WIGAN ATHLETIC - EVERTON
I have just got some confirmed news from the Everton camp, Steven Pienaar will definitely miss out, but despite what you might have read elsewhere, record signing Marouane Fellaini is fit to play.
The Toffees will be confident of victory, having hit a decent run of form, especially away from Goodison, with their style of football, ideally suited to hitting teams on the break. They have won their last two on the road and four in total this season and face a home side, that have won just once and scored three goals, in six starts at the JJB.
Everton will have received a boost by the failure of the top six clubs in the Premier League to have registered a win between them over the weekend, infact, the "big 4" did not even score, the first time I can ever recall that happening. Therefore, a win will take them up to sixth and just two points off the cherished fourth spot. Arsenal are in turmoil at the moment and doubtless several clubs fancy their chances of competing for a Champions League spot this season. Everton have as good as chance as any of the other "pretenders" and have high hopes of the Yakubu/ Saha partnership, which shows signs of flourishing, with four goals between them in their last three starts.
Hosts are better than their league position suggests and I feel that they have too much quality to be overly involved in the relegation scrap, but things are not going their way at present and I am happy to oppose them. Heskey, Zaki, Melchiot and Koumas are all major doubts, Boyce is suspended and their young captain Lee Cattermole was involved in a nightclub incident last week, which although minor, has received a lot of media interest. They have won just once in eight starts and have a single clean sheet (against Stoke) in ten.
Everton have a good record here, with two wins and a draw in three visits, they have sold out their allocation of tickets and will have perhaps a third of the crowd cheering them on. David Moyes has impressive stats against Steve Bruce, losing just one of eleven previous meetings as first team coach's, winning six. Away win for me.6 points Everton level ball 2.0 asian line..... NOW 1.90
Please note, preview was written and sent to subscribers early this morning.