Everton welcome Middlesbrough to the Goodison Park as they look to solidify their place in the top 4. Everton will be desperate to notch up as many points from the seemingly winnable fixtures before the big guns come calling. Momentum is paramount in the league and the Toffees would want to be on a roll and look to churn out wins, a quality which they have been lacking for quite a while now. Middlesbrough will look to be compact and the least they can make is sure is that they are hard to beat on the day. And they can build on their game from that, having the likes of Negredo and Ramirez as the main men likely to cause damage.
We look at the 3 key battles which will be instrumental in deciding the outcome of the match.
ALVARO NEGREDO VS ASHLEY WILLIAMS
It will be an intense battle throughout the game between the two strong and burly men. Alvaro Negredo has started his 2nd Premier League term on a good note and will be integral to Boro’s attacking endeavours. His prowess in the air will be challenged by the robust presence of Williams. The former Swansea man will not shy away from a physical game on Saturday and the crowd can expect some feisty moments between the two.
GEORGE FRIEND VS YANNICK BOLASIE
It could be a tough day in the office for the Boro left-back who will have to deal with the pace of Yannick Bolasie. Along with that, he has to contend with the attack-minded Seamus Coleman who will grasp at every opportunity to bomb forward.
It will be instrumental for Boro to not give complete freedom to the Everton players on the flank. And Friend has to pressurize on the opposite half of the pitch as well. The stand-in captain has to be on his game and also look to cut short the supply to Lukaku from the wing.
ROMELU LUKAKU VS THE BORO CENTRE-BACKS
Middlesbrough defence will be in for a tough day if the likes of Mirallas and Bolasie have a good day. But if Romelu Lukaku fires, then the writing will be on the wall for the newly promoted Teesiders. His hat-trick in 11 minutes against Sunderland illustrated his ability to decimate defences within a short span of time. The likes of Ayala and Gibson will have to be on the top of their game if they are to harbour any hopes of getting something out the game.