Frank Lampard opted to make 11 changes for the midweek cup game at Bournemouth and the Everton players duly responded – by showing why they haven’t been regular starters for the Blues this season.
And it was no youthful line-up. It was a team full of senior players – many who have been at the club for several years.
So, with another trip to the Vitality Stadium straight up, how will Frank line-up his Blues in the last game before the World Cup break?
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is out with a slight hamstring issue, a dislocated shoulder and an ongoing knee injury. That’s right. Hopefully he can get patched up and back to fitness in time for our Boxing Day return.
But Idrissa Gana Gueye and Amadou Onana have been back in training and should be fit to play.
Other than that, only Ben Godfrey and Andros Townsend will be unavailable for this trip, although it’s hoped Godfrey will be ready after the World Cup and Townsend might not be far behind him.
EVERTON SQUAD AVAILABLE VS BOURNEMOUTH
Goalkeepers: Pickford, Begovic, Lonergan, Jakupovic
Defenders: Keane, Mina,
Godfrey (INURY), Tarkowski, Holgate, Coady, Mykolenko, Coleman, Patterson, Vinagre, Welch
Midfielders: Doucoure, Iwobi, Davies, Onana (SLIGHT DOUBT), Gueye (SLIGHT DOUBT), Garner
Wingers: Gray, Gordon,
Townsend (INJURY), McNeil, Mills
Calvert-Lewin (INJURY), Rondon, Maupay, Cannon
Tactics and Formation
I wouldn’t say anyone who started the midweek defeat could say their performance warranted another start at the weekend.
The only player who’ll definitely keep his place is Neal Maupay up front, while Anthony Gordon will probably also start and Nathan Patterson might work his way back in ahead of Seamus Coleman.
Other than that, it should be back to a back four marshalled by the trustworthy Coady and Tarkowski, with Mykolenko at left-back.
In midfield, it will be Iwobi, Gana and Onana – assuming the latter duo are fit enough.
Then, up front, Neal Maupay will be flanked by Demarai Gray and either Anthony Gordon or Dwight McNeil.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 10/10
Nathan Patterson – 6/10
James Tarkowski – 10/10
Conor Coady – 10/10
Vitaliy Mykolenko – 10/10
Idrissa Gana Gueye – 7/10
Alex Iwobi – 10/10
Amadou Onana – 7/10
Anthony Gordon – 8/10
Neal Maupay – 10/10
Demarai Gray – 9/10
Tom Cannon - Rondon was available for the mid-week game and still not selected in the squad, so will the youngster get a look in?