Following Wednesday’s contest, Allan will be added to the ebbing and flowing list of injured players at Finch Farm. Pulling up with what looked to be a severe hamstring injury in the 41st minute, Allan had to be stretchered off the field. Though Ancelotti initially sounded positive in his post-match press conference, the Brazilian midfielder is set to miss an extended period of time.
Despite performing admirably in place of Allan, André Gomes is not a like-for-like replacement at the six. Allan’s work-rate and covering provides Abdoulaye Doucouré the freedom to roam the pitch and offers a safety valve on the defensive end for more attacking-minded players such as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alex Iwobi. With Allan out, Doucouré — who recorded a 100-percent successful tackle rate and 13 clearances against Leicester — will be asked to do more in the defensive third of the field. Here’s to a speedy recovery, Allan.
Clean Sheets and Defense
After conceding two goals to each of West Bromwich Albion (20th at the time), Brighton & Hove Albion (12th) and Fulham (17th), Everton have now kept clean sheets against Chelsea (3rd) and Leicester City (3rd). While the absences of Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne undoubtedly decrease the Toffees’ defensive potency, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate are improving every game at fullback. With Jordan Pickford between the sticks against Chelsea, and Robin Olsen starting at Leicester, Everton goalkeepers have combined for a 100-percent save rate in the past two games, stifling the likes of Olivier Giroud, Timo Werner and Jamie Vardy.
With a hectic holiday period approaching, the new-look back four and goalie tandem will look to continue their strong defensive performances against Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City.
That Infectious Everton Attitude
From September 13th through October 17th, Everton posted a 7–1–0 record, with the lone draw coming in the Merseyside Derby. Prior to the Liverpool draw, in seven games across all competitions, the Toffees scored a total of 24 goals and conceded eight.
Following a frenetic opening to the season, during which time energy and positivity surrounded Goodison, Everton saw their form and results significantly diminish: from October 25th up until December 5th, Ancelotti’s side went 1–1–4, posting a minus-five goal differential.
In desperate need of a win, Everton held at bay a menacing Chelsea attack last weekend and continued their strong play against a Leicester City team with Champions League aspirations. Despite the injury bug still lingering over the squad, smiles abounded in the East Midlands on Wednesday.
The boys in b̶l̶u̶e̶ green. #LEIEVE pic.twitter.com/7ldcYNn0hw— Everton (@Everton) December 16, 2020