4-2-3-1: Strongest Predicted Everton lineup (4-2-3-1) to face Watford, Keane and Bernard start

Photo: Sky Sports
Everton have the opportunity to return to winning ways when they entertain Watford in the Premier League tonight. The Toffees have gone through a tough spell where they have accumulated just one point against Liverpool and Newcastle United but they have an opportunity to make amends against a Watford side, who are winless on the road since October.
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Predicted Lineup:
Jordan Pickford has been the Toffees’ first-choice goalkeeper over the past 18 months and he should unquestionably start between the sticks. The former Sunderland man made a stunning save during the dying stages against Newcastle United in midweek which handed the Toffees a valuable point.
In the defence, Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne should maintain their positions on the right and left side of the backline respectively but we are anticipating a change in the central defensive department. Kurt Zouma partnered the impressive Yerry Mina in midweek but the former could make way for Michael Keane, who could return with Silva’s rotational policy.
In the midfield, Silva may stick with the combination of Andre Gomes and Idrissa Gueye with Tom Davies and Morgan Schneiderlin deemed doubtful but there could be a couple of changes in the attack front. Theo Walcott has been misfiring over the past few months but he could earn another opportunity on the right wing with Ademola Lookman making way.
Likewise, we are anticipating Cenk Tosun to be dropped after failing to score in any competition for the club since October and this may witness Richarlison leading the line once more. In this case, Bernard could support Walcott on the opposite flank with Gylfi Sigurdsson featuring behind Richarlison in the number 10 role.
Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Yerry Mina, Michael Keane, Lucas Digne; Idrissa Gueye, Andre Gomes; Theo Walcott, Bernard, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison.

Report: Ivory Coast approach Wolves star

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According to a report published by The Daily Mail, Ivory Coast have approached Wolves defender Willy Boly to enquire about the possibility of him representing them in international football. 
The 27-year-old Boly was born in France and has represented the nation of his birth from U16-U19 level. However, his parents are both Ivorian nationals and he has yet to represent the France team at senior level, meaning that he is still eligible to represent the nation of his parents birth. 
With the talent that France currently have and with Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti likely to be in the heart of defence for Les Bleus for the next couple of years, there is perhaps little chance of Boly representing the nation of his birth in the near-future. 
The offer from the Ivory Coast is one which Boly should seriously consider if he wants to play international football and have the chance to play in a World Cup. Boly has established himself as a key player for Nuno’s Wolves side. 
He played 36 times in the Championship last season to help the club win promotion to the Premier League. This season, he has so far played 16 times in the Premier League for Wolves. 
The former Porto man is an astute defender and could easily represent most nation’s in World football. If he chooses to represent the Ivory Coast, the African nation would have a defender who can provide quality at the back. 

Meanwhile Boly would benefit from playing for the Ivorians as he would be playing for one of the elite nations in African football.

Everton’s in-form winger attracting interest from Spanish giants Barcelona


Everton attacker Richarlison has reportedly emerged as a potential transfer target for Barcelona as they weigh into a possible replacement for Luis Suarez in the long-term. The Brazilian only joined the Toffees from Watford in a £40m deal during the summer but he has since impressed under Marco Silva with seven goals from just 13 top-flight appearances.
Amidst this, he has already earned recognition with the Brazilian national team for whom he has already scored three times from six caps and according to The Star, he has now caught the attention of Barcelona, who are weighing up a long-term replacement for Suarez - with the Uruguayan struggling with knee problems over the past year.
The former Fluminense youngster only made the switch to the Premier League with Watford during the previous campaign and he made a quick impression with five goals during the opening half of the season. However, he thereafter struggled to make a contribution which coincided with Silva’s exit from Vicarage Road, and it had been partly attributed to the fatigue accumulated from the demands of the Premier League.
Despite this, Richarlison secured the big-money move to Goodison Park during the summer which had raised a few eyebrows but he has more than managed to redeem himself with standout displays during the course of the current campaign. As such, the Toffees would surely be desperate to keep hold of their leading performer and they are in a comfortable position to do so with more than four seasons remaining on his current deal.

Richarlison is expected to feature for the Toffees tonight when they face his ex-club Watford at Goodison Park. Everton are currently seventh on the table with 23 points but they can leapfrog Manchester United above them with a victory over Javi Gracia’s men.

Here is why Liverpool should have signed James Maddison over Xherdan Shaqiri

Leicester City

Liverpool lost Philippe Coutinho during the January transfer window to Barcelona. Coutinho was one of the main players in the team for the past few years and so his loss left a big dent within Jurgen Klopp’s first-team. 
Klopp opted to sign Xherdan Shaqiri from relegated Stoke City during the summer transfer window in a £13.5 million deal which is a bargain by today’s standards. 
The fans were largely mixed about the signing of the 27-year-old. While he has shown signs of brilliance throughout his career, he has also been inconsistent and this was what ultimately led to both Bayern Munich and Inter Milan offloading him. 
Shaqiri has so far been impressive at Anfield as he has gone on to score three goals and contribute two assists from 12 Premier League games. Whenever called upon this season, Shaqiri has been creative and done what was required of him. 
One player who Klopp could rather have gone after though in place of Shaqiri is James Maddison. The 22-year-old Maddison joined Leicester City from Championship outfit from Norwich City in a deal believed to be about £20 million deal. 

