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Stuart Dalgleish 12th Sep 2009 - 22:38

New signings can get Toffees out of sticky situation

Everton haven't made the best of starts to the 2009-10 Premier League campaign, but thanks to some shrewd moves in the transfer market David Moyes' team can start to look forward to the rest of the season.

After seeing star defender Joleon Lescott seal his move to Manchester City, Moyes acted quickly in bringing classy Dutch star Johnny Heitinga and hard as nails Sylvain Distin to Goodison Park, the two are likely to partner each other in central defence at Craven Cottage.

Everton's squad isn't the biggest so the addition of Heitinga in particular will be a welcome one as the former Ajax man can play all across the defence and as a holding midfield man, whilst fellow new signing Diniyar Bilyaletdinov can also play in a few different roles but will be mainly used as a winger.

Fulham have also had an inconsistent start to the season, an opening day victory over Portsmouth has been followed by two league defeats and a European loss, the latter however didn't affect their qualification to the Europa League group stage.

Injuries haven't helped Roy Hodgson's side; with Simon Davies, Andrew Johnson, Danny Murphy and Bobby Zamora all missing games so far this season - all four are in the squad for Sunday's game but whether or not they'll all feature is another matter.

A massive problem for Fulham is scoring goals; with only Zamora managing a league goal so far this term, they desperately need Johnson fit and finding the back of the net again or their 7th place finish from last season will just be a one off as the likes of Man City and Spurs are not going to be lagging behind them this time around.

The Cottagers find themselves as marginal favourites for the match at odds of 13/8 but I don't think it represents good value, especially if some of their big stars don't make the starting 11. The draw could be the safe bet with neither team particularly firing and that's available at 11/5, however I like the look of Everton (17/10 in the betting) - it might not be pretty but I think with some of their new faces eager to impress and Louis Saha finally looking back to full health they should just have enough to nick this one.

Fulham could find themselves frustrated by Everton's new look defence and their best route to goal may come from set-pieces; with that in mind Danny Murphy could prove profitable at 14/1 to notch first or 11/2 to pounce at any time of the match.

For Everton, Bilyaletdinov should see plenty of the ball out wide and is a tempting price of 12/1 to open the scoring, 5/1 to bag one at any point of the 90 minutes.

Fulham v Everton - Sunday 16:00

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