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Projected XI: Everton vs. Fulham

Welcome back, Cottagers.

Fulham v Everton - Premier League Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Everton welcome Fulham back to Goodison Park for the first time in quite awhile, and frankly, the Blues need a win. Fulham’s defense isn’t very good, which represents an opportunity for Everton to get their attack back on track after not scoring at the Emirates.

How might Marco Silva line the lads up?

Tactics and Formation

Last week’s tactics against Arsenal were pretty simple — press high, play long, and avoid the midfield.

Against Fulham, that seems likely to change, especially if the Cottagers elect to play a 5-2-3 at Goodison Park this weekend. The Gylfi Sigurdsson / Morgan Schneiderlin / Idrissa Gueye midfield trio should be able to overrun any three-man midfield Fulham trots out, so against a two-man midfield, Silva’s decisions should be even more straightforward.

So, after a few surprises in the lineup last week, we anticipate that it’ll be back to the more traditional approach.

Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)

Jordan Pickford - 10/10

Lucas Digne - 9/10

Digne and Leighton Baines are likely to split this week’s matches, you’d suspect. But, Fulham presents a greater offensive threat than Southampton, so Digne is the likely starter this weekend.

Michael Keane - 9/10

Kurt Zouma - 9/10

Keane and Zouma combined for only one major mistake last week against Arsenal. It led to the Gunners’ second goal, which ultimately should have been called offside.

Yerry Mina suffered an injury setback, and these two are ultimately going to be battling for the regular starting place alongside him going forward anyway. It’s hard to see Mason Holgate getting the call over either of them at this stage.

Jonjoe Kenny - 10/10

Idrissa Gueye - 10/10

Morgan Schneiderlin - 8/10

Silva replaced Schneiderlin with Tom Davies last week, and it was a move that made sense given Silva’s plan to high press. That said, Davies is still an absolute black hole in possession, and his passing numbers prove it.

We don’t think Silva goes back to the high press again this week, hence re-inserting Schneiderlin. But, if pressing high remains the plan, we’d expect Davies again.

Gylfi Sigurdsson - 10/10

Theo Walcott - 10/10

Richarlison - 10/10

Cenk Tosun - 7/10

Like Schneiderlin, Tosun was dropped against Arsenal for a younger and quicker, but less technically gifted player. Like Schneiderlin, we also believe Tosun gets his place back — but his performance in his last start gives him a substantially shorter leash than Schneiderlin.

Bench

Maarten Stekelenburg

Mason Holgate

Leighton Baines

Tom Davies

Bernard

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Oumar Niasse


Maybe Richarlison will start at striker. Maybe Bernard will start, too, or maybe Marco has a wild card up his sleeve. Either way, we know something stupid will end up happening. We’re Everton, after all.