For the first time in a while, I’m looking at the Everton squad and thinking to myself “there is some solid depth within this squad.”
It will be very interesting to see what side Martinez decides to field as the Toffees look to build on their crushing 3-1 victory over Chelsea last time out. The availability of players at the back could effect the ultimate decision.
Tim Howard surprisingly did not have much to do against Chelsea last time out but the veteran goalkeeper will have to be on his guard this weekend against a dangerous Swansea City.
Seamus Coleman is the clear right back of choice for Everton. That said, the Irishmen, faces a late fitness test ahead of this game. Martinez has said that Seamus will either be ready to play against Swansea or in next week’s cup game.
If Seamus can’t go, we will likely see Ramiro Funes Mori get his first start after a good performance in his short debut last week. I’m not sure Coleman will be 100% and wouldn’t want to see further injury so I’m going with the Argentine here.
This is a no brainer, Phil Jagielka makes his 300th appearance for the club and John Stones is fielded next to Jags.
Brendan Galloway gets another start for Everton at left back. The youngster put in a great performance against Chelsea and with Baines and Oviedo still out with injuries there really aren’t alternatives here anyways.
It will be interesting to see if Everton setup in a 4-3-1-2 like they did against Chelsea or if they revert back to the more traditional 4-2-3-1. Going on the assumption that Coleman isn’t fully fit to start, I think Everton will be better served in the 4-2-3-1.
With this thinking, we will see Gareth Barry and James McCarthy continue their central defensive partnership. Besic is the other option here, but it’s unclear if he’ll be fully fit, so he’s unlikely to get the start.
I would field the hero of last week’s game Steven Naismith on the left wing. For me, the Scotsman proved that he is deserving of an increased role and I think his attacking on the left frees up Lukaku to pick apart Ashley Williams who has struggled against physical strikers this season.
Kevin Mirallas is the other obvious choice to be fielded on the left, but I think Naismith’s performance against Chelsea gets him the nod for this one.
Moving to the opposite side, I think the best option here is Aaron Lennon. Kone is another interesting possibility for this position, but I don’t think it’s wise to field both Naismith and Kone on the wings.
Everton also have Gerard Deulofeu at their disposal, but I think they are better served with him as a second half sub if they need late attacking returns.
Central Attacking Midfield
Here we will continue to see Ross Barkley. The Englishman has shown some great facilitation skills this season and will look to build on his attacking returns.
Everton will keep faith with Romelu Lukaku here, with the Belgian man having spearheaded the team’s attack all season. Look for Lukaku to bully Swansea’s backline and cause a lot of trouble for the Welsh side.