What a difference a year makes. Without dissecting the how and why of it, the raw statistics paint a much-changed picture. This time 12 months ago, Everton had lost just once and sat level on points with Chelsea, just two behind leaders Liverpool. The Toffees possessed a league-high eight clean sheets, conceding just 16 goals in their first 17 matches.
It is 27 goals against this time around -- and the last of three clean sheets arrived against Swansea on Nov. 1-- for a side currently 13 points worse...
Everton forward Kevin Mirallas (ankle) is pushing to return for the Boxing Day clash with Stoke in the Barclays Premier League.
James McCarthy (hamstring) could also be back in action during the Christmas programme, which continues with a trip to Newcastle on Sunday.
His fellow midfielders Leon Osman (ankle) and Darron Gibson (knee) are not yet ready to return while defender Tony Hibbert faces a fortnight out after suffering a knock in training.
Manager Roberto Martinez is prepared to make changes as...