Everton face an away trip to Newcastle on Boxing Day. Their opponents this week have been in decent form lately having beaten Liverpool and Tottenham in their last three matches. This match comes on the heels of a 3-2 defeat at Goodison against Leicester. The game was a lot of the same for Everton in that they saw a lot of the ball, but weren’t able to create a lot of chances.
This fixture looks like the type of fixture that has given Everton fits all season and the Toffees are going to have to rethink their strategy if they want three points here.
Tim Howard struggled again during parts of the Leicester match, but I assume he retains his spot for this one. With only a two day turnaround until the next league game, Joel Robles may get a chance on Monday.
Seamus Coleman will continue to man the right side of defense for Everton. The Irishman is not only the man for the job, but he’s also just about the only man available for the job.
As Phil Jagielka continues his rehab, we will once again see the John Stone/Ramiro Funes Mori partnership continue at the back.
Leighton Baines has regained his starting berth at the left and will continue that here. He still has some work to do in regaining full sharpness, especially on corners, but that will come with more playing time. This means that Brendan Galloway will have to continue in his bench role.
Martinez said again this week that James McCarthy is a doubt to face Newcastle. This means that we will likely see Tom Cleverley partner with Gareth Barry at the base of the midfield. Also in contention for this spot would be Muhamed Besic.
Gerard Deulofeu has seen a slight dip in form the last two games, but I think he still offers the most creativity for the team and should be fielded here. Aaron Lennon had a nice substitution appearance against Leicester, but didn’t do enough to unseat the Spaniard.
Against Leicester, Everton struggled creating anything from the right side. For most teams the answer would be to look to the left to create some chances, but that’s not the way Everton does things. Instead, Martinez continues to stick with Aurona Kone, who continues to merely exist on the pitch with little actual impact to the game. Kone isn’t the type of player who will take opponents on from the wing and doesn’t have the playmaking abilities necessary to create chances from the wing.
By contrast, Kevin Mirallas, who entered the game in the 74th minute, scored a goal and won a free kick near the box by actually dribbling the ball. Mirallas managed to do in 15 minutes, what Kone has failed to do in the last 498 minutes.
It’s time for Martinez to wake up and realize that Kone isn’t working and mend whatever it is that has left Mirallas out in the cold. Please Roberto start Kevin Mirallas on the left wing.
Central Attacking Midfield
This position belongs to Ross Barkley and I wouldn’t expect anything different here.
Romelu Lukaku has now scored in his last 7 Premier League matches and has shown no signs of slowing down. The Belgian big man is an obvious choice for this one.
Via – Lineup Builder