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View From The Town End - Everton

This week's opposition fan's view comes from Calvin from our SB Nation sister site Royal Blue Mersey. as he helps us look ahead to Reading v Everton

Scott Heavey

How would you sum up Everton's season so far?

A pleasant surprise! I think fans had already resigned themselves to yet another slow start to the year as the team gelled together and started building chemistry. However they had an excellent start to the year and won a few games before a couple of injuries slowed things down partially, with four straight draws. They have maintained their style though, and have been playing some very good football in that time.

Everton are renowned for their slow starts so what's changed this time round?

Whatever they're feeding the boys at the training facility at Finch Farm is working, don't change a thing. The fantastic finishes Everton have put together the last couple of seasons had made the slow starts all the more frustrating. This season it seemed like the team took off at a sprint, and this is a much better start than most fans would have anticipated.

This just might be the best squad in terms of youth and experience, skill and grit, that David Moyes has assembled in his decade with Everton. In fact, most of the players have been here for a few years now and it was always going to be just a matter of time before the tightly-knit group clicked together, and it's looking like now is the time.

How have you viewed Reading's start to the season?

It has been quite puzzling that Reading have not won a game as yet. They have given up goals late in games, like against Chelsea, Newcastle and Swansea City. I feel Brian McDermott is going to work out the issues sooner rather than later, he has been with the squad for three years now and knows what makes his boys tick.

Any fond memories of Reading v Everton?

That would have to be the first game Everton played against Reading during my lifetime, ending in a 2-0 away win for Everton in the 2006-07 season.

Any ones you'd like to forget?

Ugh yes, and I knew I shouldn't have laughed too hard when Reading knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup in the 2009-10 season, because McDermott's boys promptly repeated the act the next year, beating Everton 1-0 at Goodison in the Fifth Round in 2011.

Who should Royals fans be worried about on Saturday?

Everton's Man of the Season so far has been Marouane Fellaini, and he poses an aerial threat that will keep the Royals' defence busy. Right winger Kevin Mirallas is out injured, so Reading can focus on shutting down the left wing pairing of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar.

Anyone Everton fans aren't looking forward to facing?

I noticed that Reading have gotten goals from a number of sources, which tells me that there isn't one focal point to the attack and Everton have to be aware at all times. Pavel Pogrebnyak is a lethal striker, Hal Robson-Kanu has caught my eye as well, and Jason Roberts is a veteran forward with many years of experience.

Score prediction?

Everton have played excellent football away from home, but have been plagued by giving up early goals and then struggling all game long to catch up. I think this is the game the Toffees reverse that trend and score first, but under intense pressure the Royals equalize, 1-1 final score.

Where do you think both teams will end up?

I think Reading are a much better team than at least three or four other sides and should survive the drop, but McDermott might have to make some moves during the January transfer window. For Everton, I fear a Champions League spot might be beyond them, but without any crucial injuries a Europa League position should be possible.

Thanks again to Calvin and you can follow the Royal Blue Mersey guys over @rbmersey.

We've also answered a few questions for them for a Reading perspective which you can also read here