Despite a seemingly bleak summer, Everton have hit the road running in 2021/22.
The Blues had a similarly positive start last season, but frays began to appear after the first international break.
So, can Rafa Benitez maintain Everton’s unbeaten start to the season against the type of side that caused the Blues so many problems at Goodison last season?
Are you ready for the long list of absentees for Everton? Fabian Delph.
But that doesn’t mean everyone is at 100% just yet. Namely James Rodriguez who only returned to training this week after doing whatever he’s been doing. Rafa’s tone certainly isn’t warm in regards to James, so it’s doubtful he’ll even make the bench at this stage.
In especially good news, Seamus Coleman should be fit despite picking up a minor hamstring injury on international duty, while Salomon Rondon is ready to join the matchday squad and provide some much-needed cover for Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey have been training as well while Tom Davies is close to a return too.
Tactics and Formation
The Blues have done well with a mixture of 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 this season, so while the formation and positions may adapt a bit, we can be pretty confident how the team will line-up, aside from at centre-back, with Ben Godfrey likely to get his first start of the season and will mostly likely line up alongside Yerry Mina or Michael Keane.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 10/10
Seamus Coleman – 8/10
Lucas Digne – 10/10
Ben Godfrey – 9/10
Yerry Mina – 7/10
It’s surely a toss-up between Mina and Keane to start alongside Godfrey. Mina has looked more solid so far this season so we expect him to get the nod.
Allan – 9/10
Abdoulaye Doucoure – 9/10
Andros Townsend – 8/10
Demarai Gray – 10/10
Richarlison – 10/10
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 10/10
Tom Davies - Maybe James makes the bench if Davies is not fully fit and Rafa thinks the superstar can play 20-30 minutes late on.