There we have it. The transfer window is shut and we can finally be sure who will be available to Frank Lampard for the next 12 games at least.
And the next dozen games are vital. Everton have picked up just two points from the opening four games – with a tough run of fixtures coming up, with Arsenal, a trip to St Mary’s to take on Southampton and then Manchester United, following our next fixture… the dreaded Merseyside Derby.
The Blues aren’t flying yet, but thankfully neither are Liverpool (the odd 9-0 win aside).
So how will Super Frank line-up his Blues for his first Goodison derby?
There’s not much change once more.
Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey, Andros Townsend, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are on the sidelines, although the latter duo are training once again and may be ready in the next two weeks.
But there are plenty of new names to add to the squadsheet…
Neal Maupay can finally make his debut, while Idrissa Gana Gueye is back in blue, and young Merseysider James Garner has also joined Everton and will be available straight away.
EVERTON SQUAD AVAILABLE VS LIVERPOOL
Goalkeepers: Pickford, Begovic, Lonergan,
Mina (INJURED), Godfrey (INJURED), Tarkowski, Holgate (INJURED), Coady, Mykolenko, Coleman, Patterson, Vinagre, Welch
Doucoure (INJURED), Iwobi, Davies, Onana, Gueye, Garner
Wingers: Gray, Gordon,
Townsend (INJURY), McNeil, Mills
Calvert-Lewin (INJURY), Rondon, Maupay
Tactics and Formation
Frank sprung a surprise at Elland Road with a new-look 4-3-3 setup and – for the first half at least – produced one of Everton’s best displays of the season.
And with numbers stretched at the back and the midfield now bolstered, let’s expect a similar set up against Liverpool.
The back four picks itself, but there will be several questions in midfield with two new bodies added.
I’m expecting Gueye to come straight back into his familiar number six role, allowing Alex Iwobi and his midfield partner (probably Amadou Onana) a bit more license to roam.
Up front, let’s hope Neal Maupay can start so he can bring the snide to the Reds from the first whistle, with Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon lining up either side of him. Alternatively, it could be the questionable “three wingers up front” setup.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 10/10
Nathan Patterson – 10/10
James Tarkowski – 10/10
Conor Coady – 10/10
Vitaliy Mykolenko – 10/10
Idrissa Gana Gueye – 7/10
Amadou Onana – 6/10
Unless the slightly more experienced Davies gets the nod.
Alex Iwobi – 10/10
Anthony Gordon – 10/10
Neal Maupay – 7/10
Or Dwight McNeil.
Demarai Gray – 10/10