Everton make the trip to west London this evening to take on Fulham in their Premier League clash at Craven Cottage, and Frank Lampard will be hoping that the 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace last weekend will give his team a confidence boost ahead of this clash.
The Toffees are currently 12th in the league table after returning to winning ways last Saturday. They could even break into the top half of the table if they can secure victory over the Cottagers, which would surely delight the manager, team and supporters as they set out for a much more positive campaign than their relegation-threatened 2021/22.
In terms of injuries, Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina and Andros Townsend remain unavailable for selection today, but Lampard has revealed a huge injury boost which could make a positive difference in his team.
Nathan Patterson is now available for selection, with the Everton boss taking to his pre-match press conference to confirm the return of the talented right-back ahead of the clash today.
Lampard told the media: “Patterson is back in the squad for this weekend. It’s a really good [selection] headache. It’s exactly what I wanted.”
With that being said, this is how Football Fancast expects Everton to line up against Fulham this evening…
Pickford (GK), Patterson (RB), James Tarkowski (CB), Conor Coady (CB), Vitaliy Mykolenko (LB), Amadou Onana (CM), James Garner (CM), Alex Iwobi (CAM), Gray (LW), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (CF), Anthony Gordon (RW)
We expect to see just two changes to the side which beat Crystal Palace last weekend, with Lampard sticking to the successful 4-2-3-1 formation deployed against the Eagles.
The first change we predict is Patterson’s instant return to the Toffees’ back four alongside an otherwise unchanged defence which includes Conor Coady, James Tarkowski and Vitaliy Mykolenko.
Patterson is currently the fourth highest-rated player in the Everton squad according to SofaScore, despite missing out on the last five games through an ankle injury he sustained during international duty last month.
The 21-year-old sensation, who was hailed as a “diamond” by Danny Murphy, will replace club captain Seamus Coleman, as Lampard will surely want to get the Scottish full-back – who has been a standout performer – back into the side as soon as possible.
The second change we expect to see is in midfield, with James Garner being given the opportunity to make his presence known in the middle of the park alongside Amadou Onana in the deep-lying role, as we discussed in a recent piece on Football FanCast.
The former Manchester United midfielder will replace Idrissa Gueye, as it could be advantageous for Lampard to give the 33-year-old a rest after performing in a number of closely-scheduled matches ahead of the World Cup next month.
As a result, the Everton boss will be hoping that the slight tweaks of refreshment in key roles whilst maintaining the formation which inspired a three-goal victory a week ago can be the winning formula that the Toffees need in order to pick up another three points on the road today.