It would not be too much of a stretch to refer to tomorrow’s match at Burnley as Everton’s most important of the season. The Blues sit just three points behind the Clarets for 7th place and a potential place in the Europa League...again.
Everton also have the third easiest schedule remaining, and given that they’ve already played Leicester City twice, this represents their best chance to make a final move up the table. How might they line up?
Tactics and Formation
We actually managed to successfully predict all 11 starters in Saturday’s game against Watford. We didn’t particularly like the lineup, but we were pretty confident that it was what Sam Allardyce would go with after victory against Crystal Palace.
After the miserable performance against Watford, things are less clear. We know what we would do, but we are not Big Sam — thankfully. Our best guess is that there will be a substantial, but not total reshuffle.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford - 10/10
Seamus Coleman - 8/10
Big Sam indicated in his presser that Coleman is back in contention, which means he should start this one.
Michael Keane - 9/10
He’s gotten consecutive starts the past two matches — has he finally staked a permanent claim to a top center-back spot?
Phil Jagielka - 6/10
We originally thought Ramiro Funes Mori would take this spot, but Allardyce confirmed the Argentine is not quite ready for a return to the first team. Our best bet then is Jagielka, but it could be Ashley Williams or Mason Holgate without too much surprise either.
Leighton Baines - 8/10
Hopefully, we can at least look forward to a return from injury for the long-time Everton left-back.
Morgan Schneiderlin - 7/10
He’s gotten looks off the bench in the last two matches (though Watford’s goal forced a change in Big Sam’s plans last weekend), and we think he’ll return to the starting lineup after Saturday’s lifeless team performance.
Idrissa Gueye - 9/10
Tom Davies - 7/10
This position was the subject of the most consideration among the Projected XI team. Wayne Rooney wasn’t good last week, and Big Sam has a ludicrous aversion to playing Gylfi Sigurdsson in his actual position, so that left us with Davies.
Yannick Bolasie - 7/10
After a lifeless attacking display, the introduction of the Congolese winger seems to make sense.
Theo Walcott - 10/10
Cenk Tosun - 6/10
We wouldn’t be surprised by Tosun, Oumar Niasse, or Dominic Calvert-Lewin starting this game. Sam has completely botched things in the striker rotation since Tosun’s arrival — but surely the Turk will get another chance as a starter...right?
- Joel Robles
- Jonjoe Kenny
- Ashley Williams
- Gylfi Sigurdsson
- Wayne Rooney
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin
- Oumar Niasse
Thanks to the Watford debacle, the Blues could be in for a big shake-up tomorrow. Of course, we’re sure it won’t be so big that Davy Klaassen or Nikola Vlasic receive a chance to play. That would just be silly.
As has been happening more than once in recent weeks, the lineup has been leaked well ahead of the game. It appears that’s happened again, with a different Everton site this week claiming they know who starts tomorrow.
Everton team for tomorrow. Pickford, Baines, Keane, Williams, Coleman. Sigurdsson, Davies, Rooney, Gueye, Walcott, Niasse.— FollowEverton (@followeverton) March 2, 2018