Another international break has been and gone, but Everton still aren’t getting a break on the injury front.
Following a positive start to the season, the Blues have hit a very rough patch of form and now face a torrid fixture list that sees the Blues face Manchester City, Brentford, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea in the run up to Christmas. Whew.
So how will Rafa line up his side with no-one fancying the Blues on their trip to Manchester?
Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure are still several weeks from a full recovery. Yerry Mina’s still out, as is Andre Gomes, while Tom Davies also joins them on the sidelines.
Mason Holgate’s red card against Spurs also means Everton are relying on just Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey at centre-half, which could present an opportunity for a youngster such as Jarrad Branthwaite or Reece Welch on the bench.
Likewise, with Davies, Gomes and Doucoure, an opportunity to return to the first team squad may arrive for Tyler Onyango, who’s seen his minutes building up for the under-23s recently after a nasty ankle break last season.
In short, Everton don’t have too many options – especially from the bench.
Tactics and Formation
A deep-lying 4-2-3-1 looking to play on the counter seems to be Everton’s only option against Man City, who destroyed the Blues 5-0 in this fixture last season.
4-2-3-1 has been the primary setup this season although there is a few mumblings among the Blues faithful that Everton get overrun in midfield when Abdoulaye Doucoure is absent. There’s a chance, therefore that the Blues could shift to a 4-3-3 and add an extra body in central midfield.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 10/10
Seamus Coleman – 10/10
Lucas Digne – 10/10
Ben Godfrey – 10/10
Michael Keane – 10/10
Allan – 10/10
Fabian Delph – 8/10
Been fantastic the last two matches – but you just never know when his next injury is coming.
Andros Townsend – 10/10
Demarai Gray – 10/10
Anthony Gordon – 8/10
Shold start, but Alex Iwobi is always a likelihood for some (strange) reason.
Richarlison – 10/10