After a brilliant 2-1 win against Leicester City to keep their hopes alive, Everton will continue to fight to hang on to their Premier League status as they travel to a Watford side who have just been relegated back down to the Championship after a 1-0 loss against Crystal Palace, and they’ll want to save their dignity. So, let’s have a preview of this special match which could decide the fate of Everton Football Club, the 9 times English Champions and European Cup winner.
However, this will also be a special match for other reasons, as this is set to be Mike Dean’s last match before retiring at the end of the season. A Premier League referee for 22 years and a qualified one for 37 years, this will be an occasion where we see one of England’s best referees leave his whistle behind.
WHERE AND WHEN?
Venue: Vicarage Road.
Date: Wednesday, 11th May 2022.
Time: 19:45 (BST).
Referee: Mike Dean.
Assistants: Darren Cann, Dan Robathan.
Fourth official: Andy Madley.
VAR: Michael Oliver.
Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis.
Roy Hodgson will be happy with his squad, as the only injured player is Nicolas N’Koulou, who has been out since November with a hamstring injury.
Donny Van de Beek could be back in time for this matchup, however, the likes of Andros Townsend (ACL injury), Nathan Patterson (ankle injury) and Ben Godfrey (quadricep injury) are all still out. Godfrey will likely be back in the next two weeks, but he sits this one out of the squad for me.
Watford lost by just one goal, which was a penalty converted by Zaha, and they had 10 players. However, this result meant that Watford were back in the second tier of English football. Roy Hodgson likely won’t be going into next season with the Hornets, but the Watford fans will feel like they need to start preparing for next season and try their best against potential Championship opposition.
Everton manager Frank Lampard will be hoping that Everton can make it 3 wins on the bounce, in order to keep their survival hopes alive. Everton, who just beat both Chelsea and Leicester City, will feel at ease playing already relegated Watford, but Lampard must ensure that complacency doesn’t start to kick in. After things swung their way on the weekend, Everton are now in control of their own destiny, if they can match Leeds or Burnley’s results, then they will be a Premier League club next season.
Richarlison was a massive part of Everton’s shock victory against Chelsea, scoring the winning goal, but didn’t see the same level of success against Leicester. The Brazilian international will look to step up against his former club, and show his involvement in the cause to the Toffees fans. Richarlison took his chances against Chelsea last week, and will look to do the same back at Vicarage Road. Before the Leicester match, when Lampard was asked about Richalisaon’s injury he said, “Yeah, Richy’s got a bit of a sore ankle from the one he twisted at Liverpool. That’s sort of been around since then, but hopefully will be fine.” He could make Richarlison sit this one out, but the fight against his former side could propel Everton to 3 points.
If Watford are to pull off a victory against Everton like they did earlier in the season, then they’ll need the likes of Emmanuel Dennis to help contribute, like they did last time. Despite Joshua King’s hattrick being the main force behind Watford’s comeback, but Emmanuel Dennis has been more clinical over time. The 24-year-old has racked up 16 goal contributions in 33 Premier League appearances this season, and many Premier League teams are looking at him for next season, including Everton. Dennis will want to continue to impress in order to attract more interest, and this match against Everton could be the perfect time to do this.
Watford predicted XI vs Everton: Foster; Samir, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Femenía; Cleverley, Sissoko, Kayembe; Dennis, King, Sarr.
Everton predicted XI vs Watford: Pickford; Mykolenko, Holgate, Keane, Mina, Coleman; Gray, Doucouré, Allan, Gordon; Richarlison.