On the heels of an indescribably stupid loss, Everton head south to London for their first meeting against the top 6 this season. Arsenal aren’t exactly firing on all cylinders, and they played in the Europa League on Thursday.
It’s still Arsenal, though, and the Blues will need to be at their very best to get a result at the Emirates. How might they line up?
Tactics and Formation
The Toffees are still a while away from having a full complement of players, but Richarlison returns this week, providing a huge boost to Marco Silva.
There’s no reason to think the general setup for Silva will change — still a 4-3-3, just with Richarlison capable of creating more havoc than any of his replacements down the left. His return is obviously something big to watch for.
We’re keeping an eye on another part of Silva’s tactics though — can he find a way to get Gylfi Sigurdsson more involved in the attack? Richarlison’s presence could help to spread the field and create more space in the central channel, where the Toffees have generated almost no offense so far this season.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford - 10/10
Lucas Digne - 9/10
Digne has been one of the lone bright spots in Everton’s last two matches, and it seems all but assured that he’s planted himself firmly ahead of Leighton Baines at left-back.
Mason Holgate - 9/10
Kurt Zouma - 10/10
The Holgate/Zouma pairing had its good moments before last weekend’s horror show against West Ham United. Holgate was surely more at fault than Zouma, but with Yerry Mina now waiting in the wings and Michael Keane presumably not too far behind him, both of these guys are playing to prove they deserve a spot going forward.
Jonjoe Kenny - 10/10
Idrissa Gueye - 10/10
He’ll definitely start, but we can’t help but wonder about his usage going forward. He was asked too frequently to be a distributor last week, even before Morgan Schneiderlin departed the match. Can Silva figure out a way to get the most out of him?
Morgan Schneiderlin - 10/10
Schneiderlin’s looked much improved after a rough go last season, but again, his role in Silva’s midfield seems unclear.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - 10/10
Theo Walcott - 10/10
Richarlison - 10/10
Cenk Tosun - 8/10
With Richarlison back in the lineup, Silva has the option to use Dominic Calvert-Lewin as his starting striker — or even to throw Richarlison up top himself. We don’t suspect it’s quite time for that move yet, but it remains a possibility given the Turkish striker’s struggles.
Yerry Mina - He’s been training with the squad for the past week, and the Toffees may well ask him to be the savior of the defense very soon. But, it’s probably a little too early to thrust him directly into the starting lineup.
Bernard - Could Bernard threaten Theo Walcott for the wide position opposite Richarlison? Based on a small sample size, it looks as though he could at least have a shot — we’re interested to see how Silva plans to use him going forward.
There are, feasibly, some changes that Marco Silva could make, particularly in attack, where Bernard is pushing on the door and Cenk Tosun has one foot out of it. Realistically, though, it seems the team is pretty set. What would you do?