Carlo Ancelotti surprised a few by naming such a strong line-up against Fleetwood Town last week – showing his intent for this oft overlooked competition. The manager has never lost to lower league opposition in his illustrious career, and now you can see why.
And with Premier League visitors West Ham United at Goodison next, the question will be whether he continues with a similar team or continues to add yet more current first choice players. However, with a game on Saturday against a decent Brighton & Hove Albion side, fresh legs need to be carefully managed.
It would be surprising to see Allan or James Rodriguez start as they’re still catching up to full fitness, but don’t be surprised if they’re named amongst the subs “in case of emergency”.
There’s no fresh injury news, with Mason Holgate and Jarrod Branthwaite still out, along with long-term absentees Cenk Tosun and Jean-Philippe Gbamin.
Tactics and Formation
It’s the new standard: 4-3-3.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 7/10
Ancelotti was rewarded for playing his first choice goalkeeper last week by seeing him ship two very preventable goals. If Jonas Lössl is ever going to appear for Everton, this will surely be the moment.
Jonjoe Kenny – 9/10
Niels Nkounkou – 9/10
Michael Keane – 9/10
Lucas Digne - 8/10
Ancelotti seems rightfully wary of playing the injury-prone Yerry Mina in the cup, and so with no other fit centre-backs to choose from, Digne could continue in this makeshift role.
Bernard – 8/10
Gylfi Sigurdsson – 9/10
Richarlison – 7/10
Deserves a start after last week’s performance, but with Bernard, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott also to fit in, there’s a chance he may have to settle for the bench.
Alex Iwobi – 7/10
Returned to the Everton squad for a cameo performance at the weekend. Needs minutes and this would be the perfect opportunity, unless Carlo doesn’t think he’s quite ready to start yet.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 9/10
Anthony Gordon – Hopefully picks up some vital minutes again. He’s impressed in the cup thus far but still can’t make the Premier League squad. If he doesn’t play here, let’s hope he’s sent on loan in order to get more game time.
James Rodriguez – To use in case of emergency.