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Stoke vs Everton Preview

Paul Lambert cannot seem to find the result required to pull his Stoke side out of the bottom three, no win in their last six outings has seen the Potters lie second bottom going into this weekend’s clash with Everton.

A win could see them move out of the relegation zone as there is a whole host of inactivity around them, but defeat would mean they would have played a game more than their relegation rivals with nothing to show for it.

Standing in their way is an Everton side who got the better of Brighton last Saturday and subsequently moved back into the top half of the table. Sam Allardyce’s men have conceded the most goals in the top half while Stoke have conceded the most in the division.

This would indicate that there will be goals on the horizon as neither side is in possession of having a watertight defence this season, at the same time though Stoke have been hard to beat as of late with only two defeats in their last six league outings.

The problem is that they have not won any of their last six either, four draws and two defeats from their last half dozen league matches sees them in their current league standing, it is the fine margins of not being able to find an extra goal here or there that sees them in the bottom three.

It only would have needed one of those draws to be converted into a win and Stoke would go into this game outside of the relegation, such are the fine margins that the teams in the bottom half of the table are dealing with right now.

That said, former Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert can take solace in the fact that his side are still in with a chance of getting out of the drop zone, but a win is going to have to come from somewhere and you get the feeling that this weekend would be as good a time as any.

Their opposition Everton, will still have designs on finishing in 7th and the potential Europa League slot that it will offer next season. They currently find themselves six points behind Burnley, while a win on Saturday would take them level with Leicester in 8th while having played a game more.

The Toffees will be without Gylfi Sigurdsson and there will also be question marks as to who will be on penalty duty should the opportunity present itself. Former England captain Wayne Rooney missed his third spot kick of the season against Brighton last Saturday and looks set to be relieved of his duties.

Their January transfer window signing Cenk Tosun endeared himself to his new fans after scoring in the 2-0 win against Brighton and he will be pushing for a start once more, while the same can be said about youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin who was impressive in his role as substitute last Saturday afternoon.

The fact that Everton have failed to win any of their last seven away Premier League matches coupled with Stoke failing to win any of their last six, makes you wonder just who will come out on top. Forebet predicts that Everton will beat the inconsistent Stoke City at “365 Stadium” on Saturday.