May 232015

Will Luke Garbutt or Brendan Galloway start?

Roberto Martinez surprised a lot of people with his team selection at Upton Park.

With Leighton Baines and Bryan Oviedo unavailable, the common consensus was the England Under-21 international would step into the void at left back – especially as he is mulling over the club’s contract offer, with inclusion in the starting line-up a further incentive to remain at Goodison Park.

But Garbutt remained on the bench – for the 20th time this season – as Brendan Galloway was given the nod. Martinez, understandably, chose to focus on it being a reward for Galloway, more than anything else.

The 19-year-old took his chance well and received praise from all quarters. It was a showing that should see him keep his place, if nothing else.

Garbutt, however, waits in the wings. Martinez would not be drawn on the full back’s future during Friday’s press conference, but to remain on the bench for the second consecutive week – during a period his main competitors for a starting spot are incapacitated – would possibly be one snub too far. If he cannot force his way into the first team now, he will no doubt feel he never can.

It’s a dilemma for the Catalan. What should be an end-of-season affair gives him a bit of a headache.

Can this put down an early marker for next season?

Roberto Soldado puts Spurs in front Roberto Soldado puts Spurs in front

Everton are capable of being equal – if not better – than Tottenham. They proved that last season; this season has gone against that pattern, but mitigation would argue the Blues underperformed and the North London side were dragged to respectability by Harry Kane.

Spurs are in sixth with an outside chance of fifth. What Everton would give to be in that position on Sunday.

But next season can be a different story – and this is the chance for the Blues to prove it at Goodison. With Stones, Barkley, McCarthy and Lukaku, Everton have a spine to set them up for the next five years – something Spurs are also aspiring towards with Kane, Mason and others.

There is not 14 points between these two teams. The league table may not lie, but it can be told porkies. Spurs have conceded 53 goals this season – only four teams have shipped more in the Premier League – but their 57 goals ensures they could yet qualify for Europe.

It may be the final game of the season, but a strong performance from the Blues will show that points gap can be closed – or even overhauled – next season.

Will Distin get the goodbye he deserves?

Sylvain Distin Sylvain Distin

There are plenty of Evertonians who feel Sylvain Distin deserved more. He deserved more playing time as his career at the Toffees fizzled out, and he deserved more respect.

Sunday may be a chance to say goodbye. According to the Blues boss, there is no bad blood between the pair – despite intimation from the French defender on the contrary – and he may get an opportunity to play his final game as an Everton player.

After over 200 appearances, his first goal coming at Anfield and nothing more than 100%, it would be only right for him to wave off the fans – and for the fans to show their appreciation for six years of service.

It has been a long season for John Stones and Phil Jagielka. With Stones heading to Czech Republic with England Under-21s this summer, it may be a chance to rest his legs – and reunite that Jagielka-Distin partnership one final time.

Dont miss out on the new Everton flags.

 Posted by at 3:03 pm

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