There is perhaps no greater endorsement of the Sam Allardyce effect, or a more symbolic improvement of the organisation and sturdiness he injects in his teams, than Everton winning three games without conceding a goal since announcing the one-time England boss as their new manager – two games of which he wasn’t even in the dugout for.
But the former Sunderland and Crystal Palace man faces easily the toughest test of his short Toffees tenure thus far this Sunday when Everton make the short trip across Stanley Park to face local rivals Liverpool in the latest instalment of the Merseyside derby.
Considering the attacking flair Jurgen Klopp’s side have shown in recent weeks, solidity at the back will surely be the priority for Allardyce this weekend. But it’s also vital he doesn’t allow his side to be pinned back at Anfield, or else it will be a mere matter of time before Liverpool break through.
Accordingly, a trustworthy out-ball is needed and although Dominic Calvert-Lewin certainly hasn’t let himself down this season, there’s an argument to suggest Oumar Niasse would be a better candidate. He’s arguably a more physical player than the youngster and inevitably more experienced.
The Senegal international hasn’t started a Premier League clash since the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace three games ago, when the penalty he won was later deemed simulation and drew a retrospective ban from the FA.
With that in mind, we asked Everton fans earlier this week whether Niasse should start in Sunday’s derby and according to our poll, 86% of them think he should. Would you start Niasse over Calvert-Lewin, Toffees fans, or find room for both in the same starting XI? Let us know by commenting below…
If you’re going to put together a coupon this weekend, wait until you’ve seen the brace of bets we propose in the latest Football FanCast Accy Show! First up, we’re backing a treble of London Premier League clubs for outright wins—on a slip that benefits from LeoVegas Enhanced Odds. For the more cavalier, we’ve put together a pretty enticing fourfold from the EFL. Check it out and let us know what you’re backing this weekend!