

"Many things went wrong against Wolves. When you lose like that, playing at home and giving easy things to our opponent, it is a tough afternoon.

"Wolves were better than us, but when I can see how we lost the game – making it too easy – it is really tough for me and for us as a team."

Next up for the Merseysiders is a visit from reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, with the Citizens having claimed a 3-1 win in this fixture at Goodison Park last season.

City also won the meeting of the two sides at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season by a 3-1 margin, with Gabriel Jesus having scored three times across those two matches.

Everton can be backed at 17/4 to secure a draw against the Citizens, with the Toffees 4/6 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season.

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Silva rules out Gueye departure

Everton head coach Marco Silva says his club are determined to hang on to holding midfielder Idrissa Gueye and have rejected an offer from Paris Saint-Germain.

Twenty-nine-year-old Senegal international Gueye is reported to have been the subject of an offer in excess of £21million from PSG, but Silva is adamant that his player is going nowhere this month.

And the Portuguese is also confident that he is singing from the same hymn sheet as the Goodison Park hierarchy.

Silva told reporters ahead of a Tuesday evening Premier League visit to Huddersfield Town: "My opinion is the same as the club's and we rejected the offer.

"He is a really important player for us. He is one player we do not think to lose in this market.

"Of course after some moments it can become a matter of money, but from my point of view he is a really important player for us.

"For clubs to come and buy our players they have to meet the value of the player. (Meanwhile) it looks really difficult for something to happen in the market now for us."

Gueye joined the Toffees in the summer of 2016 from Aston Villa, having previously made his name in French football with Lille.

The Merseysiders will be hoping to get back on track at rock-bottom Huddersfield, having lost their last two games – to Southampton in the league and Millwall in the FA Cup.

Everton are 21/20 to defeat Town on Tuesday evening and are 6/1 to claim a 1-0 victory, with the Toffees 11/8 to keep a clean sheet.

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Silva preaches cup importance

Everton head coach Marco Silva says the FA Cup is a 'really important competition' for the Toffees, who last won the trophy back in 1995.

The Merseysiders face a tricky trip to Millwall on Saturday, having reached the fourth round thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 win at home to Lincoln City in round three.

And Silva is eager to oversee a decent run in the competition, which offers his side a realistic opportunity of adding to their trophy haul.

He told reporters: "It is always fantastic in football when you have the pressure to win games. For me, without pressure and without ambition, it does not make sense when you are working.

"You have to put this passion in your job every day and realise how big the club is where you are working.

"When you are talking about the FA Cup, it is a really important competition for us. Not just for us, for many, many clubs.

"But we have to look inside and say 'Okay, it's really important for us, let's do our best and do everything we can to get in the next round of the FA Cup'.

"We have to look step by step and prove in each match that that is what we really want."

Everton and Millwall's last meeting came in an FA Cup third round replay in January 2006, when a Tim Cahill goal against his former club gave the Merseysiders a 1-0 win at Goodison Park – with the original tie at The Den having ended 1-1.

The Toffees are 4/5 to win on Saturday and are 6/1 to claim a 1-0 victory, with the visitors 11/8 to keep a clean sheet in South London.

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Keane hails huge Everton win

Everton defender Michael Keane praised the determination of his side after they defeated Bournemouth 2-0 on Sunday.

The Toffees claimed a first home win in the Premier League since November as second half strikes from Kurt Zouma and Dominic Calvert-Lewin saw them take all three points.

It has been a difficult week for boss Marco Silva, with owner Farhad Moshiri admitting he has been a touch disappointed with how the Portuguese had fared since his summer arrival.

Sunday's result moves Everton up to 10th in the table but they were far from their best, with Bournemouth hitting the post early on and dominating the opening half hour.

However, the home team rallied well and Keane almost opened the scoring when his first half header skidded off the bar.

The 25-year-old admitted afterwards that his team struggled early on but after eventually hitting their stride, hopes Sunday's performance can help them surge up the table and towards the European places.

Keane told Sky Sports: "It's a huge win. We have obviously had a few difficult results at home over Christmas so we are pleased to keep a clean sheet.

"It was a slow start but we grew into the game and the result is what we needed."

Next up for the Toffees is Saturday's trip to Southampton, a game they are 13/8 to win, with the draw 11/5 and the resurgent Saints priced at 17/10.

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Silva remains a Baines fan

Everton boss Marco Silva believes veteran left-back Leighton Baines still has an important role to play in his team.

The 34-year-old started last weekend's FA Cup victory against Lincoln City – his first appearance in three months.

It was the former Wigan Athletic defender's 409th appearance for the club and Silva insists Baines, as well as Phil Jagielka and Seamus Coleman, remain key parts of his squad.

Silva has preferred to use Lucas Digne at left-back this season, but said of Baines: "Leighton is a fantastic professional, a very, very good football player.

"I didn't need that match [against Lincoln] to see how Leighton Baines keeps being a really important player for me as a manager.

"They are our captains – Jags is our captain and Leighton and Seamus are our second captains. They are really important for us as a club and me as a manager."

Everton struggled over the festive period and have only won one of their last eight matches while Sunday's opponents Bournemouth have been beaten in eight of their 11 most recent encounters.

The Cherries have conceded 12 goals in their last three games and lost their last five away matches.

Everton can be backed at 3/4 to beat Bournemouth and 7/1 to win the game from behind.

Silva rules out striker signing

Everton boss Marco Silva has indicated that he will not be signing a new striker next month as Richarlison has been so prolific this season.

The former Watford star has scored nine goals in the first half of the campaign to silence the pundits that had suggested the club needed to buy a forward to replace Romelu Lukaku.

In January former boss Sam Allardyce brought Cenk Tosun to Goodison Park but the Turkey international has struggled to make an impact in the Premier League.

"I understand the reasons why I keep getting asked about buying a striker," Silva said.

"But what I can tell you is that Richarlison has scored nine goals. That is not a bad number considering he was banned for a couple of matches and has not played every game up front.

"It would be ideal to have someone scoring a goal in every game but that is not easy. When you look at the list of the best strikers in the Premier League this season Richarlison is not far from the top. To have someone scoring more would be fantastic but we have to be fair to the players we have.

"January is always a difficult market; sometimes you only need it if you have a bad injury or something special happens."

Everton are available at 27/20 to beat Brighton on Saturday and 11/2 to draw 1-1 against the Seagulls.

Silva welcomes McCarthy return

Everton head coach Marco Silva is pleased to have midfielder James McCarthy back in contention after a lengthy absence due to a leg injury.

The 28-year-old Republic of Ireland international has not featured for the Toffees since January, when he sustained a fractured tibia and fibula in his right leg in a 1-1 draw with West Brom at Goodison Park.

However, the former Hamilton and Wigan schemer is now back in the first-team fold, with Silva aware that giving McCarthy the gametime he needs will be difficult over the jam-packed next few weeks.

He told the club's official website: "It is good to have all of the midfielders available, we will need all of them. It will be important in a busy month.

"I know games will give him a better condition, but we are playing tough, tough matches and it is not easy to give him what everybody knows will help him get better, which is minutes in those games.

"But he is a worker and I really like him."

Prior to his setback against the Baggies, McCarthy had also suffered significant knee and hamstring injuries which had also hampered his progress with the Merseysiders, who he joined in the summer of 2013.

Since then he has racked up just over 100 Premier League appearances, scoring six goals.

Everton play host to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, with the home side without a win in their last four league games.

The Toffees can be backed at 9/4 to pick up all three points against Spurs, with the draw priced at 5/2, while a victory for the visitors is a 13/10 shot.

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