The Blues will remember the Imps well, having played and beaten them 2-1 in the Third Round of the FA Cup last season, but that game was at Goodison Park. Marco Silva remembers them well, and has indicated that he will play as full strength a side as he is able to field, with Jean-Philippe Gbamin the only player out of contention.
Most of the question marks center around the middle of the park with Gbamin’s absence and Andre Gomes’ abysmal day last Friday at Villa Park. Upfront, the Blues have scored only once in 270 minutes of Premier League football, and the Blues have looked just as toothless as last season despite monster possession numbers.
Tactics and Formation
It’ll be wrong to say that the Imps are definitely the same side as last season, as they won League Two and added a couple of new faces that gives them better options in the middle and in attack.
The hosts have been much more of a possession side this season, but might not necessarily choose to do the same against the Blues’ press, and will likely mass ranks much like Villa did last weekend.
Lincoln City scored against Everton from a freekick and continue to count setpieces as their strength as Silva observed earlier during his press conference. That might remain their best chance at getting a goal, especially having seen how the Blues had faltered away at Millwall last season in the FA Cup.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford - 10/10
Leighton Baines - 6/10
Silva could look to give the Frenchman a break, and get Leighton Baines some playing time early this season.
Yerry Mina - 10/10
Michael Keane - 10/10
The Blues are desperately short of backup options in the middle, and knowing how strong the Imps are from setpieces means Silva should maintain his centrehalf pairing.
Djibril Sidibe - 6/10
The new signing has been fit and training, having undergone a full preseason with Monaco before joining the Blues.
Morgan Schneiderlin - 10/10
Schneiderlin was one of the few who were not abjectly awful against Villa, and with Gbamin out for the new future, he’ll keep his spot shielding the defence.
Fabian Delph - 9/10
Silva insists that he sees Delph as best utilized right in the centre circle, and now that he’s fit again, should give him his first start where he can be most useful to the Blues, threading all the play together.
Tom Davies - 8/10
The youngster has yet to get a chance to play this season, but it’ll come tomorrow, with Silva also rolling out a proper 4-3-3 formation with Davies marauding up front and harassing the Imps into giving up the ball in dangerous areas.
Alex Iwobi - 9/10
The forward immediately sparked the Blues when he came on against Villa, and looked very dangerous, getting off a snapshot that came back off the post. Silva will let him loose on the left against Lincoln City.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin - 7/10
This is going to be a very, very unpopular decision but Silva is going to give DCL yet another chance to start. His workrate might yield better results against lower league opposition, but he likely only starts because Moise Kean is still building up his fitness after not getting much of a preseason with Juventus this summer.
Richarlison - 10/10
The Brazilian has been in poor nick so far, and it might be because he didn’t get too much rest in the summer. Either way, Silva is going to let him play his way out of the slump.
The Blues should have enough quality to easily overcome Lincoln City, but confidence is everything and right now Everton don’t have much of it.