Everton are well and truly into the home stretch of the season now, with little left to play for except pride and a very slim chance at 7th place. Marco Silva has Yerry Mina available again, while there could be reason to change things up in attack. How might the Blues line up?
Tactics and Formation
Crystal Palace was happy to concede possession to Everton last week, challenging the Toffees to break down their low block. With Burnley coming to Goodison Park, you better believe it’ll be more of the same this week.
Given the struggles Marco Silva’s side had against a similar opponent last week, we suspect that Silva might make at least one change to his lineup, in order to best position it to find a way to convert possession into legitimate scoring chances.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford - 10/10
Lucas Digne - 10/10
Kurt Zouma - 10/10
Michael Keane - 10/10
Everton has a clean sheet in seven out of its last nine matches. Seven out of nine! To say that Michael Keane has had a bounce-back year would be an understatement — over the last two months, he’s helmed the stingiest defense outside of the title race. He’s got a legitimate chance to be a starter for England in the UEFA Nations League playoffs this summer, and has been among Everton’s most important players this season.
Seamus Coleman - 10/10
Morgan Schneiderlin - 8/10
Everton’s problem against Crystal Palace had essentially nothing to do with Morgan Schneiderlin (or Idrissa Gueye, for that matter) — the issue was in final-third execution.
We think Silva will also see things that way and leave the Frenchman in the starting lineup during the final game of Andre Gomes’ suspension, but it isn’t entirely out of the question that he throws Tom Davies and his shiny new contract on instead to get more numbers up the pitch.
Idrissa Gueye - 10/10
Gylfi Sigurdsson - 10/10
Richarlison - 10/10
Bernard - 10/10
Cenk Tosun - 6/10
There was a little dissension in the PXI ranks this week over who we think Marco Silva will start at striker. Chris leans toward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Adam leans toward Cenk Tosun — though we both think it’s pretty close to a toss-up. But Adam writes this section, so Adam wins this argument.
DCL struggled against Palace last week, and generally hasn’t been the guy who can help break down deep-lying opponents. We both want to see Cenk get the start in this one — it’s just a matter of whether or not Silva will see things the same way.
Phil Jagielka - Yerry Mina is now fit, according to Marco Silva, but we think the manager may still play it safe with the Colombian, given his extensive injury troubles this season. Not to mention Silva might be on the lookout for a chance to give Phil Jagielka a late curtain call in this one, given that this could well be his last match at Goodison Park.
If there’s any hope of Europe, both of Everton’s remaining matches must be won. No ifs, ands, or buts. What lineup would you play to get the job done?