New Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti takes charge of his first game when the Toffees host Burnley at Goodison Park on Boxing Day.
The Italian was announced as Marco Silva’s successor on Merseyside last week and was in the crowd to watch their goalless draw against Arsenal on Saturday.
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The 60-year-old would have been given plenty of food for thought in what was ultimately a poor game of football, and he now has some decisions to make ahead of the visit of the Clarets.
Here we predict the first starting XI the former Napoli boss will select…
It would be a big shock if Ancelotti doesn’t stick with Jordan Pickford in goal, while Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate should get the nod at the heart of the defence having kept a clean sheet against the Gunners on Saturday.
However, we believe that the experienced Italian will choose to go with Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines in the full-back positions on home turf, with Lucas Digne and Djibril Sidibe being preferred for the trip to Newcastle United 48 hours later where the Toffees are more likely to being playing on the counter-attack.
Like they did at the weekend, Fabian Delph and Tom Davies partner each other in the middle of the park with the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin missing through injury.
Bernard replaces Alex Iwobi on the left wing after the Nigeria international came off with a hamstring issue against his former employers, with Gylfi Sigurdsson on the opposite flank in a 4-4-2 formation.
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Despite Ancelotti saying he tried to sign Moise Kean for Napoli previously, his comments about him lacking some professionalism suggest the 19-year-old isn’t ready to start just yet, and we expect the Italian to go with the more physically stronger Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison against a resolute Burnley backline.
In other Everton news, Toffees fans on Twitter want the club to sign a Premier League ace, with one supporter suggesting he’d be an upgrade on Gylfi Sigurdsson…