The Everton first-team squad and coaching staff arrived in Dubai on Monday evening and manager Ronald Koeman held his team’s first training session on Tuesday morning.
Here, we’ve put together all the information you need to know surrounding the Blues’ visit to the UAE.
WHY ARE EVERTON IN DUBAI?
With no cup commitments left this season and only the Premier League to focus on, the Merseysiders have a considerable gap in their fixture list. The Blues are next in action against Sunderland on February 25th and have chosen, for the second year running, to take a warm-weather training break in Dubai.
WHERE ARE THE BLUES TRAINING?
The Toffees are training at Nad Al Sheba, Meydan, known as the best training facility in the Emirate. It is owned by the ruling family in Dubai and the training complex is private, with a number of top European clubs having trained there in the past.
WHERE ARE THE BLUES STAYING?
Everton are staying at The Meydan Hotel, a stone’s throw away from Nad Al Sheba. Teams often cycle from the hotel to the training venue.
HOW LONG ARE THE BLUES IN DUBAI?
It’s a five-day training camp for Koeman’s men and the squad will depart on Saturday.
During the training stint in the Emirate, Everton will play a friendly to maintain their match sharpness – although the opposition and venue has yet to be confirmed.
ROMELU LUKAKU AND THE SQUAD
Everton confirmed their leading marksman didn’t travel to the Emirate because of a lingering calf problem.
Lukaku, 23, will undergo treatment at the club’s Finch Farm training base instead. The forward, along with long-term injured star Yannick Bolasie, are the only senior members of Koeman’s squad who are not in Dubai.
Youngsters Matthew Pennington, Jonjoe Kenny and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were all part of the travelling party.
ONE TO LOOK OUT FOR
Fans’ favourite midfield star Muhamed Besic is with the team and is closing in on a comeback after being sidelined since August 2016 with a cruciate knee ligament injury. The Bosnian’s return gives Koeman yet another option in a packed central midfield area, which includes Morgan Schneiderlin, Ross Barkley, Gareth Barry, Idrissa Gueye and young star Tom Davies.
From Champions in 2016 and being hailed as one of football’s greatest, most unlikely success stories, there has been quite a turnaround at Leicester City this year.
They are now struggling to stay afloat, just above the Premier League relegation zone with Claudio Ranieri’s men running out of time to turn their season around.
At the heart of Leicester’s woes is one very simple thing; goals.
The majority of their success last season was built around Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez but they have struggled to live up to those performances.
And this stat from our friends at WhoScored.com sums up their inability to find the back of the net, which is a marked change from last season.
Leicester: Are the only team in England's top 6 tiers of football not to have scored a league goal in 2017 #lcfc— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 12, 2017
As you can see, Leicester are the only team in England’s top-six tiers of football, not to have scored a league goal in 2017.
The Premier League weekend saw Manchester United extend their unbeaten run while Chelsea were held at Burnley.
Here, we look at five things we learned.
JOSE MOURINHO STILL DEFINED BY DEFENCE
Jose Mourinho loves to tell everyone how he’s an attacking manager these days but the reality is United’s improvements have been founded on defensive organisation.
They have statistically the second-best defence in the league, David De Gea’s 10 clean sheets trail only Thibaut Courtois and Eric Bailly’s return to the side has given them extra ballast. United are, once again, tough to beat.
Eric Bailly's game by numbers vs. Watford:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 11, 2017
100% aerial duels won
5 tackles won
2 take-ons completed
Rock solid pic.twitter.com/usUMk6JTte
CAN GABBIADINI KEEP IT UP?
Southampton’s scouting department is a thing of wonder and it appears they’ve hit upon another relative bargain with Manolo Gabbiadini who has three goals in his first two games for the club. In Premier League terms, £15m for a striker is nothing.
That said, his career has been punctuated by inconsistency and he’s never been a regular goalscorer. The real test now is if the 25-year-old can string together a sustained run of form.
COSTA MAY BE PLAYING FOR TIME
Since his return to the Chelsea team against Hull on January 23, Diego Costa has scored one goal in 371 minutes and taken just four shots on target. He was successfully shackled by Michael Keane on Sunday and is missing all of his early-season spark and menace.
A player of his quality can only go so long before he kicks back into gear but if this run continues, the suspicion he is seeing out time before securing a summer switch away, only grows in credibility.
Diego Costa: Is currently on his longest goal drought this season, failing to score in his last 284 mins of action for Chelsea #BURCHE— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 12, 2017
GARETH MCAULEY IS A PREMIER LEAGUE TREASURE
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the Premier League’s marquee golden oldie this season but, at 37, West Brom defender
Gareth McAuley is two years older than the Swede and is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career.
The Northern Ireland centre-back scored his fifth goal of the season against West Ham on Saturday – his most in six top-flight campaigns – and is one of only five outfield players who haven’t missed a single minute this term.
Damn, 37-year-old Gareth McAuley has more PL goals (5) than De Bruyne (4), Pogba (4), Toure (4), Mahrez (3) and Mkhitaryan (3). He's 37!! pic.twitter.com/TTb1Q1ACkO— ReviewFootball (@ReviewFootball) February 11, 2017
CRYSTAL PALACE JUST CAN’T SCORE
Crystal Palace are in a real pickle, sliding towards the foot of the table. What must be immediately concerning is that, despite Sam Allardyce’s style theoretically being able to get the best out of Christian Benteke, the Belgian has just one league goal in his eight matches under the former England boss.
Palace, overall, with Allardyce at the helm average 0.5 goals per game. Relegation form.