Everton head back to Bournemouth for their final game before the World Cup break seeking a morale-boosting win after a disastrous defeat against the same opposition in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.
A much-changed Toffees side was thrashed 4-1 by an equally weakened Cherries team to spark panic and fury among the supporters.
It was a familiarly grim tale for a fanbase worn down by waves of disappointment over the years. You have to feel for those travelling Blues who made the 350+ mile round trip to the south coast.
Another defeat on Saturday would make it five Premier League defeats in seven, leaving Everton perilously close to the relegation zone for at least five weeks until the Premier League resumes on Boxing Day. Win however and they will be catapulted into mid-table, allowing people to breathe much easier during the break.
Of course, there is no need to panic either way. But Lampard has invited pressure onto himself with his team selection in midweek and the subsequent poor result.
The one positive is that those players who have been knocking on Lampard’s door demanding a chance have shown exactly why they have been out of favour.
They nearly got Everton relegated last season. It is highly unlikely they will be given another chance.
Bournemouth will take on the Toffees boosted by Tuesday’s result, which ended a run of four straight Premier League defeats - two of which came despite holding 2-0 leads.
Gary O’Neil remains in interim charge, though there are rumours of a permanent replacement during the World Cup break, with Marcelo Bielsa mentioned as a possible candidate.
They go into Saturday’s game in 17th place, one place and one point behind Everton. But a win could lift them as high as 11th.
Let’s not go there again.
Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana have been passed fit after recovering from injuries picked up during last weekend’s defeat against Leicester.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin misses out though after being forced off against the Foxes with a hamstring strain.
Yerry Mina is available after coming through the midweek game unscathed, but Ben Godfrey is not ready for a return despite resuming training and Andros Townsend won’t be fit until after the break.
What they said
Everton manager Frank Lampard: “It’s a blank sheet. There will be different teams for both of us and it’s a different competition. Of course, we will make changes and Bournemouth will, too.
“In terms of ourselves, we’re going back to a stadium where we didn’t perform well enough [on Tuesday]. We have to take that as a collective and put it right. It would be really nice to go into a big break for the World Cup with a win. There’s no doubt.
“It’s important to be resilient constantly and understand the process of where we want to get to.
“It’s a season where you can get three points and be a point or goal difference away from the top half of the table. We will push to try to get a result at the weekend, then everyone then goes home with a bit of positivity, and the table will look better.”
Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neil: “I think it will be a very different game. I think they will bring a different team and will be in a different system. I still hope we come out on top but I expect it to feel very different.
“They made 11 changes and we made nine. Neither side wanted to give too much away tactically so I don’t think it will have any bearing.
“Everton are a very good side and to make 11 changes and be able to name a team as strong as they did shows how strong their squad is. It’s going to be another difficult game for us.”
The feel-good factor from the Crystal Palace win has all but obliterated with the midweek result. And while it is important not panic, a win here would make everyone rest so much easier over the World Cup break.