Unbeaten Everton are back in action on Saturday, as they pay a visit to a Brighton & Hove Albion side that have made a flying start to the season.
Optimism for the boys in Blue has started to return to the Everton faithful after a torrid summer, but with the futures of Richarlison, James Rodriguez and Moise Kean all far from certain, Everton need to do everything they can on the pitch to keep spirits up.
There is some good news on this front as the Everton ‘Quarantine V’ are back in training.
There are a few unsurprising absentees, though. Moise Kean is suspended after his midweek red card, James Rodriguez isn’t fit enough yet and Fabian Delph is, well... Fabian Delph (injured again apparently, according to Rafa Benitez).
However, Ben Godfrey is back available, while Jean-Philippe Gbamin is also available for selection after making his second start for the club in midweek. After the midweek game Rafa seemed to indicate that both Alex Iwobi and Tom Davies had picked up injuries in that game but didn’t have any new updates today.
Tactics and Formation
Rafa has continued to tinker and experiment in the club’s early games. After starting with a 4-2-3-1 against Southampton, he switched to a 4-4-2 with great success at half-time.
The 4-4-2 then remained in place against Leeds, before he switched to a back three for the cup clash against Huddersfield.
What will he go for here? That’s anyone’s guess although a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-4-2 seems most likely.
Starters (likelihood of starting out of 10)
Jordan Pickford - 10/10
Seamus Coleman - 10/10
Lucas Digne - 10/10
Yerry Mina - 8/10
Mina excelled against Leeds United and will surely keep his place here.
Ben Godfrey - 7/10
Godfrey should be first-choice, but he may be deemed not fit enough to start after missing 10 days through quarantine.
Allan - 10/10
Abdoulaye Doucoure - 10/10
Andros Townsend - 7/10
Has had some bright moments, but Alex Iwobi is also finding a bit of form.
Demarai Gray - 8/10
Richarlison - 9/10
If Richie doesn’t start, we can assume he’s busy packing his bags for Paris.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin - 10/10
Jean-Philippe Gbamin - looked a bit rusty midweek in his first start in over two years.
Lewis Dobbin - could be a chance for the youngster with Kean suspended