home team
Barkley (56')
away team
Barkley (56')
Friday 12 May 2017, 19:45 Goodison Park

Muhamed Besic will return to the matchday squad for Everton's final home game of the 2016/17 season.

Manager Ronald Koeman told evertontv the Bosnian would be named among the substitutes for Friday's game after fully recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in pre-season.

The Blues boss also revealed Morgan Schneiderlin has recovered from a thigh complaint in time to be available, but goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg will miss the clash with the Hornets after suffering a groin problem.

“Mo is on the bench," said Koeman at USM Finch Farm on Thursday. "He is back. Everyone knows he has already played for the Under-23s and, okay, we have problems, but he is ready to be part of the first team.

“It is a long list of players who are not available. Stekelenburg is not fit because he has a groin problem, but Morgan is fit."

Koeman will also be without Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jonjoe Kenny, Ademola Lookman, Kieran Dowell and Callum Connolly after the Blues quintet were called up for England Under-20s’ World Cup finals campaign in South Korea.

“I took the decision to let them leave,” explained Koeman. “Of course, the game for us on Friday is important because we want to finish strongly at home and to put on a good performance for the fans. We want to get our 13th home win, which would be very strong.

“But young players need experience and this is the decision I have made, because they will play in the World Cup and that’s very good for their development.”

Ramiro Funes Mori, Yannick Bolasie, Muhamed Besic (all knee), James McCarthy (hamstring) and Seamus Coleman (leg) remain sidelined.


Ronald Koeman has urged his players to reward Evertonians with one more Goodison win this season - and set the Club’s best home record in a single Premier League campaign in the process.

The Blues are looking to take their tally on home soil to 43 points for this term, a figure that would be their highest since 1989/90.

And, after experiencing a number of special atmospheres under the floodlights during his maiden campaign with the Toffees, Koeman is relishing the prospect of another evening kick-off when the Hornets head to Merseyside.

“We have had great support from our fans and it would be great to give them a win in our last home game,” he told evertontv. “It has been a tough place to come for most of the teams in the Premier League and we will be out for our 13th win out of 19 home games. That would be great, a strong home record for the season. 

“We know evening games under the floodlights are nice. It was an unbelievable night with a great atmosphere when we beat Arsenal. Friday night is maybe a different one to play football but it is our last home game and we want to win because it is nice for the fans to finish with that.”

Following last weekend’s 3-0 reverse at Leicester City, Watford head to Goodison having one won and lost four of their last five outings, scoring only once in that time.

With two games to go, the 15th-placed Hornets are not mathematically assured of survival, however it would require results to go against them and an unlikely goal swing to send them down.

Read more here. 

KEY MAN – Etienne Capoue

A seven-cap France international, defensive midfielder Capoue joined Watford in July 2015 for a then club record fee of £6.3m. 

He had gained extensive experience of the international scene as a youth player, appearing for France’s Under-18s, 19s and 21s, helping his country reach the European Under-19 Championships semi-finals in 2007. 

Having spent his youth career at hometown club Niort, Chauray and Angers, Capoue settled at Toulouse in 2006, breaking into their senior side the following year. 

After nearly 200 appearances for the club he signed for Spurs in August 2013 for a fee of just over £9m. 

However, he never quite cemented a regular first-team place at White Hart Lane and was allowed to move to the Hornets two years later. Now settled at Vicarage Road, the 28-year-old has become a vital component of the side, offering energy and presence in midfield, as well as chipping in with six vital goals this term.


Watford 4-5 Everton - 29 September 1984

Everton edged a nine-goal thriller at Vicarage Road at the beginning of a memorable season that would culminate in a First Division and European Cup Winners’ Cup double.

After going behind early, Howard Kendall’s side responded with two goals in as many minutes with strikes from Trevor Steven and Adrian Heath.

Heath then netted his second of the game to earn the Blues a 3-1 lead at half-time.

Derek Mountfield diverted into his own net to give the Hornets hope, before redeeming himself at the other end six minutes later to re-establish Everton’s two-goal advantage.

Watford would not lie down, though, and scored again with 20 minutes remaining.

Graeme Sharp responded with a chipped finish after being released on the counter-attack by goalkeeper Neville Southall, meaning John Barnes’ goal with three minutes to go was little more than a consolation.

Terry Curran was sent off in second-half added time for the Toffees.

Read more here.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE – Kevin Friend

Having overseen the 3-0 victory over Southampton on 2 January that kick-started Everton’s record run of eight successive Premier League home wins, Friend returns to take charge of the Toffees for only the second time this season.

The Bristol-born ref has dished out 124 yellow cards in 31 games this term but just two reds - the joint-lowest in the Premier League alongside Lee Mason. 

On his last outing at Goodison he issued just one booking - to Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse - meaning he last showed yellow to an Everton player, James McCarthy, in April 2016 when we drew 1-1 at… Watford. 

Friend’s most recent fixture was the 2-2 draw between Middlesbrough and Manchester City on Sunday 30 April when he booked four from each side. 


As always, there will be free live audio commentary of Friday’s contest here on evertonfc.com.

Click here to listen to broadcast duo Ian Snodin and Darren Griffiths’ coverage of the action on matchday.

You can also get involved in the broadcast by tweeting in your shout-out requests, comments and questions to @Everton using the hashtag #EFCLive.

In addition to our live commentary, look out for the live blog which will bring you updates, imagery, video and team news from the Grand Old Lady. Head to the match centre, the official App or the evertonfc.com homepage on matchday to find it.