Things have been going pretty well for Everton of late.
They are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League matches and have beaten Manchester United—at Old Trafford, no less—and drawn with Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal during that time. The team has lost just one EPL match this season and find themselves in fifth place, just seven points behind the league-leading Gunners.
And until a match against Liverpool at Anfield on January 28, the schedule lines up quite nicely for the Toffees.
Of course, Fulham will do all they can to put a stop to any cheery feelings the Everton faithful may be experiencing. That will be easier said than done—Fulham are currently 18th on the table and have lost five of their seven road matches.
Can they shock everyone and pull off the upset at Goodison Park?
When: Saturday, December 14 at 10 a.m. ET (3 p.m. GMT)
Where: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
Watch: NBC Sports Live Extra
Odds: Everton (64.2 percent), Fulham (14.5 percent) and draw (21.4 percent), according to Bloomberg Sports
While Leighton Baines is out due to injury—and speculation persists that Manchester United will again come knocking down Everton's door for his signature in January, courtesy of the Metro—the Toffees continue to get big performances from players like striker Romelu Lukaku.
And it appears that the Toffees are interested in trying to secure a few of those players in the long term. Manager Roberto Martinez announced at a press conference, as reported by ITV, that the team is trying to extend the contracts of Ross Barkley and Sylvain Distin; he is also hopeful the team can extend Gerard Deulofeu's loan another season according to Goal.com's Alex Fisher.
But loanees Lukaku and Gareth Barry have been the key. Lukaku's eight goals in 11 appearances have been hugely clutch, while Everton have won seven (and drawn four) of the 11 games Barry has started and failed to register a single win in their other four games.
Meanwhile, Fulham have been pretty poor for much of the season, though they are coming off a big 2-0 win over Aston Villa, a victory they will hope to build on against Everton. But where will the goals come from?
Fulham have scored just 14 goals in 15 games—coincidentally, the exact number Everton have conceded—and they team doesn't have a single player with more than three goals (Steve Sidwell leads the club with three). Dimitar Berbatov has been underwhelming this year (two goals), though he did play the role of provider, assisting on both Fulham scores against Aston Villa.
In general, however, Fulham will likely need to be extremely defensively stout to steal a point at Goodison Park. Seeing as they've conceded 26 goals thus far this season, 18th in the Premier League, it's hard to imagine them containing the dangerous Toffees.
Unless Everton are still riding a bit too high after beating Manchester United and drawing with Arsenal last week, they should win this match fairly easily. Fulham simply aren't very good, while the Toffees have bought into Martinez's system and are thriving.
Everton win, 2-0.
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