After a tough run of fixtures, Everton now have a run of five games in which the club must pick up at least two or three wins or else the threat of relegation becomes perilous even as it seems 35 points might be enough for survival.
So how will Sean Dyche set up his Blues when former boss Marco Silva’s Fulham pay a visit to Goodison Park?
Let’s take a look…
Seamus Coleman is out with a hamstring issue that was picked up at Old Trafford last week.
Everton’s skipper has been in fine form of late, but this will (hopefully at least) provide the excellent Nathan Patterson with a route back into the team – a welcome attacking addition if ever we needed it.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is supposedly in “full training” this week, although I wouldn’t jump the gun on him being in the squad, much less starting.
Dyche also revealed a few unnamed players had “knocks”, but there are no other fresh injury concerns.
Doucoure will be out for the second game of his three-match ban.
EVERTON SQUAD AVAILABLE VS FULHAM
Goalkeepers: Pickford, Begovic, Lonergan,
Defenders: Keane, Mina, Godfrey, Tarkowski, Holgate, Coady, Mykolenko,
Coleman (INJURED), Patterson, Vinagre, Welch
Doucoure (SUSPENDED), Iwobi, Davies, Onana, Gueye, Garner, Price
Townsend (INJURED), McNeil, Mills
Attackers: Calvert-Lewin (DOUBT), Maupay, Simms
Tactics and Formation
There’s a few calls for Sean to make for this one.
First will be who will replace Seamus Coleman at right-back. Every Evertonian knows it should be Nathan Patterson, but it’s not unthinkable that he opts for Ben Godfrey or Mason Holgate there.
There’s also a decision at left-back. Godfrey was hooked for Mykolenko at half-time last week, so one would lean towards the Ukrainian regaining his starting berth.
Ellis Simms was given the nod up front last week and I think most Blues would like to see him given a start that’s not away at Anfield or Old Trafford. This would be the perfect game for him.
If Simms does start, it will likely be the same midfield, with Demarai Gray playing just off him.
If Gray is given the nod up top, it may finally give James Garner a chance to start his first ever Premier League game.
Starters (likelihood of starting rated out of 10)
Jordan Pickford – 10/10
Nathan Patterson – 8/10
Vitaliy Mykolenko - 7/10
James Tarkowski – 9/10
Michael Keane – 9/10
Amadou Onana – 9/10
Idrissa Gana Gueye – 9/10
Dwight McNeil – 9/10
Alex Iwobi – 9/10
Demarai Gray – 8/10
Ellis Simms – 7/10