Everton - Blackburn Preview: Hosts looking to continue late push for Europe by making it nine home games unbeaten
David Moyes' side still have an outside chance of playing in the Europa League next season while the visitors are looking to stave off relegation
By Jonathan Birchall
|Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Baines; Bilyaletdinov, Heitinga, Neville, Osman; Beckford, Anichebe.||
|Blackburn: Robinson; Salgado, Samba, P. Jones, Olsson; Hoilett, J. Jones, Dunn, Pedersen; Roberts, Santa Cruz.||
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- A win over the visitors would see Everton make it nine games unbeaten at Goodison Park in the Premier League.
- Taking the last six league games into account, David Moyes' side are the most in-form team in the competition with four wins and two draws.
- However, the Toffees have only secured two clean sheets in their last 15 Premier League fixtures.
- Leighton Baines has more than double the amount of assits of any other Premier League defender, having helped in the creation of 11 goals so far.
- Blues captain Phil Neville hit his first away league goal since 2001 against Wolves last week, having previously gone 3634 games without finding the back of the net on the road.
- Twenty-nine per cent of Everton's conceded goals have been due to headers - the highest proportion in the division.
- The hosts have only once beaten Blackburn by more than one clear goal at Goodison in the league since 1959.
- Ten of Rovers' goals in the top-flight have come from headers this term - the highest amount in the Premier League.
- Steve Kean's side have picked up only one point from a possible 18 in their last six matches away from home.
- Of their last 14 league games on the road, the Lancashire club have picked up only three wins.
August 14, 2010: Blackburn 1-0 Everton
An uncharacteristic blunder from Tim Howard allowed Nicola Kalinic to pick up all three points for Sam Allardyce on the first game of the season at Ewood Park.
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Top 3 Predictions
Everton 2-0 Blackburn Rovers
- 39.83 %
Everton 9-9 Blackburn Rovers
- 17.37 %
Everton 2-1 Blackburn Rovers
- 8.9 %
|Club Friendlies (FRC)||27 Jul 2013||Blackburn Rovers 1 - Everton 3|
|Premier League (EPL)||21 Jan 2012||Everton 1 - Blackburn Rovers 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||27 Aug 2011||Blackburn Rovers 0 - Everton 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||16 Apr 2011||Everton 2 - Blackburn Rovers 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||14 Aug 2010||Blackburn Rovers 1 - Everton 0|
|8 Dec 2013||Arsenal FC 1 - Everton 1||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Manchester United 0 - Everton 1||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||Everton 4 - Stoke City 0||EPL|
|23 Nov 2013||Everton 3 - Liverpool 3||EPL|
|9 Nov 2013||Crystal Palace 0 - Everton 0||EPL|
|-||Adam John Forshaw||Midfielder|
|9||Roque Santa Cruz||Striker|
|39||Mame Biram Diouf||Striker|
In a league boasting two of the best left-backs in the world - Ashley Cole and Patrice Evra - to be now named right up there with them is proof of the effort that Leighton Baines has put in for the Toffees since joining from Wigan in 2007.
From Championship prospect to arguably the most potent attacking force in any Premier League defence, the full-back will certainly test Michel Salgado down the left-hand side. But he must exercise vigilance when confronted by Junior Hoilett, who will be more than willing to exploit any gaps left by the forward-thinking 26-year-old.
Phil Jones is certainly looked upon as one for the future in English football. Unfortunately for the Preston-born youngster, Rovers will need him to deliver instantly as they look to fight off the dreaded drop.
The 19-year-old showed remarkable versatility for one so young in the recent draw at home to Birmingham, reverting to central defence from midfield after an injury forced Ryan Nelsen off the pitch. A performance of such maturity will be required once again if Blackburn are to take anything away from their trip to Goodison Park.
Unfortunately for manager Steve Kean, this Toffees outfit have a far deeper current of quality within their squad than many give them credit for.
Expect two their most shining stars, namely Leighton Baines and Leon Osman, to cause all sorts of problems down the left-hand side and fire the hosts to all three points.