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Q&A: Wigan Athletic vs Everton

Time for another question time, and this week my questions are answered from royalty. Well that is if you believe the site name, it is of course SB Nation's very own Royal Blue Mersey. They know their stuff on Everton, but did they see such an unbelievable start coming? And do they expect it to keep going against Wigan?

Chris Brunskill - Getty Images

Time for another question time, and this week my questions are answered from royalty. Well that is if you believe the site name, it is of course SB Nation's very own Royal Blue Mersey. They know their stuff on Everton, but did they see such an unbelievable start coming? And do they expect it to keep going against Wigan?

The man posed with answering me, was a very helpful Calvin, who also shared is love of pies. The true love of any mans heart (that is when he isn't watching the football).

Uncharacteristically Everton is all you can call the start to the season you have had. Start slow and end well, it is normally expect of Everton. So what do you put your great start down to? Has there been a change in tactics? Or have you just had lady luck on your side this year?

Whatever it is the lunch ladies at the Finch Farm training facility are cooking up in their stewpots, please don't change a thing! Everton's starts to the season were akin to walking into a mosquito-infested swamp.. you know they're there, you're going to get bogged down and you're going to get bitten, no matter what you do.

Jokes aside though, there is widespread feeling that this might be the best squad David Moyes has put together in his decade at Everton. It appears to have the right mix of youth and experience, skill and grit, and with a dash or two of flair thrown in as well. Most of the players on the squad have known each other for a few years now and it was going to be a matter of time until the tightly-knit group got a good start going, and that time appears to be now.

There have been lots about the financial situation at Everton over the past year or two, yet you managed to get some money together and bring in some quality players over the summer. Who has impressed you most so far from that group? And who do you see being important for season?

Heading into the offseason it looked like once again Moyes would have no money to spend, but a couple of shrewd transfers out (Jack Rodwell, Joseph Yobo and Goodison hero Tim Cahill) allowed Moyes to sign Steven Pienaar (who was on loan from Tottenham), Kevin Mirallas, Steven Naismith and Brian Oviedo. Pienaar forms a lethal left-side partnership with Leighton Baines and that has been the crux of Everton's attacking play. Mirallas has been excellent on the right wing and gives the team much more balance than in previous years. With the small squad they have, Everton simply cannot afford any long term injuries if they hope to continue their early season success.

Nikica Jelavic has to be one of the best signings in the last year or so in the Premier League. How much has he impressed at Goodison Park? And do can he keep it up as defenders start to see how he plies his goal-scoring trade?

Jelavic is the deadly striker that Everton have been desperately lacking for years now. Fans have been raving about how well he has adapted to the English game and his knack for being at the right place to benefit from the creativity of the Baines-Pienaar-Fellaini triumvirate. What makes Jelavic so difficult to defend is his innate nose for goal - the majority of his strikes are one-touch plays, and that makes him all the harder to play against. There are very few defenders in the Premier League who can shut him down completely and not give him a look at the ball, and that might be the only way to keep him quiet.

So with your great start, are you going to finish as strongly this year? If so how do you feel you will be placed in the League come the end of the season? Do you expect European football next year?

Another second half to the season like last year would definitely place Everton in a Champions League spot at the end of the season. After this fantastic start, anything short of a European position would be a bitter disappointment, and would most likely lead to Moyes moving on.

Do any Wigan vs Everton fixtures stand out for you over the years? If so what made the game so special to you?

While Everton have a mostly good record against Wigan, the games have never been easy. I would say my favourite Wigan-Everton fixture from recent years was the 4-0 win in the 2008-09 season. Back then Everton operated without an out-and-out striker, more because of the paucity of quality forwards than anything else, but on-loan Brazilian Jo stepped up with a pair, while midfield stalwarts Osman and Fellaini also got one each in a strong second half display.

How do you feel the weekend's game will be played out? Will you look to come out and attack us and go for all three points and a high scoring game? Can I get you score prediction on the game?

Everton will come out attacking, trying to kill off the game in the first half hour or so. What will unsettle the Blues is an early goal for the home side, so expect Everton to play keep away and hold on to the ball for long periods. Wigan will be in for a very long afternoon if they cannot keep tabs on Jelavic and Fellaini, especially at set pieces. I still have my doubts about Everton's pedigree when playing at hostile away pitches, so I would say a 2-2 draw is on the cards with Jelavic and possibly Osman or Mirallas getting the other.

Now for the Pie Eaters Footie special, what is your favourite flavour of pie?

The folks on the American side of the pond prefer the fruit pies, and I love me a good apple pie too. However, hands down the best ones I've ever had are Mrs. King's delectable pork pies - I make it a point to stop by the Borough Market whenever in London to pick up a few.