Tottenham Hotspur-Everton Preview
Antonio Conte has no illusions about the challenge he faces in trying to return Tottenham to the top of the table.
Spurs sit ninth in the Premier League, with five wins and five losses from 10 games this season ahead of Sunday's trip to Goodison Park to face 10th-placed Everton.
Tottenham have not finished a season atop the top flight since 1991, and Conte acknowledged Friday his side must be ready to earn their ascent.
"I know that we need to take a bit of time because in the Premier League now there is a gap with at least four teams," Conte said. "But this situation must be an incentive for us to work harder, to try to start to work to close this gap and to start to think that we have to be competitive and then to try to fight for the title.
"At the moment, honestly, I can't tell you that this team is ready to fight for the title. We have many teams in this moment that are more stable.
"I need time but I'm not scared about this because in my life I always work very, very hard to reach the target.
"But at the same time, we have to know the reality - we must be focused on the present and to have a vision for the present and also for the future, to be something important together."
Everton have lost their last three league games, and Rafael Benitez knows his team are in for a stern challenge.
"We know that we will play against a very good team so cannot forget about that," Benitez said. "Conte is a manager with experience and they have some good players so it will be difficult.
"Yes, maybe it is not the best moment because with a new manager they will have an extra motivation, but that is the difficulty of this competition."
Everton - Andros Townsend
Andros Townsend has never scored or assisted in 11 Premier League appearances against former side Tottenham, the side he has faced the most without a single goal involvement. Townsend has been on the losing side in eight of these games against his old club (W1 D2).
Tottenham - Harry Kane
Harry Kane has scored 11 goals in 12 Premier League appearances against Everton, including five braces. Only Alan Shearer against Leeds United has scored multiple goals in more games against a specific opponent in the competition. However, the England captain has only netted once from nine top-flight matches this term.
- Benitez's first ever Premier League game was a 1-1 draw against Spurs in August 2004. The Spaniard has lost his last four Premier League games against Spurs, having lost just two of his first 14 against them in the competition (W7 D5).
- Everton have won just one of their last 17 Premier League games against Tottenham (D8 L8), beating them 1-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September last season.
- After losing three consecutive Premier League away games against Everton between January 2011 and December 2012, Spurs are unbeaten in their last eight league visits to Goodison Park (W3 D5).
- Everton have lost nine home league matches in 2021, only ever losing 10 in a calendar year on three previous occasions, doing so in 1929, 1958 and most recently in 1993.
- In his previous stint in the Premier League with Chelsea, Conte remained unbeaten against Everton (W3 D1), with his side keeping a clean sheet in all four matches against the Toffees.
Updated November 6, 2021