Premier League Preview: Everton - Fulham

Both sides currently sit comfortably in the top half with little to play for after David Moyes' side's Wembley elimination at the hands of Merseyside rival Liverpool.


Hibbert, Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin

Osman, Gibson, Fellaini, Pienaar

Hughes, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise

Duff, Murphy, Diarra, Dempsey
Sylvain Distin will likely move across to left back once again to cover Leighton Baines, who is ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury, with Johnny Heitinga and Phil Jagielka in the center of defense.

Leon Osman was substituted last time out against Manchester United after a clash of heads but the midfielder should retain his place in the starting XI. Royston Drenthe has however been suspended for disciplinary reasons and will end his loan spell at the club. Jack Rodwell is out for the season with a hamstring problem.

Fulham could name an unchanged lineup from its victory against Wigan, with lone striker Pavel Pogrebnyak having returned from an ankle injury in that game. Forward Bryan Ruiz is unavailable following a metartarsal fracture.

Aaron Hughes is expected to continue at right back in place of Stephen Kelly, who has a wrist injury, with Philippe Senderos featuring in central defense alongside Brede Hangeland. Steve Sidwell has been out since February with a groin problem while Zdenek Grygera (knee) is a long-term absentee.

  • Everton is finishing the league strongly, having risen to seventh place after going five matches undefeated.
  • The club’s improvement has been built on good home form, and it has won five of its last six home league matches, conceding just one goal in the process.
  • David Moyes’ defense has been key to success over the course of the season and only Manchester City has conceded fewer home than Everton's 14.
  • And his side has added goals towards the end of the season, scoring at least twice in each of their last five matches. January signing Nikica Jelavic is already the club's top scorer with eight goals in 12 games
  • Fulham lies just two points below the Merseyside club in ninth, and are four matches unbeaten having secured Premier League safety early under Martin Jol, despite winning none of its first six league games this season.
  • The Cottagers have a poor record against the Toffees who have won six of the clubs’ last eight meetings, including both their previous matches this season in the league and in the FA Cup fourth round.
  • The west London side is a poor traveler and only QPR, Blackburn, and relegated Wolves have collected less points away this season. It has also scored the least away goals alongside Stoke with just 11. However the club did complete only its third away win of the season earlier this month over Bolton.
  • USA international Clint Dempsey (pictured right) has scored 16 league goals from midfield and has bagged six in his last eight appearances, making him joint-fourth top scorer in the Premier League.