Everton were ultimately undone by not having an available striker on the books when Chelsea visited last week. It wasn’t a bad performance by any means, but we just had no one to put the ball in the back of the net.
But fear not, our saviour is here: Salomon Rondon.
The 32-year-old striker - who has netted a massive one goal
s in 20 Premier League appearance for the Blues - is set to lead the line at Villa Park.
Jesting aside, it is actually a much-needed return. We need someone who can lead the line and head a ball. It’s better that giving the thankless task to your 21-year-old skinny winger.
And there will be some exciting new names on the Everton teamsheet this week, after Conor Coady and Amadou Onana joined the club.
So how will the Blues line up against Slippy G’s Aston Villa?
As you may have heard, Yerry Mina (ankle ligaments) and Ben Godfrey (leg fracture) are out for the foreseeable. The Blues already had interest in Conor Coady, but that double injury blow undoubtedly intensified our efforts to get him through the door ASAP.
Andros Townsend is the only other long-term absentee, while there’s been no word on whether Tom Davies or Andre Gomes have returned to full fitness.
Seamus Coleman completed 90 minutes for the under-21s last Friday and so should be available for selection here, although it remains to be seen whether his experience will displace the youthful exuberance of Nathan Patterson in the team.
EVERTON SQUAD AVAILABLE VS ASTON VILLA
Goalkeepers: Pickford, Begovic, Lonergan,
Mina (INJURED), Godfrey (INJURED), Tarkowski, Holgate, Coady, Mykolenko, Coleman, Patterson, Vinagre, Nkounkou, Mills
Midfielders: Allan, Doucoure, Iwobi, Gomes (DOUBT), Dele, Davies (DOUBT), Onana, Gbamin, Warrington
Wingers: Gray, Gordon,
Townsend (INJURY), McNeil
Calvert-Lewin (INJURY), Rondon
Tactics and Formation
It’ll be a back three once again for the Blues with Conor Coady seemingly very likely to come straight into the team at left centre-back, while Michael Keane will probably slot in for Yerry Mina in the middle of the defence.
There’s a big question at right wing-back, with Frank Lampard clearly a huge fan of Seamus Coleman. It’s time to look to the future though, and the future is Nathan Patterson – who can provide us with much more dynamism in that role.
In midfield, there are a few question marks. Allan doesn’t seem to be particularly favoured at the moment and there have been some mild rumours that he will leave the club. I’m expecting Doucoure and Iwobi to start in the middle again, with Amadou Onana appearing from the bench in the second half.
Up top, Rondon will surely lead the line with Gordon and McNeil or Gray either side of him.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 10/10
Nathan Patterson – 6/10
Although wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Frank pick Coleman instead.
James Tarkowski – 9/10
Michael Keane – 6/10
Mason Holgate did well coming in as a sub last weekend, wouldn't be surprised to see him start either.
Conor Coady – 7/10
Vitaliy Mykolenko – 8/10
Abdoulaye Doucoure – 8/10
Alex Iwobi – 8/10
Anthony Gordon – 9/10
Salomon Rondon – 8/10
Demarai Gray – 6/10
It’s a toss-up between Gray and McNeil.