Everton v Cardiff City - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Saturday 15th March 2014 at 15:00. Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool.

Odds: Everton 4/11, Draw 4/1, Cardiff City 10/1

Last season: N/A

Preview & injury news

Everton will be looking to bounce back from their FA Cup defeat to Arsenal last weekend where they ended up well beaten at the Emirates Stadium, whilst Cardiff City will be looking to use their win over Fulham last weekend as a springboard to help them stay in the Premier League. That was only Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's second win in the league in charge of Cardiff and they will need a few more if they are to stay in the Premier League, but goal difference is the only thing keeping them in the relegation zone at the moment.

Everton's form has been patchy but their last league outing saw them dig out a 1-0 win against West Ham United. They currently seem to be in a fight with Manchester United for sixth place which is a Europa League spot. The Toffees are currently seventh on the same points as United but have a slightly inferior goal difference and have played a game less.

On the injury front, the Toffees may still be without Phil Jagielka after he missed the FA Cup game with a hamstring problem with manager Roberto Martinez determined to have him '100% fit' before returning. Steven Pienaar also picked up a knock but there is a chance he could be available. There's no timescale on the return of on-loan striker Lacina Traore who also has a hamstring problem whilst the list of players who have lengthy spells on the sidelines is pretty extensive. That includes Darron Gibson, Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Kone. 

For Cardiff they don't have as many players out of action as their opponents but they are without Mark Hudson who has a hamstring problem. Both Ben Turner and Andrew Taylor have been struggling with knocks but there is a possibility that either or both players could be available for selection this weekend.

Key stats

Here are the two team's top scorers in the Premier League this season:

Romelu Lukaku Everton FW 10 20 1,578
Fraizer Campbell Cardiff FW 5 28 1,997
Seamus Coleman Everton DF 5 25 2,239
Kevin Mirallas Everton MF 5 26 1,887
Steven Caulker Cardiff DF 4 29 2,610
Jordon Mutch Cardiff MF 4 26 1,487

Their average possession statistics:

NamePossession PercentagePlayed
Everton 56.26 27
Cardiff City 44.93 29

And the amount of clean sheets they have kept this season:

NameClean SheetPlayed
Everton 10 27
Cardiff City 6 29

5 players to watch

John Stones - With Roberto Martinez keen not to rush Phil Jagielka back into the side, it looks as if Stones may have to deputise again at the heart of the back four. A good solid performance would do the youngster's confidence no harm at all against a Cardiff side that has plenty of pace and aerial threat.

Steven Caulker - Caulker was the hero for Cardiff last weekend against Fulham, perhaps in a fashion he isn't as accustomed to as he scored twice to help give them a vital win. Every point is vital for Cardiff in their battle to beat the drop, and the defender will be hoping to keep Everton's chances to a minimum this weekend.

Romelu Lukaku - Two appearances since injury, and two goals for Lukaku - he is certainly Everton's biggest goalscoring threat. He has been a big miss when he's been out injured, and there seems to be a lot riding on Lukaku getting amongst the goals for Everton to regain some of that momentum they had earlier on in the season.

Jordan Mutch - Mutch gives the midfield a lot of presence and can be a pretty creative player but is in for a difficult afternoon against Everton's duo of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy in the middle of the park. Mutch could give them problems, but will it be enough to come up with something that could provide Cardiff with a positive result?

Gerard Deulofeu - If Everton are in for a frustrating afternoon, they could turn to Deulofeu who seemingly has the ability to create something out of nowhere - and unlock a solid defence. He's a young player but he certainly has a lot about him.

Earlier on in the season

Cardiff City 0-0 Everton - August 2013

It was a third draw in three for Roberto Martinez in charge of Everton but he left the Welsh capital feeling hard done by, feeling that his side should have had a penalty in the first half when Leighton Baines appeared to have been brought down by Gary Medel. David Marshall was in pretty good form in the Cardiff goal but Everton were pretty wasteful. The home side had their chances but failed to hit the heights that saw them topple big spending Manchester City the week before.

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