Despite a poor start to their Premier League campaign, two convincing wins over Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers and a fine display despite the defeat to Manchester City underline the improvement from Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Frank Lampard admitted in his pre-match press conference that this was arguably the cleanest bill of health the Toffees have boasted since his arrival at the club in January, and he will have a near-full squad from which to select for this game under the Goodison Park floodlights.
Whilst Vitaly Mykolenko will continue at left-back, Lampard confirmed that Nathan Patterson is available should he be deemed fit. A 26-minute substitute appearance at Craven Cottage signals the youngster’s likely availability to start today, and it will be a delight for Evertonians to see such an “amazing player”- as his international team-mate Che Adams labelled him – return to the side.
Conor Coady and James Tarkowski shall remain at the heart of the defence, propping up a team with the Premier League’s fourth-best defensive record going into this weekend’s fixtures.
Also unlikely to change is the midfield trio, although James Garner is pushing for a start given his stellar recent cameos, earning a 7.0 Sofascore rating after coming on against Fulham last week.
Amadou Onana, Idrissa Gueye and Alex Iwobi will likely be crucial to any success that Everton might have today, especially to neutralise the threat of James Maddison, who already has six league goals to his name this term.
Demarai Gray was the Toffees’ bright spark in an otherwise dull offensive unit against the Cottagers, but Anthony Gordon could drop out for Dwight McNeil in order to freshen things up. The 21-year-old completed just 10 passes in 86 tepid minutes of action in the draw at Fulham, so he could miss out today.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin will again lead the line as he battles to regain full fitness after recording more minutes under his belt over the last few weeks.
Everton predicted XI: Pickford, Mykolenko, Coady, Tarkowski, Patterson, Onana, Gueye, Iwobi, Gray, McNeil, Calvert-Lewin.