Everton come into the weekend after a penalty shootout victory against Norwich City in the Capital One Cup. Even though the team was outplayed by the Canaries throughout most of the game, the team will look to build on this win and put their recent two Premier League game losing streak behind them.
Everton host Sunderland at Goodison on Sunday. Sunderland currently sit 18th in the table. The Black Cats come into this game having got their first Premier League victory last week against Newcastle. This is a game that Everton will certainly fancy their chances in and anything less than three points should be seen as a letdown.
Tim Howard had a pretty rough error leading to an Arsenal goal last time out, but I don’t think we are at a point yet where we see Joel Robles unseat him. Robles did look good in the midweek game and even saved a penalty in the shootout, but I think Howard is still the Everton number one.
With Leighton Baines still out with injury, the position comes down to Brendan Galloway and Bryan Oviedo. I think Galloway will keep his spot for this one, but will need to continue a good form to fend off Oviedo.
With the skipper out of commission for the foreseeable future, we will likely see Ramiro Funes Mori continue to be his replacement. He will be joined by John Stones in front of Howard.
Seamus Coleman is Everton’s number one right back and one of the better right backs in the league. Look for Coleman to be out there once again for the Toffees.
James McCarthy will continue his role for the Toffees and will likely be rejoined by his partner Gareth Barry. Barry was unavailable for the midweek clash as he was serving a ban for the double yellow he received against Arsenal.
Tom Cleverley is another option for the Toffees at this position. Cleverley played in this role a lot last season for Aston Villa and would be comfortable stepping up for the team.
I think Martinez should continue to stick with McCarthy and Barry for this one.
Left Wing and Right Wing
These are two the position where Everton have the most options. In terms of players who are natural to these two positions the team has Gerard Deulofeu and Aaron Lennon on the right and Kevin Mirallas on the left. In addition to these three players we have seen Aurona Kone, Steven Naismith, and Tom Cleverley frequently positioned on the wings.
I think Deulofeu has been great for Everton and should be fielded on the right wing against Sunderland. He has shown the most flair out of the players in the player pool and has been an offensive asset for the team. I look for the Spaniard to hone in on his game and eliminate some of the errors that come with his youth.
The left side is trickier for me. I think it comes down to Mirallas or Cleverley. Neither player has seen a massive amount of playing time this season (for different reasons), but both players provide good box-to-box options for the team. I think Mirallas is a slightly better player and should get the start.
Central Attacking Midfield
We saw Leon Osman have a good performance in the central midfield against Norwich grabbing Everton’s only goal. That said, it’s unlikely Ossie will unseat Ross Barkley. The youngster has been an important part of Martinez side and will likely continue in his role here.
Romelu Lukaku continues as the lone striker for Everton in this one.
Via – Lineup Builder