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Everton preview

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Games in hand. Perhaps there is no greater commodity in the world than the priceless opportunity for advantage that a re-arranged game offers.

It is funny how when looking at league tables (something I'm sure most of you are doing with increasing frequency) how the game (or games) in hand quickly translate into three points to catapult you up the league table.

With the weekends results already known when we took the field at Craven Cottage, it was easy to figure out. Two games in hand means a return of six points which means we take possession of fourth spot from Tottenham and put distance between ourselves and Liverpool.

Rarely do matters run so smoothly of course, and the adage of having the points on the board is often one that rings true, given the increased pressure it puts on chasing sides. In that respect then, the win at Fulham can be considered that bit more impressive given that a defeat (or even a draw) would have been a big blow for aspirations of the top four.

With one part completed then, we move on to stage two and although we are favourites, a fixture against Everton presents an equally tricky task.

A spell of three away games has been successfully navigated with a very good yield, so now we move back to more familiar pastures. Over the past eighteen months our home record has been exceptional, top four stuff in its own right. With six of our remaining nine games at home, it is hoped that this form is continued, as if so, will be good enough for that fourth spot.

Everton's season has been a mixed one. Beset by injuries (as they seemingly always are) they are in the upper half of the table, with good spells punctuated by some poor runs. They won 2-0 at home to Bolton on Saturday, and from speaking to the BBC's Ollie Williams via Twitter, their midfield was impressive and although they created chances lacked presence in attack.

They do possess a good recent record against us though, and have won the past two at CoMS without conceding a goal. However, I can't imagine Roberto Mancini making too many changes from Sunday's, and whilst we have to be wary of their midfield (which completely dominated us earlier in the season at Goodison Park), the onus will be on us to take the game to Everton with the attacking threat of Bellamy and Johnson being key.

Carlos Tevez was again on the scoresheet on Sunday, notching his sixteenth league goal of the season and will surely reach the twenty goal landmark for the season. He will again be key to our chances tomorrow evening and once again, I expect him to be the difference maker.

Prediction? 1-0, with Tevez getting the goal.