Everton booked their place in the FA Cup quarter-final with victory over Tottenham Hotspur in midweek and later today, they will welcome another London side to Goodison Park
The Toffees can move into fourth in the Premier League table with a dominant result over Fulham after Liverpool suffered a defensive collapse at Leicester City yesterday, but Carlo Ancelotti is facing a selection headache after a string of injuries.
Top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin and first-choice goalkeeper Jordan Pickford have both been ruled out of action for the visit of Scott Parker’s relegation-threatened side, while James Rodriguez missed the extra-time win over Spurs with a tight calf.
Rodriguez has, however, been passed fit to feature against Fulham. So, with that in mind, here’s a potential XI Ancelotti could field, featuring three changes from Wednesday night…
Pickford has now missed Everton’s last three games across all competitions after sustaining an abdominal injury in defeat to Newcastle United last month, leaving Robin Olsen to continue in goal for his longest run in the side since joining on loan from AS Roma last summer.
Everton will be expected to name an unchanged defence of Lucas Digne, Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey at home to Fulham, with Sunday’s clash key to the Blues’ hopes of securing European qualification having won just four of 10 home league games so far this term.
Ancelotti faces a greater selection dilemma in midfield with Andre Gomes passed fit after missing the midweek win, and he could come in for FA Cup hero Gylfi Sigurdsson after the Iceland international played the full 120 minutes on Wednesday night.
Sigurdsson will feel hard done by to be dropped to the bench after scoring one of Everton’s five goals against Tottenham and assisting three of the other four, but will likely miss out on facing Fulham so that Rodriguez can return and occupy the attacking midfield role.
Alex Iwobi will be expected to also fall out of the XI for £18m-rated Gomes and Rodriguez to feature, in a return to the 4-3-1-2 that Ancelotti felt Everton performed well in during the 3-3 draw with Manchester United last weekend.
Calvert-Lewin will be unable to lead the Everton attack as he has for much of the season with the striker missing on Sunday with a hamstring injury, which Ancelotti is hopeful will not rule the 18-goal star out of Wednesday’s clash with Manchester City as well.
The England international’s absence should see Joshua King handed a first start in royal blue, having played for just 12 minutes since joining Everton from AFC Bournemouth on Deadline Day.
King can partner Richarlison in the front two, with Richarlison without a goal in his last seven Premier League games despite netting twice against Tottenham in the cup.