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Everton at Sheffield United: Projected XI | Not much to pick from here...

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The Blues’ injury list seems to grow by the game as they head to Bramall Lane for their final away match of the season

Everton FC v Sheffield United - Premier League
Sheffield United beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park in September
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Everton travel to Sheffield United on Monday in a game that is largely meaningless to the Blues other than pride.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men can no longer finish in the top half, meaning the best they can hope for is to hold on to their current position of 11th.

With the Blades still harbouring Europa League ambitions, they’re sure to be raring to go for this one, though.

How might Everton line up against a side who already beat them at Goodison Park this season?

Tactics and Formation

As every man and his dog knows by now, Blades boss Chris Wilder sticks religiously to his 3-5-2 formation, and why shouldn’t he when it’s helped take Sheffield United from League One to European football contenders?

At Goodison in September, the Blades sat back and stifled Everton, wearing them down before hitting them where it hurts, first from a first-half corner and then from a breakaway late in the second period.

We may see Wilder’s men adopt a more front-foot approach here, given they have home advantage (Sheff Utd have won their last four home games including beating Tottenham, Wolves and Chelsea). How might Everton combat it, then?

Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)

Jordan Pickford - 9/10

I called for Joao Virginia last time out since Pickford’s form just isn’t good enough for him to merit keeping his place. But the England number one still started against Aston Villa, so will probably be between the sticks again here.

Lucas Digne - 9/10

Jarrad Branthwaite - 9/10

He and Michael Keane seem almost certain to partner each other. Everton’s only other two centre-backs, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate, were ruled out for the rest of the season by Ancelotti on Saturday.

Michael Keane - 10/10

Seamus Coleman - 9/10

Anthony Gordon - 8/10

Bizarrely dropped against Villa for Bernard, who did nothing. Gordon has been one of Everton’s most impressive players since the restart. Get him back in the team.

Beni Baningime - 6/10

Beat this horse to death by now, but Baningime, who didn’t even make the bench against Villa, is genuinely Everton’s only defensive midfielder available for this game. Probably won’t happen, but should, in my opinion.

Tom Davies - 8/10

Marginally better against Villa, but gets the vote here because Gylfi Sigurdsson can’t run and André Gomes has played too much football for a man who recently returned from a serious injury.

Richarlison - 10/10

Dominic Calvert-Lewin - 9/10

Moise Kean - 7/10

Another who needs to start to give a better indication of what he can do. Hasn’t made an impact as a substitute in virtually every game this season that he’s come off the bench.

Bench

Joao Virginia - can we at least stop with two goalkeepers on the bench, please?

Leighton Baines

Djibril Sidibé

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Dennis Adeniran - because, again, at this stage, why not?

Theo Walcott

Alex Iwobi

Bernard

Ellis Simms - Everton will need a back-up striker if Kean, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison all start. At this point, why not at least include Simms in the 20-man squad?