Everton once again managed to lead their fans from elation to depression on Monday as they conceded the tying goal in the 80th minute and then the losing goal in extra time against Stoke. Conceding late has been a common occurrence for the Toffees this year and something they will have to eliminate if they are to have any chance at a spot in Europe next season.
This weekend features a home match against fourth place Tottenham. Spurs have been in good form as of late, winning their last three league games. This matchup features two of the most exciting young strikers in Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane.
It will be interesting to see what Martinez does with his side with a cup tie against Manchester City looming next Wednesday. This should be a fun match, but Everton are going to need a great performance if they hope to win this one.
Tim Howard will likely be the man in net against Spurs.
Seamus Coleman is certainly the first choice here and with little depth behind him I wouldn’t expect to see anyone else on Sunday.
Martinez has stated that Phil Jagielka is close to a return and will likely feature in at least one of the next three matches. I think the Spurs match is too soon, with one of the cup matches more likely as a return for the Everton skipper. This means that we will likely see John Stones and Ramiro Funes Mori partner at the back for this one.
Brendan Galloway was given the start at left back against Stoke, but I would imagine we will see Leighton Baines retake the starting berth for this one.
James McCarthy has already been ruled out against Spurs by Everton. This would mean Tom Cleverley would likely be his replacement, but he is also a doubt for this game. With both players out, we should see a Gareth Barry/Muhamed Besic partnership in the middle of the pitch.
We saw both options at right wing in the past two games with Aaron Lennon and Gerard Deulofeu both getting a start. While Lennon is a solid player, I don’t think he offers all of the creativity that Deulofeu does, so I’m going to give the start to the Spaniard.
Against Newcastle, Martinez finally opted to field a winger in Kevin Mirallas, who I admit wasn’t a highly productive member of the team that day. The manager then returned to playing Arouna Kone on the left against Newcastle. The Ivorian was once again ineffective in this match, managing two shots with neither being on target.
For this game I am going to once again give the start to Mirallas and if I’m the manager I’m going to tell him to get wide on the left, rather than give him free reign to come inside the way Martinez has been doing lately with his left winger.
Central Attacking Midfield
This is really Ross Barkley’s position to lose and he hasn’t done anything to warrant his removal from the starting XI, so expect the Englishmen to be out there on Sunday.
Romelu Lukaku may have lost his goal scoring streak against Newcastle, but he got back to his goal scoring ways with two goals against Stoke City. Expect the big man to continue in his striking role for Everton.