The restart couldn’t have gone much better for Everton so far.
The Blues held Liverpool at home in the opening game and even had a chance at a winner, before picking up back-to-back wins - albeit with mixed performances - over Norwich City and Leicester City.
But despite an unbeaten run, could – and indeed should – Carlo Ancelotti look to change the set up away to Spurs?
Tactics and Formation
Ancelotti is known for his flexibility when it comes to tactics. He’s a manager that will adapt to what he has, rather than trying to finding players to fit his system.
Indeed, the game against Leicester demonstrated clearly his openness to adapt when needed. Everton lined up in their now typical 4-4-2 at Goodison, but switched to a 4-5-1 after conceding, before seeing the game out with a 5-3-1-1.
The biggest issue facing Everton with a 4-4-2 setup (especially without any defensive midfielders) is the amount of space in the middle of the park.
Ancelotti has deployed “false wingers” in games before now, with Tom Davies sometimes being used as an option on the left of midfield but dropping centrally to keep things tight. That seems like it could be a real option here too.
Of course, Everton could also make the most of having Yerry Mina fit again and completely change the shape by having three centre-backs. This could free up some of Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman’s defensive responsibilities and allow them to roam further up the pitch, reducing the need for wingers and therefore giving the Blues an extra body in the middle.
However, it seems most likely that Ancelotti will stick to the winning formula for now, although don’t be surprised to see Tom Davies on one of the wings.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 10/10
Seamus Coleman – 10/10
Sidibe is fit again, but he is unlikely to displace Seamus Coleman who has returned to form since the restart.
Lucas Digne – 10/10
Michael Keane – 10/10
Mason Holgate - 10/10
Alex Iwobi – 7/10
Iwobi is another player who has found a bit of form since the restart. The only question is whether Carlo may add another central midfielder (e.g. Tom Davies) into the side in order make Everton more compact in the middle.
Anthony Gordon – 7/10
Likewise, you’d expect Gordon to start after his excellent performance last week unless Carlo opts to change the shape.
Andre Gomes – 10/10
Gylfi Sigurdsson – 9/10
Richarlison – 8/10
As long as he’s shaken off the knock he picked up against Leicester, he’ll start here.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 10/10
Djibril Sidibe – Fit again. Outside chance he could start in right midfield, but more likely to be eased back into action from the bench late on.
Yerry Mina – Could feature if Ancelotti reverts to a three-at-the-back as he ended the game against Leicester.
Tom Davies – Could well start in place of one of the wingers if Carlo wants another body in the middle.