Can it be so, that Everton are magic once again?
Four wins from four and being top of the league is nice.
But five wins from five, being top of the league and conquering our all-dominant neighbours might put a few pacemakers to the test considering where we were just three months ago.
This is the litmus test of Everton 2.0: Ancelotti Edition.
Want some good news?
Allan is available. Richarlison is available. Andre Gomes is available. Seamus Coleman is available. Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne are available despite picking up knocks on international duty.
Only long-term absentees Cenk Tosun, Jonjoe Kenny, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite miss out.
Aside from perhaps Holgate, therefore, Mr Ancelotti has a full-strength team to choose from, including new signing Ben Godfrey.
Tactics and Formation
It’s gonna be 4-3-3. It’s gonna be Allan sitting. And you know what the front three are gonna look like.
But what about midfield? Well, Allan’s back. So the holding position it sorted. Doucoure will line up on the right of the midfield three. The only real question is who will slot into the LCM position: Gomes, Sigurdsson or Davies? Gomes has been the preferred choice when available so far, so let’s expect that to continue.
At the back, there’s also one question. Stick with Yerry Mina or throw new signing, Ben Godfrey, in for a baptism of fire in order to add some pace to deal with the threats from the likes of Mane, Firmino and Salah.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 10/10
Seamus Coleman – 10/10
Lucas Digne – 10/10
Michael Keane – 10/10
Ben Godfrey - 7/10
I’m leaning towards the new signing here in order to inject some pace into the backline. But it could absolutely be Yerry Mina too.
Allan – 10/10
Abdoulaye Doucoure – 10/10
Andre Gomes 8/10
Could be Sigurdsson or Davies too, but Gomes has been Ancelotti’s preferred option so far.
Richarlison – 10/10
James Rodriguez – 10/10
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 10/10
Robin Olsen – New goalkeeper should make the bench.
Niels Nkounkou – With Digne picking up a knock on international duty, the young Frenchman may make the squad again to provide cover.
Yerry Mina – It’ll be Mina or Godfrey on the bench.
Tom Davies – Also possible to see Fabian Delph, but Davies performed well against Brighton.
Bernard – Would like to see Anthony Gordon, but competition is rife in this Everton squad. Also an outside chance of young Ellis Simms making the squad, with Moise Kean having departed.