26th January. At The Den. Millwall v Everton. Kick-off 17.30.
Soft Toffees to Be Mauled in the Lions’ Den!
Everton could be one of the big upsets during this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup 4th round clashes and join their Merseyside noisy neighbours Liverpool watching from the sidelines in the next round.
Everton in Freefall!
During their last ten games Barclays Premier League games Everton has lost 6, won 2, and drawn 2, as they’ve plummeted down to 11th in the table. They beat Bournemouth 2-0 in their last home match. Not really a great achievement as Bournemouth have been in similar form with 9 losses in their last 13 games. They’ve dropped to 12th. Both sides would have relegation concerns had they not collected enough points earlier during the season. For Everton the late defeat at Liverpool sparked the decline in their fortunes when manager Marco Silva tried to play the ‘Wind the Clock Down’ routine with late substitutions. He failed. What should have been 4 minutes of added time ended up at 7! In the 6th extra minute, England’s number 1 keeper Jordan Pickford flapped at a miscued shot from Virgil van Dijk, which left Liverpool’s 23 year old Belgium forward Divock Origi with an easy tap in. It also cued the moment, for one of the moments of the season, as Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp bizarrely galloped 50 metres to the middle of the pitch to embrace his goalkeeper 26 year old Brazilian Alisson Becker!
Millwall are sitting in 19th place in the Championship and late Shane Fergusons goals, in the 81st and 84th minutes, enabled them to comeback and beat Hull City 2-1 in the last round. Manager Neil Harris, or former Millwall striker who netted 135 goals in 380 games for the Lions, might be licking his lips at the prospect of welcoming the under-performing Toffees. The 41 year old Harris, the longest-serving manager in the Championship and the 10th longest-serving in English top-flight football, will no doubt have his team prepared for this and it could be a messy melt-down for the soft Toffees FA Cup ambitions this season.