Can Everton secure consecutive away victories at White Hart Lane?
Everton have every right to hold their heads up high after an excellent performance against Manchester City which, on another day, the Toffees could have won. Two moments of quality ultimately decided the game in the visitors’ favour, but Roberto Martinez could certainly take a lot of positives from the performance at Goodison Park against a team that look like serious title contenders this season. It is this sort of momentum that could prove crucial in the upcoming trip to Tottenham which is the next in a long line of tough games that Everton have been greeted with at the start of the 2015/2016 campaign.
The Toffees have already proven their ability to perform away from home, with the fantastic 3-0 victory at Southampton made all the more impressive by the display of attacking football that really caught the eye. There is growing belief that Martinez is about to secure headline-making deals for Shakhtar Donetsk star Bernard and Uruguayan striker Leandro Rodriguez – both of which would add even more creative quality and appease the fans’ demands for further investment in the squad – but the manager may have to focus more of his attention towards his team can come away from White Hart Lane with a positive result. 2008 was the last time that Everton came away from the white half of North London with all three points, but although Bookies, who gather the best odds from across the online sports betting market, are likely to show that the Toffees will be considered underdogs once again, there is every reason for fans to feel positive of enjoying a second consecutive away-day victory this season.
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It could be argued that there are no longer any easy games in the Premier League given the increase in quality away all twenty teams, but the trip to Tottenham may actually represent one of Everton’s best chances of picking up points. Considering there are upcoming fixtures against Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal on the horizon, facing a team who have a tendency to hit the self-explode button all too often, particularly on home soil, could work in the Toffees’ favour. Mauricio Pocchetino’s side have dropped points in their last two fixtures, having failed to hold onto the lead on both occasions; as their record of coming back from a goal behind is not entirely great either, it presents an opportunity for Everton to start off on the front foot like they did at Southampton and put Tottenham under real pressure to perform in front of their demanding fans.
Martinez will firmly believe his players are in the right kind of form to repeat the feat of 2008 when Steven Pienaar scored the only goal against a Tottenham side managed by Harry Redknapp. Although the South African is unlikely to be involved at White Hart Lane, fans will hope that Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkely and Romelu Lukaku continue their fantastic starts to the season and play an important role in another strong away-day performance. There is encouraging signs that Arouna Kone is forming a strong partnership with Lukaku in attack, while Barkley is coming of age and producing the quality that Everton fans knows he possesses in his locker.
Galloway injury leaves Everton short at left-back
For all the positives, the injury to Brendan Galloway in the Manchester City game may leave Martinez with a defensive headache; with Leighton Baines out until November, it leaves Everton short of numbers at the back, although he may show faith in Tony Hibbert, Bryan Oviedo or Tyias Browning to fill the potential left-back vacancy. New signing Ramiro Funes Mori may also be an option if he receives his work permit in time to play, but the trip to Tottenham may be too soon for the 24-year-old who may need time to adapt to life in the Premier League.