The international break is over, and the Mighty Blues of Everton are back.
Next up is a trip to St. Mary’s, which hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Toffees in recent years, losing five of their last six visits.
But it’s a new dawn for Everton and now the question is how will Frank line-up his new-look Blues going forward?
There’s good news in that Jordan Pickford has returned earlier than expected from a thigh injury, and has just been awarded the Premier League save of the month for that fingertip effort to keep out Darwin Nunez in the Merseyside Derby.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is supposedly available — Frank Lampard has said he is going to be very cautious with the striker to ensure that he doesn’t suffer yet another injury set back —though reports from late last night from the Daily Mail seemed to indicate that he was still not ready to return.
The bad news is that the majestic Nathan Patterson picked up an ankle injury on international duty for Scotland, which is set to keep him out for about five weeks.
Mason Holgate, Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina and Andros Townsend all remain out.
Meanwhile, Allan left the club during the international break as he moved to the UAE to fill up his pension pot before he retires.
EVERTON SQUAD AVAILABLE VS SAINTS
Goalkeepers: Pickford, Begovic,
Lonergan (INJURED), Jakupovic
Mina (INJURED), Godfrey (INJURED), Tarkowski, Holgate (INJURED), Coady, Mykolenko, Coleman, Patterson (INJURED), Vinagre, Welch
Midfielders: Doucoure, Iwobi, Davies, Onana, Gueye, Garner
Wingers: Gray, Gordon,
Townsend (INJURY), McNeil, Mills
Attackers: Calvert-Lewin, Rondon, Maupay
Tactics and Formation
Everton have looked splendid in the 4-3-3 setup of late, so let’s hope that continues.
Seamus Coleman should slot back in at right-back in place of the injured Patterson, with Coady, Tarkowski and Mykolenko completing the backline.
I’d expect the midfield trio of Gueye, Onana and Iwobi to continue, although hopefully James Garner makes his debut here too after impressing for England u21s.
Up top, it will probably be Gordon and Gray either side of Neal Maupay, with DCL cautiously introduced from the bench.
The Blues should have a decent bench here, with the likes of Garner, McNeil and DCL to turn to if we need a goal.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 10/10
Seamus Coleman – 10/10
James Tarkowski – 10/10
Conor Coady – 10/10
Vitaliy Mykolenko – 10/10
Idrissa Gana Gueye – 9/10
Amadou Onana – 8/10
Alex Iwobi – 9/10
Anthony Gordon – 10/10
Neal Maupay – 9/10
Demarai Gray – 9/10