Everton host Premier League leaders Manchester City with new Toffees manager Frank Lampard experiencing a mixed start to proceedings at Goodison Park.
The 43-year-old has experienced two wins and two defeats since taking over on the blue side of Merseyside, with both victories coming at home and the losses away.
Next up is a major test for the Toffees who will look to unstick themselves from the bottom end of the table as soon as possible, with Lampard’s side 16th and two points clear of the drop zone.
But who will start for the Merseyside outfit as they host Pep Guardiola’s side in the late Saturday kick-off?
Football FanCast predicts that Lampard will continue with the 4-4-2 formation that he has used in the last two matches against Leeds United and Southampton.
First-choice goalkeeper Jordan Pickford remains in between the sticks with no changes in the defence either, with the two changes coming in the midfield.
With an important FA Cup tie against Boreham Wood to contest on Thursday, there could be an argument for adjustments to the starting lineup as Lampard looks to manage his squad.
Winger Alex Iwobi put in a well below par performance against Southampton last weekend, with the 25-year-old Nigeria international without a goal contribution in the Premier League for almost four months.
The wide man has come under plenty of scrutinies for his lack of involvement in the final third, with TalkSPORT’s Adrian Durham saying earlier this season: “Listen, for a player that cost £36m, and my understanding is he’s on a fair wedge, he’s got to put chances like that away.
“When you get the chance to start for Everton Football Club and you’re presented with opportunities like that and you’re producing an air shot, you’ve got to focus and concentrate harder and make sure you get a contact on the ball, and at least force the goalkeeper to make a save.”
In his place comes Andros Townsend who appears to now be back to full fitness having endured a spell on the sidelines over the festive period and has exceeded expectations since joining last summer.
Centrally, Donny van de Beek has had a slow start to his temporary tenure at Goodison Park, with the Dutchman on loan from Manchester United for the remainder of the campaign. Although it’s very early days, Lampard may be tempted to tinker with a busy schedule to come and opt for Andre Gomes alongside Allan in the middle.
This would arguably provide more cover against a ruthless opposition, with both midfielders defensively minded. Moreover, Gomes was the Englishman’s preferred option to replace Allan at St.Mary’s last weekend when the Brazilian was on a yellow card and needed to be withdrawn.
In terms of the frontline, Everton fans will be desperate to see Dominic Calvert-Lewin find the back of the net again, with the Englishman struggling for form since his lengthy absence due to injury.
The striker was out of action for three months, having scored in each of his first three league appearances of the season, with a fractured toe but hasn’t scored since returning to the side almost two months ago.
It’ll be a tall task for Frank Lampard’s side to take a result from the league leaders who can’t afford another slip up after their 3-2 defeat to Tottenham last weekend with Liverpool breathing down their necks. Although, stranger things have happened than Everton getting a result against Manchester City.