Following the latest fiasco at Anfield in the Merseyside derby, Everton are again away from home as they travel to London to face West Ham United on Sunday.
Last weekend’s derby match was intensly frustrating for Toffees supporters as the combination of inevitably dodgy officiating along with the failure of the away side to create enough chances to win, led to defeat to Liverpool.
Everton could and pobably should have got something from the game at Anfield if Craig Pawson hadn’t intervened, although in truth they didn’t really ever look like winning.
One of the most irritating thing about last Saturday’s fiasco was the fact that the Blues have been considerably better away from Goodison Park this season but were prevented by the referee from replicating that form.
This Sunday Everton have another chance to recreate that away form as they face a West Ham team that is also hit a poor run in the Premier League.
The Hammers have lost three of their previous six matches and were thrashed 4-1 by Aston Villa in the last game they played.
As for the Toffees they have won two away matches and drawn another while have only managed a single win at home against Bournemouth before the international break.
There were some positives for the Blues to take from that derby defeat and assuming the club are just going to move on and re-focus on those positives, which looks most probable, these need to be built on.
Defensively Everton were largely comfortable for most of the game on Saturday with James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite looking very solid at centre-back.
And left-back Vitalii Mykolenko was also excellent and perhaps arguably the man-of-the-match for the visitors.
I had been a critic of the Ukrainian international, let us hope this much improved form continues and isn’t just a momentary thing.
Now that Ashley Young is banned after his red card last Saturday, Nathan Patterson will presumably start at right-back giving the young Scot a chance to try and cement his place in the team.
The one thing that wasn’t so good about the derby was the overall lack of attacking threat and creativity after a bright initial start.
Of course, losing Young so early in the match didn’t help and contributed significantly to stunted any real attacking threat.
I imagine Sean Dyche will continue to with the sort of formation and tactics that has proved successful in the away wins at Brentford and Aston Villa.
In terms of coming matches, this game tomorrow is one of the fixtures that look winnable on paper at least.
Let’s hope that manager and players can come together and use the frustration and anger at what happened last weekend to their advantage.