Everton travel to Wales tomorrow with an eye on keeping their semi-decent away form intact. There isn’t much left to play for this season, but slaying the road bogeyman before rolling into next year could prove crucial.
Neither Gylfi Sigurdsson or Ashley Williams (most likely) will be in the team to face their former club, but how could the Blues line up after a yawn-inducing derby draw?
Tactics and Formation
Allardyce hasn’t tended to change things up for matches against less-talented opponents since taking over at Everton, and Swansea certainly fits into that category. Though the Toffees have continued to struggle away from Goodison Park, Sam Allardyce (like Ronald Koeman and David Unsworth before him) just doesn’t seem to have any answers.
So, we think it’ll be a relatively predictable lineup and setup, when taking into consideration the players who are not available or are typically excluded.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford - 10/10
Seamus Coleman - 10/10
Phil Jagielka - 9/10
Michael Keane - 9/10
Keane and Jagielka have proven pretty clearly to be the team’s best center-back pairing over the last month, with a strong performance against Liverpool aiding the team’s bounce back following the Manchester City match. Expect Big Sam to look to them again.
Leighton Baines - 10/10
Tom Davies - 7/10
Davies was not good against Liverpool, but we just don’t think that Allardyce will go back to Morgan Schneiderlin a third time in a row, especially given he’s presumably going to need an attacking presence against a defense-minded Swansea team.
Idrissa Gueye - 9/10
As long as Gana is back to 100% health, he’ll start this one.
Wayne Rooney - 7/10
Like Davies, Rooney did not have a good Merseyside Derby, as he wandered through a pretty purposeless performance, then threw a fit when he was subbed off. But, with Gylfi Sigurdsson out and Nikola Vlasic presumably locked up in Big Sam’s basement, he remains the obvious choice.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin - 7/10
Yannick Bolasie, as is his trademark, has been hit and miss over the last month or so, and Calvert-Lewin provided good energy in his substitute’s appearance against Liverpool. We think, with some doubt, that Allardyce will bring the English striker in on the left wing for this one.
Theo Walcott - 10/10
Cenk Tosun - 10/10
- Joel Robles
- Cuco Martina
- Ramiro Funes Mori
- Beni Baningime
- Morgan Schneiderlin
- Yannick Bolasie
- Oumar Niasse
This is a game that Everton should win. They have more talent and more depth than an extremely middling Swansea side. It’s a game they can attack, despite being on the road. Will they? Probably not, but we can dream.