Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that changes are on the cards for Everton when they host Manchester United in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Wednesday night.
The Toffees welcome Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils back to Goodison Park for the second time in two months looking to avenge a 3-1 Premier League defeat and secure progression through to the semi-final of the EFL Cup for the first time since 2016.
Everton lost 4-3 on aggregate to Manchester City the last time they reached the final four, and have not gone all the way to the final since finishing as runners-up during the 1983/84 season in the sole domestic competition the Blues are yet to ever win.
So, with changes likely from the side which beat Arsenal at the weekend as Ancelotti looks to rest and rotate his favoured players over the hectic festive schedule, here’s a line-up the Italian could name…
Jordan Pickford’s relentless stay between the Everton posts in Premier League games was brought to an end when the goalkeeper was benched at Newcastle United earlier this season before again being rested at Leicester City last week, and he may find that Robin Olsen earns the gig against United in the midweek Carabao Cup clash.
Ancelotti has confirmed he is yet to decide on who starts on Wednesday night, but wishes to name as strong a side as possible.
“I didn’t decide yet for tomorrow but for sure because we are going to play a lot of games, I’m going to rotate the goalkeepers,” the former Chelsea boss said, via quotes by the Liverpool Echo. “If Jordan plays tomorrow, then Robin will play against Sheffield United or vice versa.”
The performances of defenders Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina against Arsenal should see the trio retain their starting places alongside midfielders Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gylfi Sigurdsson plus wing maestro Richarlison in Wednesday’s cup meeting.
Question marks also reside over Tom Davies’ involvement against the Red Devilswith him having struggled to fill Allan’s void at home to the Gunners, with Andre Gomes a potential replacement should Ancelotti consider a more attacking box-to-box presence.
Ancelotti will be without summer arrival James Rodriguez after noting the Colombian has failed to overcome a calf injury in time, despite hopes of the 29-year-old being fit to face United, and he will now look to the Sheffield United game for his return.
Alex Iwobi has stood in for the former Real Madrid playmaker in recent weeks yet he too could sit out to afford academy graduate Anthony Gordon, who David Unsworth lauds as a “special talent”, only his second first-team start of the season after three assists in the early EFL Cup rounds.
Cenk Tosun will be hoping he, too, earns a rare start against United in place of top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with the Carabao Cup clash a potential final chance for the in-demand striker to put in a performance that could save his Goodison Park future.
Calvert-Lewin has started all 14 of Everton’s Premier League games and two of their three EFL Cup ties, scoring 14 times and providing one assist, while not missing a minute of top-flight football since matchday two in September.