Everton vs FulhamEnglish Premier League, KO: 15:00 Aug 12, 2023, Goodison Park
EVERTON have been stuck at the wrong end of the Premier League for the last two seasons so Sean Dyche will be desperate to get off to a flying start against Fulham as the Toffees bid to avoid another relegation scrap.
Having only just dodged the drop under Frank Lampard, Everton came even closer to disaster last term as they headed into the final game needing a victory over Bournemouth to stay up.
Another tough campaign looks likely though with the club still recovering from years of profligate spending and Dyche has so far been forced to settle for free transfers and loans in his quest to strengthen the squad.
A chronic lack of firepower almost cost him dear last term so the Goodison boss will be hoping Dominic Calvert Lewin can finally stay injury free while loanee Arnaut Danjuma shoulders some of the burden for goals.
Fulham were one of the surprise packages of last season as they finally bucked a trend that had seen them be either promoted or relegated for five years in a row.
Marco Silva's side hit the ground running after romping to the Championship title and finished 10th in the top flight while earning plaudits for their style of play.
They will now be looking to establish themselves as Premier League regulars again, although it has been a summer of uncertainty with both manager Silva and star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic linked with moves to Saudi Arabia.
The Serb was reportedly upset that Fulham blocked his path to riches and it will be interesting to see if he's still around when the transfer window closes.
But Fulham have managed to keep all their top men while adding Raul Jimenez and Calvin Bassey so they stand a good chance of finishing in mid-table again.
How the bookies view it
This is a tough one to call as Fulham have the superior squad but Everton have home advantage and a manager who knows how to grind out results. Silva's side look a bit overpriced at 13/5 with BetUK while Everton's best price is 5/4 with QuinnBet and the draw pays 5/2 at Matchbook.
Recent head to head
Fulham were unbeaten in this fixture last term, winning 3-1 at Goodison after a 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage. But it has been close in recent seasons, with the last 11 meetings producing four Fulham victories, five Everton wins and two draws.
Players to watch
New boy Danjuma missed Everton's friendly win over Sporting Lisbon with a knock but Calvert-Lewin was fit and scored the winner from the spot. He should lead the attack here and is 19/10 at Unibet for anytime scorer.
It will be interesting to see if Mitrovic starts for Fulham after his Saudi strop. The Serb is just 13/8 with Bet365 for a goal but new boy Jimenez might get the nod in attack instead after scoring in their last friendly with Hoffenheim. The Mexican is 3/1 at Unibet to open his Premier League account for the Cottagers.
Anything else catch the eye?
Dyche saved Everton by tightening things up and 1-0 home wins over Arsenal, Leeds, Brentford and Bournemouth were pivotal to their survival. I'd be surprised if we saw a lot of goals in this one and under 2.5 strikes looks good value at 10/11 with Bet365. Backing the half-time stalemate also appeals at 5/4 with 888Sport while McBookie price a one-goal winning margin for either side at 5/4.
Card bets could pay off in the early weeks of the Premier League season with refs told to clamp down on time wasting and dissent. The bookies are taking precautions and even over 4.5 cards pays just 5/6 with Bet365 here. I'm more drawn to the same price on offer for the first card coming before 29 minutes. The odds are better on players falling foul of the ref and Doucoure is 11/4 at Paddy Power for a card.
This English Premier League match between Everton and Fulham will be played on Aug 12, 2023 and kick off at 15:00. Check below for our tipsters best Everton vs Fulham prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.