Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed Everton have no new injury concerns ahead of their meeting with Newcastle United on Saturday, but is yet to decide on whether or not to trust Jordan Pickford.
The England number one produced the latest in an ever-growing string of blunders during the Toffees’ 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Wednesday night, with Pickford only able to push Youri Tielemans’ shot onto the post and into the net despite getting both hands on the ball.
Pickford had produced a few clean months without further tarnishing his record before gifting the Foxes their equaliser, having endured a turbulent October after dropping the ball at the feet of Brighton’s Neal Maupay just yards from his line and later clattering into Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk with a reckless challenge.
So, with Ancelotti debating whether or not to trust Pickford for Saturday’s lunchtime clash with Steve Bruce’s Newcastle, here’s a potential line-up the Italian could name…
Pickford had started every possible Premier League fixture for Everton between joining the Goodison Park natives for £30m in 2017 and the arrival of Ancelotti last winter, but has found his place is no longer secured with AS Roma loanee Robin Olsen occasionally drafted in to rotate with the 26-year-old.
Ancelotti chose not to disclose who he will name in goal for this weekend’s affair while speaking to the media on Friday, but will be expected to hand Olsen only his third top-flight appearance since joining the Toffees last summer.
“I don’t know. I have to think about this. I am not in the habit of giving the line-up during the press conference. He did a mistake and I think that we can say this, but this doesn’t change for me or his teammates the confidence we have,” Ancelotti said, via quotes by Sky Sports.
Mason Holgate may also find that he falls out of the Everton starting line-up on Saturday, having been given the run around by Leicester midfielder Harvey Barnes in the early stages of Wednesday’s draw.
Ancelotti eventually replaced Holgate with Alex Iwobi to inject a greater attacking threat into his side, with the defender heavily pegged back in, and will likely opt to recall Seamus Coleman after playing just five minutes in the Blues’ last two league games.
The Toffees boss going more aggressive in his team selection after a defensive-minded approach to the Leicester game may also see Ben Godfrey fall out to allow Lucas Digne to return to left-back, with Richarlison often also proving ineffective at striker against the Foxes.
Richarlison moving back to a wide role in a 4-2-3-1 will also allow Gylfi Sigurdsson to return to the midfield line, joining Abdoulaye Doucoure in returning to the starting line-up after the £75,000-per-week beast missed the Leicester game through suspension.
Doucoure is likely to replace Tom Davies after Andre Gomes excelled while deputising in midweek, marking the first time that Gomes and Doucoure have started a league match together since Everton lost 2-1 at Newcastle in November.
Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin remains Everton’s top-scorer with 11 goals in the Premier League this season, but will hope to end his six-game drought in the top-flight with a return to an attack-focused line-up after being starved of service against Leicester.
AND in other news, a £120k-p/w Everton maestro has been tipped to secure a £4.5m move this month…