Everton v Middlesbrough

Everton's Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick against Sunderland on Monday

Everton’s Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick against Sunderland on Monday


Everton midfielder Gareth Barry will make his 600th Premier League appearance, becoming only the third player to reach that milestone.

Recent signing Enner Valencia could make his debut, while Ross Barkley’s place is under threat after a poor start to the season.

Middlesbrough pair Cristhian Stuani and Jordan Rhodes are doubts because of groin and knee problems respectively.

Injured trio James Husband, Fabio da Silva and Grant Leadbitter remain out.


Steve Wilson: “Romelu Lukaku’s 11-minute blast at Sunderland transformed Everton’s start to the season from slightly underwhelming to extremely promising. If Ronald Koeman’s side win on Saturday then the Dutchman can claim the best five-game start to a Premier League season by any Everton manager.

“Last weekend’s defeat has taken a bit of the gloss off Middlesbrough’s encouraging start to life back in the Premier League.

“A Gerard Deulofeu-inspired Everton knocked Boro out of the League Cup at the quarter-final stage last season. Whether to start with Ross Barkley or the Spaniard will be exercising Koeman’s mind after he hauled the former off at half-time on Monday before Lukaku’s quick-fire treble.”

Twitter: @SteveWilson1967


Everton manager Ronald Koeman on Ross Barkley: “If you play a match, you analyse it, and of course there was a reason to change Ross at half-time – because he did not play well. He lost many balls and a player of that quality can’t lose those kind of balls.

“We always analyse the game, and then you have individual talks, and of course I had an individual talk with Ross. He needs to improve, but okay – we will see at the weekend.”

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka: “As a player, I preferred to play against the best players in the world because if you are playing against them, it is because you belong at that level. For that reason, I am really pleased to be here.

“I know it’s not the same to prepare for the game against Everton or against Tottenham the following week when we were preparing last season for Championship teams. But it’s a good challenge and if you want to improve and you want to be successful, you have to do it.”


Middlesbrough have still made a solid start to the season despite seeing their unbeaten run ended by Crystal Palace last week, but it is hard to see them getting anything at Goodison Park.

Prediction: 2-0

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All four of Middlesbrough's league goals this season have come in the first half<!–



  • Everton have only lost one of the last 11 league meetings (W6, D4). Middlesbrough have only scored five goals in those 11 matches.
  • Boro’s last league win at Goodison Park came in May 2000 – Juninho and Brian Deane scoring in a 2-0 victory.


  • Everton could win four consecutive league games for the first time since a seven-match winning run in March-April 2014.
  • They could claim a fourth victory in their opening five Premier League matches for the first time.
  • The Toffees are unbeaten in their last five home league fixtures (W3, D2).
  • Romelu Lukaku ended a run of 1139 minutes without a competitive goal for Everton with his hat-trick against Sunderland on Monday.
  • Gareth Barry will make his 600th Premier League appearance in this match; only Frank Lampard (609) and Ryan Giggs (632) have made more.


  • Middlesbrough’s defeat against Crystal Palace last weekend was their first in 14 league games (W7, D6).
  • They are on a six-game unbeaten league run away from home (W3, D3).
  • All four of Boro’s goals this season have come in the first half.

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