Everton should beat Sheffield United if Richarlison wins battle against Enda Stevens

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This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

Everton are looking to get back to winning ways against Sheffield United and Richarlison could be key to victory.

On the chalkboard

The Brazilian was the difference for the Toffees in the last match at Goodison Park, scoring twice against Wolves, and he could fancy his chances against a side which has conceded five in their last three league games.

Marco Silva will likely demand a response from all of his players, but Richarlison has been impressive form recently and will be keen to add to his three-goal tally after twice coming close against Bournemouth, with one effort striking the bar.

The man tasked with dealing with the 22-year-old – Enda Stevens – therefore faces a difficult challenge, and he is very much still adjusting to his first experience of top-flight football, as shown through his stats on WhoScored.

However, the Blades man has looked solid at times, and his presence going forward could pose problems for Everton, so Richarlison will have to maintain his impressive average of 3.6 tackles won per game this season.

That is not the only area in which he has excelled. According to WhoScored, he has averaged 2.8 shots per game this term, proving that he is a constant threat in and around the final third and a player the Blades will have to keep a close eye on.

Although he has an assist, his passing has generally been poor, and he also hasn’t been able to use his pace to his advantage as yet, at least not on the ball – with an average of only 1.2 successful dribbles per game.

Stevens could therefore have some joy, particularly as he will be backed up by Jack O’Connell, whose presence in the middle may also prevent the Brazilian from getting onto the end of crosses, a method from which he scored goals against Lincoln and Wolves.

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The wing-back’s average tackles per game also shows he has been a key in winning the ball back for his side, so if he gets tight to Richarlison he should be able to win the ball off him.

More concerning is his positioning. His tendency to go forward often results in him having to rush back to defend, and as a result he fails to take up positions where he can intercept the ball.

If Richarlison can exploit that weakness by making runs into the channel he should be able to cause a threat down the right-flank, and with a bit of quality he should be able to play a role in earning Everton the victory.

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