Everton will hope to get back to winning ways at Goodison Park when Carlo Ancelotti welcomes injury-hit Southampton to Merseyside after beating rivals Liverpool last time out.
The Toffees have not won a Premier League fixture at home since December 19th after a run of four defeats in five games, taking just a single point from Leicester City’s visit.
Ancelotti has overseen a far superior record on the road with last month’s Merseyside derby win at Anfield the Blues’ sixth in an eight-game unbeaten stretch, and he will be keen to see a first away win over Liverpool in 22-years act as a springboard for better results at Goodison.
Southampton have been plagued by injuries ahead of their visit and will face a near fully-fit Everton squad upon their arrival. So, with that in mind, here’s a potential line-up that Ancelotti could name as Dominic Calvert-Lewin returns to the starting XI…
Ancelotti confirmed during his pre-game media duties on Friday that Calvert-Lewin and midfield enforcer Allan are both fit to start on Monday night following spells out with hamstring injuries.
Calvert-Lewin made his return to action as a second-half substitute at Liverpool while Alan watched the action from the bench, but only Yerry Mina and long-term absentee Jean-Philippe Gbamin are expected to sit out Southampton’s trip to Goodison Park.
“Allan and Dominic are okay. They are training regularly,” the Italian stated last week. “They are available to play, for sure, from the beginning.
“Jean-Philippe Gbamin is progressing well. We don’t know exactly when he can come back to train with the team – the same with Yerry Mina, also. I think Yerry will be out for at least two more weeks.”
Calvert-Lewin played the final half an hour at Anfield but was unable to add to his 18 goals across all competitions this season, as Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson found the back of the Reds’ net.
Richarlison will be expected to return to a place on the wing should Calvert-Lewin now start, and be joined by James Rodriguez in occupying a wide role in front of a midfield three.
Gomes produced a poor performance during the Merseyside derby and was hooked early in the second period for Sigurdsson, while Davies shone and garnered praise from Yannick Bolasie and former Liverpool midfielder David Thompson.
“Here’s a phrase I never thought possible, Tom Davies and brilliant in the same sentence,” Thompson noted on Twitter in reference to the former England U21 international’s display.
Ancelotti named a five-man backline against Liverpool but will be expected to revert to a four-man strong unit at home to Southampton, who are likely to be without seven players due to injury.
Seamus Coleman is the most at risk of being axed having only opened 10 Premier League games all term, while centre-halves Ben Godfrey and Michael Keane shone brighter than Mason Holgate against Jurgen Klopp’s defending Premier League champions.
AND in other news, Everton are tracking a prolific 15-goal winger backed to reach another level…