18 min: Vitaly Mykolenko drills the ball across the middle of the Spurs penalty area, Dwight McNeil shoots iand his goal-bound effort is blocked by Jack Harrison, his own teammate. Harrison’s blushes are spared by an offside in the build-up – Mykolenko as he ran on to a ball over the top from Idrissa Gueye.
15 min: Everton corner. Not for the first time in recent memory, Vicario is crowded out by assorted oppositon players as the ball comes in, but manages to get two hands to it and clear.
James Tarkowski seems to be the Everton player tasked with marking the Spurs goalkeeper at corners in this game, following the success of Manchester City’s Ruben Dias in the role a week ago yesterday.
13 min: Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg is penalised for a foul on Dwight McNeil after Brennan Johnson had avoided sanction for a robust challenge on James Garner. It’s spicy out there.
10 min: It being the 10th minute, Everton fans hold up their placards of protest and loudly boo the Premier League. While you have a measure of sympathy for them, it’s worth noting that their club is a founding member and current stakeholder of the organisation they’re protesting against, and they did plead guilty to the charge of financial shenanigans laid against them.
9 min: A low, diagonal James Maddison shot from the edge of the Everton penalty area takes a nick off Tarkowski and fizzes wide of the far post. It’s a corner for Spurs but nothing comes of it.
8 min: Having scored his goal, Richarlison shaped to wheel away in celebration before stopping himself and signalling apologetically to Everton’s fans, who warmly applaud him forhis good manners. It’s comically performative nonsense from all concerned.
6 min: Pierre-Emerick Hojbjerg plays a nice little give-and-go with Brennan Johnson down the left wing, then Timo Werner does the same with Destiny Udogie. From the byline, the Spurs left-back pulls the ball back to the unmarked Richarlison, who volleys high into the net from the corner of the six-yard box.
Spurs lead! It’s a fine first-time strike from Richarlison, who elects not to celebrate against his former team.
3 min: Tottenham get some time on the ball and ping it around the middle third as they feel their way into the game. The visiting fans serenade Micky van de Ven, as Destiny Udogie tries to square the ball for James Maddison on the edge of the Everton penalty area.
2 min: A crossfield pass from James Tarkowski is headed clear by Pedro Porro and the ball finds its way bvack to Guglielmo Vicario in the Spurs penalty area.
1 min: Michael Oliver signals the start of proceedings and Everton get the ball rolling. They play in their customary home kit, while the players of Spurs are a vision in beige shirts, shorts and socks.
Not long now: The Z-Cars sirens and theme tune soundtrack the arrival of both sets of players out on the pitch, prompting Everton fans to hold up their yellow protest signs. Thousands have been distributed and the Goodison Park stands are a sea of English mustard. Kick-off is just a couple of minutes away.
Everton protests: Still unhappy at their club being docked 10 points for failing to comply with Premier League finance and sustainability rules (a charge they admitted), Everton fans are planning another protest today.
They will hold up yellow cards boasting the PRemier League logo and the slogan “You don’t know what you’re doing” during the Premier League anthem and on the 10-minute mark of today’s game.
The club await news of their appeal against the 10-point penalty and are due to find out if it has been overturned, reduced or rejected later this month.
Richarlison returns to his former club surfing a tidal wave of confidence and on a run of seven goals in seven games. His opposite number, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, by contrast, can’t buy a goal and hasn’t scored in his past 16 appearances for Everton. Brought in from Udinese to help out up front, the Portuguese striker Beto has managed just two league goals in 17 appearances since his arrival in August.
Today’s match officials
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Dan Cook and Wade Smith
Fourth official: Andy Madley
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR: Harry Lennard
Those teams: As expected, Idrissa Gana Gueye comes straight back into Everton’s midfield following his return from Afcon and will replace Arnaud Danjuma, who is injured. That’s the only change in Sean Dyche’s line-up from the team that drew with Fulham on Tuesday.
Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglous makes two changes to the team that started against Brentford in midweek. Brennan Johnson and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg come into the side, with Oliver Skipp and Dejan Kulusevki making way. Pape Sarr is among the substitutes following his return from Afcon.
Everton: Pickford, Godfrey, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Young, Gueye, Garner, McNeil, Harrison, Calvert-Lewin.
Subs: Patterson, Keane, Virginia, Beto, Coleman, Chermiti, Hunt, Dobbin, Metcalfe.
Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario, Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Udogie, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Johnson, Maddison, Werner, Richarlison.
Subs: Skipp, Dragusin, Gil Salvatierra, Emerson, Forster, Kulusevski, Sarr, Davies, Scarlett.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure is back in training after returning from a thigh injury but this game has almost certainly come too soon for him. Seamus Coleman has been rated as little more than “a maybe” as he continues his recovery from a similar ailment.
Andre Gomes has been ruled out, while Arnaut Danjuma and Amadou Onana will undergo late fitness tests. Idrissa Gana Gueye is available for selection after returning from Senegal’s unsuccessful mission to retain their Africa Cup of Nations crown.
Gueye’s compatriot Pape Sarr is also back from international duty with Senegal and could start in midfield for Tottenham, but Heung-min Son (Asian Cup) and Yves Bissouma (Afcon) are both still unavailable. Manor Solomon, Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso are all sidelined with injury.
To Goodison Park, where relegation threatened Everton are hoping to end a run of five Premier League games without a win, having taken just two points from the past 15 available to them. Third from bottom of the table (they’d be 12th but for that 10-point deduction), Sean Dyche’s men lost 2-1 against Spurs in the corresponding fixture at White Hart Lane just before Christmas, but can take heart from the fact it was a game they dominated and were perhaps a little unlucky to lose.
Tottenham come into this game on the back of a midweek 3-2 win over Brentford, their goals coming in a quick-fire eight-minute burst just after half-time, following a poor opening 45 minutes. A win on Merseyside will keep Spurs in fourth place but send them level on points with Arsenal having played one game more. Kick-off at Goodison Park is at 12.30pm (GMT) but we’ll have team news and pre-match build-up in the meantime.