Everton head to Huddersfield tomorrow on the back of a relatively good performance against Newcastle United. They finally figured out how to hold the ball for long stretches of play, and the midfield was excellent until Morgan Schneiderlin picked up a dead leg. Unfortunately, all that possession only added up to one shot on target...but it went in, so don’t expect Sam Allardyce to change his lineup, obviously.
Tactics and Formation
This may be the easiest projected 11 we’ve done all season!
The Toffees have utilized the same lineup in the last two matches — an away draw and a home win — so, there’s little reason to think Allardyce will change anything up.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford - 10/10
Seamus Coleman - 10/10
Phil Jagielka - 10/10
Michael Keane - 10/10
Leighton Baines - 10/10
With this backline leading the way, Everton has three clean sheets in its last six matches, giving up more than one goal only one time in that span. Amazing the impact that a return to health of the club’s top full-backs and a commitment to using the club’s two best center-backs has had on the defense, eh?
Morgan Schneiderlin - 9/10
The Frenchman has been undeniably good in recent matches. He had a strong showing against Liverpool and helped Everton limit danger in the midfield against Swansea City and Newcastle United. He’s making his case to be at the forefront of the central midfield discussion for next season, and it should come as no surprise that his best performances have come while paired with the following player.
Idrissa Gueye - 10/10
Gana and Schneiderlin are a excellent pair when both players are on. Schneiderlin sits deep, provides defensive stability, and facilitates movement from defense to attack — while Gueye is a ball-winning machine and a capable secondary distributor. These two showed last season what they can do together, and we’re getting a brief reminder at the end of 2017-18.
Wayne Rooney - 8/10
Gana and Morgan would look even better with a competent No. 10 in front of them. Sadly, Gylfi Sigurdsson is still hurt, so they’re likely to get slapped with Wayne Rooney again. The Englishman has had some solid performances in midfield this year, but they’ve been fewer and further between of late, and he just doesn’t seem to have any chemistry with a Gana/Schneiderlin pairing.
Big Sam probably should give Davy Klasseen or Nikola Vlasic a shot in this role in front of those two players, but knowing him, he won’t.
Yannick Bolasie - 8/10
Few regularly-used players are suffering more under Sam Allardyce than Yala. He’s had moments of brilliance in the attacking third — look no further than his play to set up Everton’s only goal on Monday.
But Big Sam has had his wingers sitting so deep in recent weeks — something that the Congolese winger simply isn’t equipped to do. He clearly offers more going forward in wide positions than Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Sam seems to recognize that as he keeps getting starts. But, it’d be even better for him if he got to regularly attack.
Theo Walcott - 10/10
His offensive contributions have dipped after a blazing start as a Toffee, but his goal against Newcastle last week was another reason to feel good about the signing. Hopefully next season he’ll get a chance to really show what he can do in attack, rather than often being used as an auxiliary full-back.
Cenk Tosun - 9/10
Tosun has been good when Everton has had the ball. He’s a competent option in the buildup, bringing substantially better distributive qualities than any other striker at the club — and obviously he’s been pretty reliable in front of goal as well.
His “struggles” of late more coincide with Allardyce’s increasingly conservative tactics, so we see no reason why he’ll get benched.
- Joel Robles
- Cuco Martina
- Ramiro Funes Mori
- Beni Baningime
- Tom Davies
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin
- Oumar Niasse
There are a few injury questions that the Blues need to deal with before kickoff - Schneiderlin, Baines, and Calvert-Lewin are all trying to work around various knocks, but none sound overly concerning. Expect them to be fit, and expect Everton to help you take your Saturday nap, as usual.