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Tottenham v Everton - Head-to-Head

Posted on 18 January 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Neil Sullivan Steve Simonsen
APPEARANCES
Minutes on pitch 1800 1080
SHOT STOPPING
Goals Conceded 28 14
Clean Sheets 5 5
Saves 73 41
Saves/Shots 72% 75%
DISTRIBUTION
GK Distribution 436 280
Distribution % 59% 51%
CATCHING
Crosses Caught 35 29
Crosses Dropped 3 5
DISCIPLINE
Yellow Cards 0 1
Red Cards 0 0
OPTA INDEX SCORE 899 1,026
Secure, tax-free online betting with www.surreySPORTS.co.uk
Neil Sullivan
Steve Simonsen

It cannot have been one of Neil Sullivan's more memorable New Year celebrations a fortnight ago, as he had just been dropped from the Spurs starting line-up that drew at Aston Villa two days before the celebrations and subsequently remained out of favour for the win over Blackburn.

Nevertheless, despite Spurs earning four points and Kasey Keller conceding just one goal during this brief period, Sullivan received an unlikely recall at Portman Road. He was beaten by two headers as the Lilywhites slumped to their third defeat in five games and the pressure is mounting for a return to form against Everton.

The visitors changed their own goalkeeping personnel when regular shot-stopper Paul Gerrard suffered injury back in October 2001. Reserve 'keeper Steve Simonsen was finally thrust into the limelight following three years in the wilderness and quickly lived up to the hype of his original £3.5 million move.

After making his first Premiership start in a 2-2 draw at the Reebok Stadium, the former Tranmere number one duly kept three consecutive clean sheets to thwart the attacking intentions of Chelsea, Leicester and Southampton. He has now taken that tally to five, equalling that of his Tottenham counterpart, who has played 12 hours more top-flight football and conceded twice as many goals than the Everton youngster.

Simonsen has beaten away 75% of the efforts that have been levelled at his goal in the Premiership this season and while a number of his colleagues' form may have waned from time to time, he has remained reliable as a last line of defence. Possibly even to the point where Gerrard may have to wait for injury to strike - as it so often does at Goodison Park - before he gets a chance to regain his place.

Renowned as a solid shot stopper, if there was a weakness in the former England under-21's game then it would be in dealing with high balls. Despite making 29 catches - just six fewer than Sullivan - Simonsen has dropped five balls and only Bolton's Jussi Jaaskelainen has fumbled more times in the Premiership.

Both custodians are in need of a solid display as their respective teams battle for points at this crucial stage of the campaign. The odds on Sullivan earning the faith of manager Hoddle once more by registering a shut out in a goalless draw are 8/1 with SurreySPORTS.co.uk.

Mark Willis