Carlo Ancelotti and his Everton side will have gone to sleep last night seeing claret and blue.
For the third game in a row, the Toffees will face a side donning those exact colours.
A week ago, Everton suffered defeat to Aston Villa in rather poor circumstances. Defensive mistakes were rife but they bounced back brilliantly against an in-form West Ham team.
The defence on that occasion were first-class as a solitary goal from Dominic Calvert-Lewin won them the game.
It would be a surprise if Ancelotti switched from his trusted three-man defence that did so well last time out.
The Toffees looked improved defensively and in Ben Godfrey, they had a man who led the charge both offensively and inside their own half.
He won a colossal 88% of his duels during that contest, showing a ruthless physicality that’s been missing from the Everton side of late.
When Ancelotti tasted defeat against Dean Smith just over a week ago, his side were lightweight and were made to look rather feeble.
Mason Holgate was shoved off the ball all too easily for Ollie Watkins’ opening goal and Andre Gomes was also weak in the middle of the park
During that match, the Portuguese midfielder won just two of his nine defensive duels.
With that in mind, the manager could vastly improve Everton’s fortunes by turning to Abdoulaye Doucoure on Thursday evening.
The Frenchman returned to the match day squad at the London Stadium following a fractured foot but didn’t get his chance to earn any minutes.
That should change this weekend, however, because his qualities could terrify the Villans.
A typical box to box midfielder, the £120k-per-week earner is one of the strongest players in this Everton side. He combines a relentless attitude to burst forward and impact play in the final third with the ability to break up attacks from the opposition.
Speaking about his qualities shortly after he’d signed from Watford, Ancelotti commented: “Abdoulaye is a fantastic midfielder, a complete midfielder. He can defend well. He is a box-to-box midfielder. He can bring energy to the club and a different quality.
The Italian added: “We don’t have midfielders with his kinds of characteristics. We have midfielders with quality and midfielders who are tactically good. He is the only one who is box-to-box. I know him really well, what he did with Watford.”
With that in mind, it’s hard to see how he doesn’t have a bigger effect on proceedings than Gomes did in the 2-1 defeat at Goodison Park.
Well disciplined, Doucoure has committed fewer fouls (0.5) than many of his teammates in the middle of the pitch; Andre Gomes, Tom Davies and Allan are all intent on bringing down their man on a more frequent basis.
Not only does the 28-year-old have a powerful streak inside of him, but he can harness that without being rash and cynical.
He simply has to play on Thursday.