Everton have gone off the boil in the past couple of games and now Frank Lampard has a chance to shuffle the pack with a trip to Bournemouth in the EFL Cup, before facing them again days later in the league.
It’s the perfect time to rotate, so how will the Blues line-up in the first game of this south coast double-header?
A few worries from the weekend.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Idrissa Gana Gueye and Amadou Onana all hobbled off and surely won’t be risked here.
Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey returned to full training last week but that also seems like an unnecessary risk to feature them with the World Cup break just a week away.
Everton’s only long-term injury absentee is Andros Townsend, who should be nearing a return after the World Cup.
EVERTON SQUAD AVAILABLE VS BOURNEMOUTH
Goalkeepers: Pickford, Begovic, Lonergan, Jakupovic
Defenders: Keane, Mina (DOUBT), Godfrey (DOUBT), Tarkowski, Holgate, Coady, Mykolenko, Coleman, Patterson, Vinagre, Welch
Midfielders: Doucoure, Iwobi, Davies, Onana (DOUBT), Gueye (DOUBT), Garner
Wingers: Gray, Gordon,
Townsend (INJURY), McNeil, Mills
Attackers: Calvert-Lewin (DOUBT), Rondon, Maupay, Cannon
Tactics and Formation
Based on Everton’s team selection against Fleetwood in the last round, there’s no doubt that Frank is taking this competition very seriously – as he should.
But, nevertheless, Everton do have a decent amount of depth this year (attacking options aside), so we can expect a raft of changes.
The backline is also tough to choose from. Begovic will probably start in goal, and then Mason Holgate and Michael Keane could well get rare run outs. At full-back, he’ll probably lean towards Nathan Patterson at right-back, although it remains to be seen whether the lesser-spotted Ruben Vinagre will get a start despite not having even made the bench in recent weeks.
In midfield, James Garner should make his first start in a blue shirt, while Tom Davies also deserves another chance having impressed prior to the arrival of Idrissa Gana Gueye. The only real selection dilemma may be whether to bring in Abdoulaye Doucoure for the on-fire Alex Iwobi.
Up front, Neal Maupay will come in for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and then two of Demarai Gray, Anthony Gordon and Dwight McNeil will start.
All-in-all, that could well mean the Blues make up to 10 changes - with just one of the wingers keeping their place in the team.
It’s interesting to note that Stanley Mills, Reece Welch and Thomas Cannon were all hooked off for the u-21s on Sunday with 20 minutes to go – so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them featured in the squad.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Asmir Begovic – 8/10
Nathan Patterson – 7/10
Mason Holgate – 7/10
Michael Keane – 6/10
Ruben Vinagre – 6/10
Tom Davies – 7/10
James Garner – 8/10
Abdoulaye Doucoure – 6/10
Anthony Gordon – 7/10
Neal Maupay – 9/10
Demarai Gray – 7/10
Stanley Mills – Has been on fire the under-21s with four goals in six games and could well feature if the opportunity presents itself.