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Last Updated: 07/12/18 2:03pm
Everton boss Marco Silva says he is looking forward to facing his former employers Watford on Monday Night Football.
The Premier League clash at Goodison Park will see Silva go up against the Hornets for the first time since they sacked him in January.
Silva took charge at Watford in the summer of 2017 and they lost only one of their first eight league games under him.
Everton vs Watford
December 10, 2018, 7:00pm
He said: “It is not the first time in my life and for sure it will not be the last. I look forward to the match, a tough match for sure, and it will be good to see some of the players who worked with me, some good friends as well I have in the club.”
When Watford dismissed the Portuguese following a run of one win in 11 matches, they said Everton’s “unwarranted approach” for him earlier in the season was the “catalyst” for their decision.
Asked if he was expecting a hostile reception from the travelling fans, Silva said: “It is not important to talk about these type of situations.
“What I expect about the atmosphere in the stadium is the same as I saw yesterday (when Everton drew 1-1 with Newcastle) – this is the most important thing for me. Our fans came yesterday to really support our team.”
Everton have only lost one of their last five matches, a last-gasp 1-0 defeat to Merseyside rivals Liverpool.
Watford have lost four of their last five games, including three in a row following a midweek home defeat to Manchester City.
Everton could have a full complement of players to choose from.
Silva said on Thursday that Morgan Schneiderlin, who has had a leg issue, was “getting better” and may be available. The midfielder has not been part of the matchday squad for the last seven matches.
The Toffees boss also said there were “some small problems” but “nothing special” with regard to the fitness of those who had played in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle.
Watford team news to follow
- Everton have won 11 of their 12 home matches against Watford in all competitions, drawing the other.
- Watford won their last league meeting with Everton in February 2018 – they have never won back to back league matches against the Toffees.
- Everton came from two goals behind to win 3-2 in their Premier League meeting with Watford at Goodison Park last season – current Toffees boss Marco Silva was manager of the Hornets that day.
- Everton’s 3-2 comeback win against Watford last season was one of only three occasions in Premier League history a team came from two goals behind to win in a game that was goalless at half-time (also Derby County 2-3 Newcastle United in April 2002 and QPR 3-2 Liverpool in March 2012).
- The last 10 goals scored in Premier League matches between Everton and Watford have been scored in the second half.
Paul Merson’s prediction
People will say Watford were unlucky against Man City the other day, but I didn’t see that. I thought the best player on the pitch was Ben Foster and if he’s the best player on the pitch I can’t see how they were unlucky.
Meanwhile, I thought Everton were really good against Liverpool. They looked a decent team but then they can’t put away Newcastle at Goodison Park. However, I am going to back them to win this game. It will be a hard game, but I think Marco Silva will edge a win against his former side.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)