Everton get their Premier League season underway this weekend when they host newly promoted Queens Park Rangers at Goodison Park.
The Toffees first game of the campaign at Tottenham was postponed as a result of the London riots. They will be very keen to get going after working hard in pre-season and getting themselves ready for the new season.
David Moyes’ men will want a positive start. Too often in recent years they have paid the price for a slow start to proceedings. Their form improved as the season went on, but there is often the feeling that they could have achieved a lot more they had started better.
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So, they will be focused on the job in hand and determined to get three points on the board this weekend.
As for QPR, they suffered a poor start to life in the top flight last weekend, suffering a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Owen Coyle’s Bolton Wanderers.
Their performance was perhaps not as bad as the score line suggests, but it was a rude awakening for Neil Warnock’s men and one which highlighted the challenge that lies ahead in the coming months.
The close season was somewhat frustrating for both of these clubs. Everton were unable to spend money on new players, while QPR spent the majority of their time trying to keep hold of captain and star player Adel Taarabt.
Victory would definitely be welcome for both teams as they look to get up and running for the new season.
Looking at the team news for this one, Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta should be fit enough to start as Moyes enjoys a relatively injury free start to the season.
As for QPR, Kieron Dyer will certainly miss out after injuring his foot on debut last weekend, while it remains to be seen whether Warnock will ring the changes after the 4-0 defeat to Bolton.
The action gets underway at 3pm.