Monday, November 19, 2007

Season Summaries--9. Everton

9. Everton (My preseason prediction: 8th)

As their record (6-2-5) indicates, Everton have had an up-and-down season. After winning their first two Premiership games of the season, the Toffees won just twice in their next 8 league games and are coming off a 1-1 draw at Chelsea. Tim Cahill's usual late-game dramatics earned Everton a point at Stamford Bridge, a game in which they were outplayed from almost beginning to end.

Everton have also won their first two group stage games in the UEFA Cup, sitting on 6 points in a group with Zenit St. Petersburg, FC Nuremberg, AZ Alkmaar, and Larissa. As the top 3 in each of the 8 groups advance to the Round of 32, Everton certainly are in good shape to move on to the knockout stages of Europe's second-most prestigious club competition.

The Toffees also are in the quarterfinals of the Carling Cup, where they'll make a trip to East London and Upton Park to take on West Ham on December 12. In a quirky coincidence, Everton will simply stay a few days in London as on the 15th, they'll play West Ham again, this time as part of the Premiership schedule.

Tim Howard has looked very good in goal this season, and Yakubu has 3 goals in 7 games since coming over from Middlesbrough. However, Joleon Lescott also has 3 goals and that's good enough for the co-team lead in goals, not a good sign for Everton if they want to finish inside the top 6 or 7 this season because the teams there right now (Portsmouth, Aston Villa, and Blackburn) can certainly score, seemingly at will sometimes.

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