The games are coming thick and fast as we enter the testing winter period for English football, with no time for Roberto Martinez‘s Everton to rest on their laurels. The Toffees are back in action at Goodison Park on Tuesday night, as they prepare to face Norwich City in the Capital One Cup.
Martinez’s side fell to their third Premier League defeat of the season on Saturday evening, coming unstuck in a 2-1 defeat to in-form Arsenal – but there were plenty of positives to take from the game – and Everton gave a competitive display that bodes well for future fixtures.
The Toffees have had a tough start to the campaign but have come through relatively unscathed – 11th in the the league table and just four points adrift of the Europa League places. With Sunderland ahead at the weekend, a midweek win in the cup against Norwich could build the players’ confidence and prompt the start of a useful run of results.
“We need to win for the confidence of the team”
– Gerard Deulofeu
Gerard Deulofeu, Everton’s Spanish attacker, who, despite not managing to guide his side to a share of the spoils on Saturday, had a good game against Arsenal – providing an assist for Ross Barkley‘s goal, and missing a chance for an equaliser late on – believes it is imperative that Everton win “for the confidence of the team, and fans.” Citing his belief that “Everton need to win a cup”, the ex-Barcelona man highlighted the fact that the Toffees need to bounce back after disappointment in recent weeks – and this might be the perfect opportunity for them to do just that.
Alex Neil‘s Norwich side have lost three straight games in the Premier League, including a heavy 6-2 defeat at the hands of struggling Newcastle United – and a 1-0 loss at home to West Bromwich Albion – in recent weeks. At present they sit just three points above the relegation zone, and Martinez will like his side’s changes against a club that have shipped 21 goals in the league this season.
The Everton faithful will believe a quarter-final is more than on the cards come Tuesday night, but they will have get past Norwich without captain Phil Jagielka – after suffering a knee injury in the loss to Arsenal – and without Gareth Barry, who is suspended.
Youssouf Mulumbu is out with a metatarsal injury for Norwich, and Gary Hooper is doubtful with an ankle problem. For Martinez, Tom Cleverley (ankle) and Steven Pienaar (hamstring) could potentially return.