Everton will be hoping to return to winning ways when they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in their Premier League clash at Molineux this evening.
Rafa Benitez’s charges have fallen to consecutive defeats at the hands of West Ham United and Watford in recent weeks following a fast start to the season, dropping the Toffees down to ninth in the table.
However, injuries to several key players have played their part in Everton’s recent slump and a much-needed victory over Wolves could take them back to within three points of the Champions League qualification places.
In Friday’s press conference, Benitez revealed he has no fresh fitness concerns, while star forward Richarlison is doing well in his return to full fitness.
The Spanish tactician is still expected to be without Abdoulaye Doucoure, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Yerry Mina for many weeks, but their enforced absences will present plenty of opportunities for fringe players to impress.
With that in mind, here’s how Football FanCast expects the 61-year-old to line up for today’s trip to the Midlands, with two changes from the side that started last time out…
England’s No.1 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will keep his place between the sticks after carrying his good form at the end of last season and at the Euro’s into the current campaign.
Ahead of the 27-year-old is set to be a familiar back four. Although they conceded five goals against Watford in their previous outing, Mina’s hamstring problem means all of Lucas Digne, Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane and Seamus Coleman are likely to feature from the off.
There could be many changes made by Benitez in the Everton engine room, though. Doucoure’s absence was ruthlessly exposed by the Hornets, meaning a change of shape may be brought in to compensate.
That means Jean-Philippe Gbamin may get his first league start of 2021/22, lining up alongside Tom Davies and Allan in the midfield as the Blues look to sure things up in the centre of the pitch.
In attack, the £4.5m-rated Salomon Rondon is likely to be axed after failing to find the back of the net in his seven outings so far this term. That means, despite a lack of fitness, Richarlison starts up top. He is accompanied by Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend who occupy the wings.