Everton will be hoping to move back up into the top half of the Premier League table by seeing off the challenge of a Queens Park Rangers side still searching for an away point.
There are now no Europa League matches to play until January for the home side, which must come as a welcome relief given their faltering domestic form, with inconsistent results dragging them down to 13th at the start of play, some 10 points off the top four.
Roberto Martinez and his players unquestionably had reasons to be hard done by in the last league game at Manchester City, but he will also have been concerned at the lack of an attacking threat, with Samuel Eto’o, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas limited to very few chances.
As a result of Saturday’s games, QPR begin this clash among the bottom three, and will hope for a better showing than in their last match on the road at Swansea City, where they were on the defensive from start to finish.
In stark contrast, their home form of late has been superb, with direct rivals Leicester City and Burnley having been beaten at Loftus Road in recent weeks. These performances must start being replicated to some degree on the road, because the R’s are too easy to beat at present.
Gareth Barry is out for Everton after accumulating five yellow cards, while Darron Gibson, James McCarthy and Steven Naismith all face fitness tests.
QPR are without top scorer Charlie Austin as he was sent off against Burnley. Steven Caulker will be fit despite sustaining a cut to his head on a day out with his teammates.
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