Everton came away with their third league draw in a row against Norwich City on Monday. How Everton only managed to get one goal, is still a mystery to me. In their last three matches, Everton have given fans a range of emotions that generally begins with wonder and excitement and ultimately ends in anger and despair.
Bad news for Everton is that it doesn’t get any easy as they host top of the table Leicester City on Saturday. Leicester have been red hot so far this season and have enjoyed phenomenal form from the likes of James Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. Everton will need all hands on deck if they expect to come away with points in this one.
Look for the American Tim Howard to be between the posts for Everton against Leicester.
As Phil Jagielka continues to recover from injury, John Stones and Ramiro Funes Mori will continue their defensive partnership. Also unavailable for Everton is Tyias Browning, who has been ruled out for the season after having knee surgery.
Seamus Coleman is the man for the job here.
On Monday we saw Leighton Baines get his first league start since last season and the veteran appears to have reclaimed his spot in the starting XI. This means that youngster Brendan Galloway will return to his role on the bench.
I was surprised to not see James McCarthy on the pitch for Everton on Monday, but I figure he will be fully fit to go for this one. This means that the Irishman will resume his partnership with Gareth Barry for Everton. If for some reason McCarthy can’t go, look for Tom Cleverley or Muhamed Besic to be his replacement.
Roberto Martinez subbed off Gerard Deulofeu in the second half of the match against Norwich in order to bring on Kevin Mirallas. The swap led to Kone taking up the right wing and Mirallas playing on the left. An interesting substitution, but I don’t think it holds any long term significance for the starting XI and I expect the Spaniard to again get the start for this one. This leaves Aaron Lennon as the second choice on the right for Everton.
Central Attacking Midfield
Despite being subbed off in the second half last time out, Ross Barkley is still the number 1 for Everton at in the central midfield.
Here we go again. The position that Martinez and I have perpetual disagreement about. The Everton manager has chosen Arouna Kone at left wing for the last six league matches. Kone has enjoyed some success in this role, notably scoring a hat trick and adding an assist against Sunderland, but has seen a major dip in form recently.
The Ivorian has failed to score in his last five games and has only registered one assist during that time. Another aspect here is that Kone is a natural striker and tends to lose width in the final third which has decimated the amount of chances Everton have been able to produce from the left.
My solution is to actually field a winger in this position, crazy right. The obvious choice would be Kevin Mirallas, who has lost favor with Martinez this season for some reason or other. I think that Mirallas has the talent and has shown in the past that he can be effective for Everton at this position. The other option would be Tom Cleverley. Cleverley also offers an attacking threat from this position, but is less talented than the Belgian.
Romelu Lukaku has now scored in his last six Premier League games and will look to bring that number to seven in this one.
Via – Lineup Builder