It’s been on the cards for a while, but Everton slipped into the relegation zone for the first time this season – and with just six games to go. Urgh.
Three points are urgently required. And although a visit from Chelsea may not seem ideal on the face of it, the Blues do have an excellent recent home record against Frank’s former side. Everton have won the last three meetings at Goodison Park, and have won five, drawn one and lost one from their last seven Goodison meetings.
But this is still Chelsea.
So how will Frank line-up his current Blues?
The good news is that Yerry Mina and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are available for selection after missing the derby.
Unfortunately, Ben Godfrey is out for a “few weeks” with a quadriceps injury. Donny van de Beek and Andre Gomes also remain out, while Andros Townsend and Nathan Patterson won’t play again this season.
Tom Davies surprisingly returned to training this week after a lengthy lay-off, and Lampard revealed that he will be available to play again this season – although if he will actually see any action seems unlikely.
Everton Squad Available vs Chelsea
Goalkeepers: Pickford, Begovic, Lonergan
Defenders: Keane, Mina,
Godfrey (INJURY), Holgate, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Coleman, Kenny, Patterson (INJURY)
Midfielders: Allan, Doucoure, Delph,
Gomes (INJURY), Dele, van de Beek (INJURY), Davies (INJURY)
Wingers: Gray, Gordon,
Townsend (INJURY), Iwobi, El Ghazi
Attackers: Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Rondon, Tosun, Dobbin
Tactics and Formation
Despite defeat at Anfield, it’s hard to envisage significant changes for this one. That said, we can expect Yerry Mina and – potentially – Dominic Calvert-Lewin to come into the side.
It will probably be a 4-3-3 once again, with Allan anchoring the midfield. Doucoure should keep his place, but it’s not impossible that Delph could return in his place if Frank wants a real double pivot. Iwobi has also been an unlikely revelation in recent weeks, although there’s a slim chance Dele could make a first start after looking sharp in his two most recent cameos.
Mason Holgate seems to be above Michael Keane in the pecking order, and his pace will also be preferred if he is to partner Mina.
If DCL is to start, Richarlison will shift to the left and Gordon to the right. If not, Richie will lead the line with Gray keeping his place.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 10/10
Seamus Coleman – 8/10
Mason Holgate – 7/10
Yerry Mina – 7/10
Vitaliy Mykolenko – 9/10
Allan – 8/10
Abdoulaye Doucoure – 7/10
Alex Iwobi – 8/10
Anthony Gordon – 9/10
Richarlison – 10/10
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 6/10