As the new football season is just around the corner, fans are eagerly awaiting for Everton’s first match of the 2023/2024 campaign. Fulham will make the trip up to Merseyside to play the Toffees this Saturday at 3PM BST. Let’s take a look at both sides in the first match preview of the season.
Everton have done a bit of business thus far into the window to bolster and improve the side. At this moment, Ashley Young and Arnaut Danjuma have been integrated into the squad and will more than likely be featured on Saturday (Youssef Chermiti is yet to be announce)
Whether Dyche will lineup in his expected 4-4-2 or the 4-5-1 he played multiple times last year is yet to be seen, but this depends on Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s fitness and what strike partner Dyche sees as a good option for this weekend.
Everton have a bit of momentum coming into this weekend, having gone undefeated in their five pre-season matches. Three of the five would finish 1-0, showing that Dyche ball is still alive and well.
Goodison will be backing the boys and will once again, as usual, have a huge impact on the teams performance. Everton hope to start the season on the front foot after barely surviving last season.
Seamus Coleman, Dwight Mcneil, Dele Alli will miss out on Saturday with Dom having a late fitness test to see where he stands. “Dom needs game time. He just ran out of time in pre-season; he could have done with a few more games. We’ll make a call [about whether he is on the bench] ” Dyche said.
Fulham have brought in Calvin Bassey from Ajax and Raúl Jiménez from Wolves and both players will have an impact on their team this season. It is yet to be seen if Mitrovic will start the game due to his lack of fitness after joining the team late in pre-season after a transfer dispute.
Fulham finished 12th last season in xG with an xG of 1.42 whilst Everton finished slightly below that with 1.39. Fulham would finish with 20 more goals on the season. They finished their chances and that could be the difference on Saturday. Fulham only had a goal differential of two letting 55 goals in, Everton looked to capitalize on that.
Marco Silva plays a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 usually as Silva prefers his team to control possession of the ball, which could play into Dyche’s favour. Everton had an average of 42% possession last season and can look to sit back and absorb Fulham’s attacks and capitalize on a fast pace counter attack.
Dyche will look to learn from the last match which finished 3-1 to Fulham. Fulham dominated the second half and looked to be comfortably in control from around 55′ on. With a full off-season and preseason and plenty of time to implement the Dyche game plan, we hope to see a more compact and collected Everton. Fulham is a great test to open the season.
Fulham look to be much more lethal than Everton but are prone to give up goals. Everton’s bend not break defense will hopefully keep Pereira and Vinicius from creating too much this match.
I believe this game will finish 1-1. Everton will limit Fulham to a handful of chances with an organized Dyche defense and a roaring Goodison behind them. Hopefully though we walk away with all three points! UTFT.