Sam Allardyce must start this £13.5m-rated Everton star today to unlock Watford’s defence

The Everton fans in the Transfer Tavern are eager to see their side return to action when they face Watford at Vicarage Road this afternoon.

The resident Toffees propping up our bar in the tavern have become inpatient during the last two weeks due to their club’s short break from competitive football, but their wait to see their side in action is finally over as they face a tricky looking fixture against Javi Gracia’s side. Everton appear to have secured their Premier League status this season now that they sit on 34 points with 11 fixtures left to play, but Watford still have plenty to do with just 30 points on the board.

Despite Watford’s slightly precarious position right now, they should have enough about them to stay up this season, especially if Abdoulaye Doucoure remains fit for the remainder of the season. Doucoure is currently the clubs top goal-scorer with 7 league goals from central midfield this season, so Everton will need to be wary of the French midfielder this afternoon.

With that being said, the midfield battle between Doucoure and Wayne Rooney (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) could be a deciding factor in the result of the game today. Since moving to Everton, Rooney has demonstrated that he is still a quality player with such a wide array of attributes, and he is also topping the clubs goal-scoring charts with 10 league goals from 22 appearances so far this season.

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Now that Rooney operates in a role at the centre of midfield, it seems likely that the game will hinge on whether he can get the better of Doucoure or not this afternoon. If he does indeed manage to find space to operate in Watford’s final-third, then there is no doubt he has the ability and experience to exploit their defence whether it be courtesy of an incisive through ball or a clinical finish.

Everton have all but ensured their survival already this season, but Rooney could single-handedly confirm it today and push his side towards a Europa League place by finding a way to prise open Watford’s defence this afternoon.


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