After shining in the Championship last season, the youngster has proven that he is capable of shining in the Premier League as he has gone on to bag five goals and record two assists for the Foxes from 15 Premier League games. His performances have arguably been better than Shaqiri even though he is playing alongside lesser gifted players than the Swiss international is in Merseyside. 

Watford captain Troy Deeney issues stern warning to Richarlison ahead of Everton v Watford

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Watford captain Troy Deeney has warned Everton forward Richarlison that he will be the enemy when the Toffees face off against the Hornets in the Premier League on Monday. 
Richarlison was on the books of the Hornets last season. He was brought to Vicarage Road during the summer of 2017 from Brazilian club Fluminense while the club was under the management of current Toffees boss Marco Silva. 
Upon taking over at Everton last summer, Silva reunited with the 21-year-old in a £35 million deal which could rise to £50 million. Richarlison has so far been one of the outstanding performers for Silva’s troops this term as he has so far gone on to score several goals from 13 League games. 
He has also gone on to win himself selection to the Brazilian national team through his performances this season. With home advantage and better recent form, Everton will go into the match against the Hornets on Monday as the favourites to win. 
The one player who could be a major threat to Javi Gracia’s side is Richarlison. Deeney has warned his former team-mate that he will be the enemy on the day. 
As quoted by the official Watford website, the 30-year-old Deeney said: 
“Business-wise it was a no-brainer for the money.
“You can see his potential daily, his enthusiasm for football is up there and he's now getting the national team looking at him.
“But, I don't want to talk him up too much because I'm going to have to smash him on Monday!

“On Monday he's the enemy."

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez thanks fans for not making controversial decision


Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has thanked fans of the club for not taking the drastic decision to protest against owner Mike Ashley. 
Ashley took-over the Magpies in 2007 and is hated by most of the club’s fans. Under his ownership, the club has twice been relegated from the Premier League and struggled for consistency. He has also been strongly criticized for a failure to provide his managers with sufficient funds to create a quality side over the years. 
For more than a decade, fans have been calling for Ashley to sell his stake in the club. It never happened, possibly due to difficulties in negotiating with Ashley. 
The Magpie Group which is a collective of Newcastle die-hards had been planning to stage a protest against the dreadful reign of Ashley, but have since decided to scrap the plan following renewed hope of a potential takeover of the club. 
It is a good decision from Newcastle fans to not stage the public protest. Ashley has been dreadful and mis-managed the club, no doubt. However, there are bound to be some fans who will act unruly in a public protest. Not only will this harm the image of the club going forward and put it in the media spotlight for the wrong reasons but it could also put off potential investors from buying Ashley’s stakes in the club as they could be led into thinking that it has an unruly set of fans. 
Speaking ahead of his sides clash against Wolves at St James Park on Sunday, Benitez said as quoted by The Mirror
"I have to say thank you to the fans because my message has been very clear all this time - this group of players, they deserve support because they work so hard until the last minute in every game, so I think it's fair for them.
"If the fans appreciate that, then they want to support the team in the way that they were supporting before, but even more because everybody will be more focused on not wasting too much time with these questions and answers about if it is affecting the team or not. 

"I think it will be good, it will be positive and hopefully we can get three points and everybody will be happy."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche takes swipe at Liverpool boss


Burnley boss Sean Dyche has hit back at Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp who claimed that the challenge which Ben Mee made on Joe Gomez during the game between the two sides last Wednesday should be outlawed while condemning the struggling side for their aggressive style of play. 
Dyche has not taken too lightly to the comments made by his German counterpart. The 47-year-old has also suggested that the lunges of Roberto Firmino at Johann Berg Gudmundsson were more unacceptable than the challenge of Mee which caused a leg injury to Gomez. 
Dyche has indicated that his side did not made a fuss about the challenge on Gudmundsson as they are not “cry-babies”. This is quite evidently a personal attack on Klopp. 
As quoted by The Sun, Dyche said: 
“It was a naughty one that, Firmino having a couple of goes at Gudmundsson. We just tend to not cry.
“You want to see Ben Mee's shins, with stud marks all down them. And Phil Bardsley's.
“But I don't have a problem with that. It should be a tough game played fairly by all. In our game I don't think there was much going on other than just good effort to win the ball properly."
Dyche also attacked Klopp for failing to point out Daniel Sturridge’s blatant dive during the game. He added: 
“Goodness, no, is the answer. I try and be fair, and I’m not going to give one view in public and tell the players to do something different.
“When I see people diving with no contact, which we saw with Daniel Sturridge, I’m amazed that the powers that be in football don’t do anything about it.”
Interestingly, the Clarets were the only side in the Premier League last season that did not win a single penalty during the campaign. They are also yet to win a spot-kick this season. 
The last spot-kick which they had was when Sam Vokes netted against Everton last April.

