Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

THE BIG MATCH; Everton V Boro at Goodison Park Tomorrow, 1.30pm

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

THE BIG MATCH; Everton V Boro at Goodison Park Tomorrow, 1.30pm

Article excerpt

KNOW THE FORM

BORO won their second away game of the season and third league away win of 2008 in last weekend 2-1 Tuncay-inspired victory over Aston Vi - which Gareth Southgate called the best win of his time as manager.

Boro have won only once in their last six league meetings with the Toffees - a 2-1 victory at the Riverside in 2006. Last season Everton took six points from Southgate's side by recording 2-0 victories both home and away. Boro's last league win at Goodison Park came in 2000 when they recorded a 2-0 victory on the final day of the season.

THE THINGS WE SAY

BORO assistant boss Malcolm Crosby said: "David Moyes has done well to build a strong side at Everton over the last two or three years. They've got strength, height, goalscorers and talent and they are always capable of giving anybody a hard test. They got off to a bad start this season, which is a rarity, but they' settled down and when you play at Go you know you are in for a game. But, while Irat as ae we've won two of our last three away games and we will go there with plenty of confidence. If we'd lost at Villa we would have gone there feeling a bit of pressure."

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

DIDIER Digard is beginning to emerge as a real force in Boro's engine room since completing his pounds 4m summer move from Paris St Germain.

The French Under-21 international has started Boro's last four games, a spell in which they hav remained unbeaten and taken eight points out of 12.

The 22-year-old has been given time to settle in and adjust to the high intensity of the Premier League and also recover from a thigh injury which forced him to miss the second half of last season.

With Digard's emergence and Julio Arca now fully fit Southgate at last has options in the middle. Digard will hope to add to the goal he scored in Boro's 5-1 demolition of Yeovil in the Carling Cup earlier this season.

WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT

FOR two seasons running Bruce Rioch's Boro forced the Merseysiders to epic three-tie FA Cup meetings.

The first was in 1988 when a young Boro side in Division Two challenged the Division One champions.

A 1-1 stalemate at Goodison was followed by a 2-2 draw at a packed Ayresome Park in which Boro came within 30 seconds of knocking out a side littered with star names.

Everton broke Boro hearts with a 2-1 win on home soil in the second replay.

Drawn against each other in the 1989 FA Cup, the fixture again required two replays to find a winner.

After a 0-0 stalemate at Ayresome Park followed by a 1-1 draw at Goodison, another trip over the Pennines resulted in anguish again for Boro fans as their side went down 1-0.

KNOW THE FORM

EVERTON struggled badly at the start of the season, proving a soft touch and losing their first three games at Goodison Park. …

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