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Blues and Reds get set for showdown

50-50 Challenge

Troubling times for Everton


Everton creeping toward a return to form in time to face vulnerable Arsenal

The ESPN FC panel discuss the necessary elements to a potential Arsenal victory over Everton.

At the start of the season, central midfield stood out as the strongest unit in this Everton squad. Then a crippling mix of injuries to some and a loss of form for others led to more questions than answers in the middle of the park.

That is why the current situation is sure to be a welcome conundrum for Roberto Martinez. For the first time in his tenure, Martinez has four genuine central midfielders available to him, each presenting valid arguments for their inclusion.

Darron Gibson has hit the...

 By John Culea

Fantasy preview: Week 27

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson previews a busy week of Premier League fixtures ahead, and suggests top ELP fantasy picks.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini looks ahead to Sunday's Premier League visit to Liverpool.

For the first time this season, all 20 Premier League teams will not be in action for a league game week because of the Capital One Cup Final. Cup finalists Chelsea and Tottenham are idle as are Leicester and QPR.

There is one game to check announced lineups in Week 27 before the ESPN FC fantasy game locks: West Ham-Crystal Palace.

Saturday, Feb. 28

West Ham vs. Crystal Palace

West Ham blew a two-goal lead at Tottenham for a disappointing draw in their last game on Feb. 22. Still, some impressive...

Plenty of blame to go around for Everton's domestic distress

An 88th-minute own goal by Matthew Upson was enough for Everton to come back and earn a point at home.

Everton clearly left Switzerland without the quality evident in Thursday's 4-1 win over Young Boys. Reality needed just four days and 90 minutes of football to set in at Goodison Park. This latest home disappointment, a 2-2 draw against Leicester, summed up the season concisely.

Flashes of European verve are offset by persistent mediocrity on the domestic front. Winless in six matches at Goodison, Everton's three home wins all season is simply not good enough, nor is a tally of six wins from 26...

Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku back in form as Everton topple Young Boys

Roberto Martinez's Everton responded magnificently to falling behind against Young Boys by scoring four unanswered goals.

Often inhibited by their own dwindling confidence and a constant injury list, this season has given way to an Everton squad unrecognisable from the one so close to Champions League qualification in the last campaign.

Therefore, it was not before time when flickers of last season broke through during this emphatic 4-1 victory over BSC Young Boys.

Everton continue to clear Europa League obstacles in a manner far removed from their Premier League inconsistencies, saving their most complete attacking...

Everton should prioritise success in the Europa League

Everton manager Roberto Martinez spoke in Berne ahead of his side's first leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie against Young Boys, where he indicated his concern with the pitch conditions.

Five years ago, Everton's European hopes were ended by Sporting Lisbon in the Round of 32 in the 2009-10 Europa League. Everton hope to move past the opening knockout stages this time when they face off against Swiss side BSC Young Boys on Thursday, knowing that success in the tournament could extend their continental return beyond a solitary season. 

Assuming that the 12th-placed team avoids an unwanted scrap near the foot of the table, the Blues should throw their eggs in the Europa League...

Everton's missed opportunities are costly in loss to Chelsea

Jose Mourinho threatened to walk out of his post-match press conference after being asked about Branislav Ivanovic's altercation with James McCarthy.

You make your own luck, so they say, but no one told that to Everton. Just as Roberto Martinez's men prepared to depart Stamford Bridge with a well-earned point, an unfortunate series of events handed Chelsea a 1-0 win Wednesday.

It started with midfielder Gareth Barry's dismissal for a second yellow card. Few could argue against the yellow card; it was a needless trip, though the awarding of the card seemed to owe more to the coercion of Chelsea's players than the wisdom of referee Jonathan Moss.