Everton vs Tottenham Match Preview: Previous Meeting, Key Battle, Team News & More
Everton welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Goodison Park on Saturday as both teams look to get September off to the best possible start.
The duo face testing months as the games come thick and fast, and they will be desperate to return to winning ways in the Premier League. With identical league records so far this term and injuries already taking their toll, the Toffees and Lilywhites will want to secure victory to catch those above them in the table.
Here's all you'll need to know ahead of the clash on Merseyside:
A five-goal thriller between these two was played out in front of a sell-out White Hart Lane crowd back in March.
Harry Kane continued his remarkable scoring record in 2016/17 by notching a goal either side of half-time to hand Spurs a tidy 2-0 lead as they looked to close the gap on eventual league champions Chelsea.
With 10 minutes remaining of the contest, however, the match sprung to life as three goals were shared out between the two clubs. First, Romelu Lukaku netted to hand the away outfit hope of an unlikely comeback, but Tottenham star Dele Alli had other ideas.
The attacking midfielder ghosted in behind the Blues' offside trap to tap home to seemingly wrap up the points. Enner Valencia's poachers' finish in injury time set up a frantic finish to proceedings but Spurs did enough to hold on for all three points.
Leighton Baines vs Kyle Walker-Peters
With so much attacking talent on show, and two sides boasting steely defences, why would the battle down Everton's left flank be so vital to the outcome of this game?
With veteran left-back Baines set to reach 300 league appearances for the Toffees, his experience, tireless work rate, runs from deep and crossing ability will be key to helping Everton secure victory.
The 32-year-old will come up as first-team newcomer Walker-Peters, with the 20-year-old only set to make his second first-team start for Spurs.
Baines will be able to utilise all of his cunning and know-how to drag Walker-Peters into positions he doesn't want to be in and, coupled with Gylfi Sigurdsson's decisions to drift inside off the left flank, will have plenty of space to do damage in.
Walker-Peters, however, will be an enigma to Baines and can use his own unpredictable nature and pace to try and catch the defender out on the counter - a key tactic that Tottenham could employ to make the most of the vacant space down Everton's left hand side.
It promises to be an underrated encounter, and whoever wins that particular skirmish could have a massive say on where the points end up come 5pm.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman revealed that Wayne Rooney will start against the Lilywhites despite his latest drink-driving charge during the international break.
Morgan Scheniderlin will return after serving his one-match ban. Oumar Niasse could be part fo the 18-man squad after the oucast striker was handed another chance, and deadline day signing Nikola Vlasic could make his debut following his £9m transfer.
Long-term absentees Yannick Bolasie, Ramiro Funes Mori, Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley remain on the treatment table, however.
For Tottenham, manager Mauricio Pochettino is facing an injury crisis at right-back with Serge Aurier and Kieran Trippier potentially unavailable. Victor Wanyama is also sidelined with a knee issue, while Danny Rose, Erik Lamela, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and new signing Fernando Llorente are expected to miss out.
Predicted Everton starting lineup: Pickford; Martina, Keane, Williams, Baines; Gueye, Schneiderlin; Calvert-Lewin, Rooney, Sigurdsson; Sandro.
Predicted Tottenham starting lineup: Lloris; Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Son, Alli, Eriksen; Kane.
Both clubs will hope to achieve victory in a potentially crucial game so early in the season, and it seems too close to call even at this late stage.
The duo have quality all over the pitch, from sturdy back lines to attacking talents, and we just can't seem to pick an outright winner between them.
Chances are that any win will come from one team switching off at the wrong moment but, that aside, we expect to see the points shared once more in L4.
Prediction: Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur