Spurs v Everton: Toffees are Ever so dangerous

WHEN Everton and Spurs look back on their campaign in May, both sides might highlight the 78th minute of their meeting on Sunday December 6 as a key moment. Tottenham were leading 2-0 at Goodison Park and cruising...

PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW BY BEN PEARCE

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton, Sunday 1pm

WHEN Everton and Spurs look back on their campaign in May, both sides might highlight the 78th minute of their meeting on Sunday December 6 as a key moment.

Tottenham were leading 2-0 at Goodison Park and cruising, but suddenly Louis Saha struck from close range - and with four minutes left Tim Cahill headed in the equaliser.


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Spurs still could have won it at the death but Jermain Defoe missed his injury-time penalty, and the Lilywhites were shell-shocked again six days later as Wolves won 1-0 at the Lane.

Spurs would probably love to go back in time and replay those 102 minutes, but Everton have not looked back from their dramatic comeback.

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The Toffees had been defeated in all three of their previous games but, since that day, have lost just one of their 11 league matches - taking 22 points from a possible 33.

David Moyes' side immediately drew 3-3 at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge, before holding Arsenal 2-2 at the Emirates and beating Manchester City 2-0. Worryingly, their last two league results have been a 2-1 win over Chelsea and a 3-1 victory over Manchester United.

Both of those victories came on Merseyside, as did the win over City last month, but home form is not the only reason for the Toffees' resurgence.

Key players have trickled back into the first team after lengthy injuries, with talismanic captain Phil Neville returning at the end of December after three months out, while playmaker Mikel Arteta made his first appearance of the season last month.

Meanwhile centre-back Phil Jagielka - missing since the end of last season - played in a reserve match on Tuesday night, but ironically these returns have coincided with injuries to Marouane Fellaini and Tim Cahill.

So far Everton do not seem to be missing the pair. Goals have been flying in from everywhere and, before their Europa League tie with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night, nine different players had scored in seven games in all competitions.

One of them is American international striker Landon Donovan, who has joined on loan from LA Galaxy until the end of the season.

After a slow start, Russian midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov scored his fifth goal of the season against United at the weekend.

And youngsters Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell have proved that they are more than able to step into the side, having both netted against the champions.

Ham&High Sport verdict: Everton will be brimming with confidence after their recent scalps, but that may well benefit Tottenham, who have consistently outplayed positive visitors at the Lane this season - Liverpool, Manchester City, Fulham and Aston Villa.

The Toffees' front six may be nearly at full strength, but the central defensive partnership of Sylvain Distin and Johnny Heitinga looks vulnerable.

If Spurs can replicate their best home form and make full use of the space, they can edge a difficult encounter.

Prediction: Tottenham 1 Everton 0

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