Former Crystal Palace owner slams Paul Pogba as "he's all myth"

Crystal Palace
Photo Credit: Sky Sports
Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan has become the latest person to criticize Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba. 
The 2018 World Cup winner Pogba has been strongly criticized for his sub-par displays as United struggle to achieve consistency this season. He is also rumoured to have a fractured relationship with Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho and has been strongly linked with a move away from Old Trafford in the near-future. 
United fans and perhaps Mourinho as well would have been hoping that Pogba could carry his form to the club after he starred for France during their World Cup triumph in Russia but it was not to be. He has shown flashes of quality this season but has also been reduced to being a spectator in his fair share of games. 
The 25-year-old has been involved in his fair share of controversy off the pitch as well this season. He was stripped off the vice-captaincy after the reports of him wanting to move away from the club emerged in the media. This obviously suggests that there was some truth to the reports. 
He also publicly criticized his club’s tactics following their 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in September. 
Unless Mourinho is sacked, Pogba could be headed for the United exit door for a second time. 
“If I'm Ed Woodward and my champion was Mourinho I'd want to do something quite extreme to support him," Jordan told talkSPORT.
“I’d publicly get right behind him and put a stick right up Pogba's backside in terms of straightening him out, so he knew where I stood.
“Frankly whoever wanted to sign Pogba in the first placed……I’d send them home in a cab!
“I would sell Pogba in a heartbeat.
“I think he is a malaise and has far too much to say for himself.
“And most of it has no relevance.
“His performances on the pitch are far and away beneath what one expects of a player who is reported to be of the quality he is.
“The World Cup success with France was [N'Golo] Kante, [Antoine] Griezmann and [Kylian] Mbappe excelling in their individual roles. 

“I think there was a lot of noise and rubbish coming from Pogba inside the dressing room - I think he's all myth."

Aston Villa will need to hope that Chelsea do not recall striker

Aston Villa

After starting the season in poor form, Aston Villa have improved remarkably since Dean Smith was appointed as manager of the club following the sacking of Steve Bruce. 
The Villans are now serious contenders to challenge for promotion to the Premier League next season. One player who has shined under the guidance of Smith is on-loan striker Tammy Abraham. 
Abraham has so far scored 11 goals this season and at the time of writing he bagged the Championship Player of the month for his heroics in November. 
Abraham managed six goals in four games last month. He managed goals against Derby County and Birmingham City before finding the back of the net four times during the thrilling 5-5 draw with Nottingham Forest. 
Recent reports have suggested that Chelsea may consider recalling Abraham from his loan spell with Villa during the January transfer window. The Blues have so far played an impressive brand of football under Maurizio Sarri for the most part. 
However, the one major weakness within the team is a lack of a prolific goal scorer to lead the line. Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata certainly do not look like they are strikers whom one can rely upon to win games on a regular basis. 
It is vital that Villa aim to keep Abraham if they want to boost their chances of winning promotion back to the top-flight next season. The man who can play a big role in ensuring that Abraham remains at Villa Park is Chelsea legend and current Villa assistant manager John Terry. 

Why Burnley man would boost Aston Villa’s promotion hopes

Aston Villa

Tom Heaton’s future at Burnley looks to be in jeopardy. Burnley manager Sean Dyche had to sign Joe Hart during the summer transfer window on a two-year deal for a fee in the region of £3.5m after both Heaton and last season’s first-choice Nick Pope picked up injuries.
Hart has so far acted as first-choice and Heaton is likely to be demoted to third-choice keeper once he returns to full-fitness.
Heaton is a quality keeper and was on stand-by for England during the World Cup. He would have probably played for the Three Lions had Pope not ousted him as first-choice for Burnley last season. After Heaton picked up an injury last season, Pope took full advantage of the opportunities given to him and established himself as Burnley first-choice. His form was so good that he ended up winning a place in the Three Lions squad which played during the 2018 World Cup.
The one weakness for Aston Villa this season has been their goalkeeping department. Orjan Nyland has not yet adapted fully to Championship football. Signing Heaton will be a win-win situation for both club and player.
Heaton will be able to significantly improve the back-line of the Villa side which will improve their chances of winning promotion. By joining the club, the player will also be able to start playing regularly again. 

Burnley are likely to allow Heaton to leave in January as they have three top-quality keepers in their first-team. They may need to sell one as they look to bolster other areas in January so that they can try and avoid relegation from the Premier League this season.