Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed Everton will be without several first-team regulars for their FA Cup third round clash with Championship strugglers Rotherham United on Saturday.
The Toffees host Paul Warne’s Millers looking to avoid a repeat of last season’s failings, having been eliminated at the first time of asking when beaten 1-0 by Liverpool.
Lucas Digne and James Rodriguez will both be back in contention to feature after missing the festive period through injury, though Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison have joined the growing list of players who are unavailable.
Ancelotti will no doubt be keen to hand those who featured frequently over Christmas a rare break, too. So, with that in mind, here’s a potential line-up the Italian could favour…
Jordan Pickford failed to build on his third clean sheet of the season as Everton lost 1-0 at home to West Ham United last time out, and will be unable to chase another shut out on Saturday with Ancelotti confirming the 26-year-old will not be involved against Rotherham.
Robin Olsen will be expected to replace the England international and join Digne in starting at Goodison Park this Saturday lunchtime, where they will likely be joined by Seamus Coleman as the right-back continues to build fitness following his hamstring injuries.
Mason Holgate has only featured in his natural centre-back slot on three occasions across all competitions thus far this season, so may be favoured in bringing first-team experience beside youngster Jarrad Branthwaite as the 6 ft 5 colossus makes his first senior start since September.
Andre Gomes has fallen out of favour in recent weeks and will hope to be given a chance to prove himself against Rotherham, having failed to build on an opening role in the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United with a first league start since the start of November.
Tom Davies has instead established himself in the holding role in the absence of Allan, whose hamstring injury will ensure he joins Fabian Delph, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Jonjoe Kenny in watching the action from the sidelines.
Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gylfi Sigurdsson are likely to be rested alongside Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Pickford with Alex Iwobi and Rodriguez both returning to fitness, with the Nigerian overcoming a knock and the Colombian playing the final 26 minutes against West Ham following a calf injury.
Anthony Gordon will hope he is also given a chance to prove himself against Rotherham after failing to find a grove when fielded in the absence of Everton’s £90,000-per-week star Richarlison against Sheffield United last month, in what his first start since September’s Carabao Cup win over Fleetwood Town.
Cenk Tosun is another in need of an impressive showing with his Blues future up in the air amid claims of a potential move to West Bromwich Albion, and will be expected to stand in for Calvert-Lewin despite failing to score in any of his six outings this season.
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