Everton host Brighton tomorrow at Goodison Park in a match that the Blues really need to win if they fancy themselves as the “best of the rest” in the Premier League. Brighton rest at 11th in the table, but just one point behind Everton despite the talent disparity.
The Toffees have looked a bit stagnant in attack recently, so is it time for a re-shuffle of personnel?
Tactics and Formation
Silva stuck with an unchanged side against Manchester United last weekend, despite a relatively underwhelming performance against Crystal Palace the week prior. The same group struggled to convert its chances against United, so we expect there will be some changes against Brighton.
That said, the situation out wide and up top remains as fluid as ever, and while these are our best guesses, there are at least two realistic options on both wings and at striker.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford - 10/10
Lucas Digne - 10/10
Michael Keane - 9/10
Kurt Zouma - 7/10
Zouma hasn’t done anything wrong to warrant an increased chance of benching this week — it’s simply about the circumstance. After the BHA match, Everton heads to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea — Zouma’s parent club, against whom he’ll be ineligible.
There’s an argument to be made, then, that Yerry Mina should get a chance to get familiar with Michael Keane before he presumably gets thrust alongside him against Chelsea. We don’t think Silva will ultimately follow through on that idea, but it’s certainly possible.
Seamus Coleman - 10/10
Idrissa Gueye - 10/10
Andre Gomes - 9/10
Gomes has looked good so far, and it’s hard to imagine any reason he’d come out of the lineup at this point. But, only two matches into his healthy tenure, we’ll leave a sliver of a chance that he gets a rest or replaced here.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - 10/10
Ademola Lookman - 6/10
CHANGE ALERT. (maybe) Theo Walcott has been a little underwhelming in his last few matches (though the extent of the criticism of him has been overblown), while Ade has looked quite lively off the bench. We give him the slight edge on Walcott as it stands now, but any of he, Walcott, and Bernard could feasibly start.
Richarlison - 10/10
The Brazilian will definitely start somewhere. We think Marco pushes him over to the left wing this week — but we thought he’d do the same against United, so what do we know.
Cenk Tosun - 5/10
We remain as uncertain as ever about who will start at striker. For the second straight week, we lean toward Tosun, while acknowledging that DCL or Richarlison could easily be the one to lead the line.
What say you, Blues? Should Marco Silva leave Richarlison up top, or bring in Yerry Mina?