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Everton v Norwich City: Match Preview

After two straight defeats, Roberto Martinez and co. look to the League Cup to improve their faltering form...

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton have a chance to return to winning ways against Norwich City in the League Cup on Tuesday. However, as has so often happened before in this competition, the Blues could easily slip up against the Premier League new boys.

The Opposition

With top flight survival surely the top priority for Alex Neil's side, it could be that they field a weakened side against the Toffees. Indeed, in the last round - against West Brom - the Canaries took the chance to rest several regular starters.

This time round, they may have to contend with the continued absence of Gary Hooper and Youssuf Mulumbu, but have little else to worry about on the injury front. With only two wins in their first ten Premier League games though, Everton shouldn't be too worried about this.

Team News

Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Joel Robles will start in goal, as he has done throughout the competition. However, with Tim Howard looking increasingly out of form in the first team, the Spaniard may look at this as a chance to show himself as an alternative to the American for the Premier League.

Phil Jagielka and Gareth Barry are both ruled out, with injury and suspension respectively. The former is out for at least two months, which means Ramiro Funes Mori is likely to get an extended run in the team after signing in the summer. It also means that someone else will need to be captain, with the dropping of Howard meaning there are few senior players left.

Several players who have been struggling to get game time, such as Leon Osman and Tom Cleverley, may also get a chance in the side.

The Last Word

As the only domestic competition Everton are yet to win and one that is eminently winnable, the team should be looking to take the League Cup seriously. However, as has so often been the case, it is easier said than done.

It took some magic from Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu to beat Reading in the last round, but it may be that the pair are left out this time. Having played on Saturday, and with an important run of easier (on paper) matches coming up they need to stay fresh.

As such, players such as Kevin Mirallas, Arouna Kone, and Steven Naismith may have to lead the line against Norwich. It will be interesting to see if these players are able to hit form against the relegation candidates without having featured often to date.

Everton predicted line-up: Joel, Browning, Galloway, Stones, Funes Mori, McCarthy, Cleverley, Osman, Mirallas, Kone, Naismith