Goodison Park will play host to the final match before the winter transfer window closes, as Everton take on the Foxes of Leicester City. With the tilt on deadline day itself, Sam Allardyce and company are left with no time to evaluate the squad and potential needs based on this performance.
Luke Garbutt seems set to make his first senior appearance in ages, while Seamus Coleman is finally welcomed back into the side. Let’s line ‘em up.
Tactics and Formation
We don’t suspect that Sam Allardyce has any big surprises up his sleeve for the rest of the season in terms of tactics. Against a fellow mid-table opponent, it should be a pretty familiar 4-3-3.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford - 10/10
Jonjoe Kenny - 10/10
Phil Jagielka - 7/10
Michael Keane - 7/10
With two matches in a week, it seems likely that Big Sam will use all four of his center-backs across the two games. We think it’ll be Keane / Jagielka in this one, then Holgate / Williams against Arsenal, but it could conceivably go in the opposite order as well.
Luke Garbutt - 7/10
Allardyce confirmed that Garbutt has been added to the squad, which makes it plausible that he starts at left-back on Wednesday.
Morgan Schneiderlin - 7/10
The big question with Schneiderlin is less internal competition for his spot, and more a potential move away from Everton. Rumors of West Ham United interest are swirling, and given Big Sam’s evident interest in Steven N’Zonzi, it is possible that Allardyce looks to swap one Frenchman for another.
We’ve got doubts about the legitimacy of such a move, but we cannot totally rule it out either.
Idrissa Gueye - 9/10
Gylfi Sigurdsson - 9/10
The Icelander, we think, will still be the preferred creative central force, relegating Wayne Rooney to the bench. The presence of two first-team quality wingers in the side should keep Sigurdsson in the middle going forward.
Yannick Bolasie - 8/10
We were a little surprised that Yala didn’t start alongside Walcott and Tosun against West Brom before this mini-break. We think he will this time around, but that exclusion is still lingering in our minds.
Theo Walcott - 9/10
Only one thing could keep Walcott out of this match — a desire to keep him fresh ahead of a trip to his former club, Arsenal.
Cenk Tosun - 8/10
If Allardyce wants to rotate his strikers in the club’s two matches this week, it seems more likely that he’d use Dominic Calvert-Lewin here than at Arsenal over the weekend. Still, we think Tosun will start both matches.
- Joel Robles
- Ashley Williams
- Seamus Coleman - Surely it’s too early for Coleman to make a return to the starting XI, but a 20-30 minute appearance off the bench, depending on the state of the match, certainly isn’t out of the question.
- Tom Davies
- Nikola Vlasic - We’re never quite sure which of Nikola Vlasic or Ademola Lookman will get this spot on the bench. Vlasic started last week, so you’d think he’s ahead in the depth chart — but also struggled in that match.
- Wayne Rooney
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Theo Walcott enjoyed a productive debut last time out, but Everton could really stand for Cenk Tosun to get off the mark. Elsewhere, it’ll be interesting to see which of Tom Davies or Beni Baningime get the call to replace James McCarthy in the matchday squad (sorry, Muhamed).
How would you line Everton up tomorrow?