Fulham will look to put an end to their dismal record at Goodison Park when they face Everton today. The West Londoners have been astonishingly awful against Everton, tasting defeat in each of their last 21 visits to the blue half of Merseyside. But, having secured a morale-boosting 3-0 win over Millwall in midweek, the Cottagers will be upbeat as they look to bring their abysmal record to an end.
Everton, on the other hand, are winless in their last three matches, two of which were defeats against West Ham and Arsenal. Therefore, claiming all three points against Fulham could be imperative as Marco Silva looks to get the season back on track.
Here are three key battles that could go a long way in deciding the outcome of this game.
Andre Schurrle vs Lucas Digne
It’s probably fair to acknowledge that Andre Schurrle has been a very useful addition to the team. The former Dortmund superstar has not only provided a great attacking option out wide but his experience at the highest level has also helped the other Fulham attackers.
And the German international could once again play a key role for the Cottagers this weekend. He has scored twice in six games this season but it is his pace, which can prove to be a handful for the Everton defence.
As a result, coach Marco Silva will hope that their new signing Lucas Digne will be able to remain solid against the sharp attacker from Germany. The former Barcelona star has slowly settled in after joining the club earlier this summer but his defensive solidity will certainly be tested against Schurrle.
Richarlison vs Cyrus Christie
While Schurrle will look to exploit Lucas Digne on the left flank, Everton’s Richarlison will be looking to do the same against the Fulham defence. The Brazilian sensation has already netted three goals in four outings this season and averages the most number of shots(2.3) and dribbles per game.
Therefore, he will be a definite threat for Slavisa Jokanovic’s men and the onus will be on right-back Cyrus Christie to keep the Brazilian at bay today. The 25-year-old scored in the cup match in midweek and will be full of confidence going into this fixture. But, his defensive astuteness will be tested against a dynamic Richarlison, who is certainly capable of making a telling difference against any team in the Premier League.
Idrissa Gueye vs Jean-Michael Seri
Idrissa Gueye’s midfield battle against Fulham newcomer Jean-Michael Seri will arguably be the most important duel of the game for a number of reasons. Firstly, both the midfielders play an integral role for their respective clubs. While Gueye is Everton’s main defensive midfielder in the centre of the pitch, Seri is responsible for most of Fulham’s creative output in the final third.
Therefore, Gueye will be tasked with the responsibility of stopping Seri’s flow in midfield, particularly his forward passes. But, the former Nice midfielder averages over 2 key passes per game with over 55 short passes, making him the most technical player for Fulham, thus suggesting the fact that stopping him could prove to be a difficult proposition for the Everton star.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored