EFL Cup 3rd Round Preview
Enner Valencia will make his first start as an Everton player
Going great guns in the league, Everton's attentions turn back to the seemingly interminable quest to win the League Cup as Norwich City return to Merseyside for the first time since the first match of the post-Roberto Martinez era in May.
That day former Toffee Steven Naismith and the already doomed Canaries were easily beaten in the atmosphere of relief and renewed positivity that pervaded Goodison Park and new boss Ronald Koeman will be hoping for an equally comprehensive victory to the 3-0 win that afternoon or the comfortable ride his side had against Yeovil in the last round.
Norwich are off to a good start in their bid to bounce straight back into the top flight. Following their 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, they sit second in the Championship behind early leaders Huddersfield Town.
Koeman explained in his pre-match press conference today that given the recency of their demotion and their chances of being promoted again this season, he regards the East Anglians as a Premier League team and will not be taking them lightly.
He confirmed, nevertheless, that there will be at least one change to the team that started against Middlesbrough on Saturday, with Enner Valencia coming in for Romelu Lukaku who has a minor toe injury, and also hinted at other changes.
Koeman suggested that the chance was there for a few players to stake their claims for more regular action after being forced to watch on from the sidelines for the most part as he has retained a largely settled side in recent weeks.
While Darron Gibson is ruled out as he recovers from groin surgery, the likes of Tom Cleverley, Aaron Lennon and Gerard Deulofeu will be hoping for a chance to shine, as will Joel Robles who was not handed a "cup goalkeeper" assignment in the last round.
Koeman insisted that Everton would be taking the EFL Cup seriously this season given its importance in the light of how hard it would be to win the Premier League.
“The [League Cup] is important,” the Dutchman told the media . “Normally, we can't win a [Premier League] title. I think Leicester last season was an exception and then you have the EFL Cup and the FA Cup which are important for the other teams.
“Of course we're taking it seriously. Normally we'll make some changes but all the players who will start tomorrow are training hard for the opportunity to play and we will start tomorrow with a strong team.
“[A game like this] is always an opportunity for players who did not play a lot in the last few weeks because we didn't change [the team] a lot.
“I'm the kind of manager that when the team is doing well and if the players are performing how I expect [then I won't change it] … perhaps one or two changes can be made for tactical reasons.
“Some players will get their chance tomorrow and you take notes about that because that means that after tomorrow you can make your conclusions about players and make decisions about competition. We like to have that competition [in the team] and it's a big opportunity for some players and they need to respond.
“[Valencia] will start tomorrow,” he concluded.
Norwich manager Alex Neil, meanwhile, is expected to make changes himself and that could hand Naismith the chance to face his old team again after being one of the older heads at Carrow Road who have not featured all that much in the early part of the season.
In his own “presser”, he said that while the Championship must be the Canaries' priority, he still wants to do well in the cups and, as such, he won't be “going there to send some kids out as lambs to the slaughter.” That could open the door to another ex-Blue in the form of goalkeeper John Ruddy and defender Sebastien Bassong who scored Norwich's goal when the clubs met at the fourth round stage of the same competition last October.
Everton had to win on penalties that night but Koeman will be hoping to get the job done inside 90 minutes so he can move on to preparing for the trip to Bournemouth on Saturday.Kick-off: 20 September, 2016; 7.45pm
Referee: Andrew Madley
Last time: Everton 1 - 1 Norwich City (Everton won 4-3 on pens)
TV: It appears as though the match is only being carried live by beIN Sports Arabia 9 and being streamed online by beIN Sports Connect in the USA and Canada
Full details: ToffeeWeb match page
Reader Comments (46)
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1 Posted 19/09/2016 at 18:50:39
2 Posted 19/09/2016 at 18:51:05
Norwich should provide a good challenge but it would be good to see Holgate, Funes Mori, Oviedo, Lennon and a couple of others get a good run out.
4 Posted 19/09/2016 at 18:58:48
5 Posted 19/09/2016 at 19:38:51
Also, the following Premier League match is affected by the quick turnaround of the Europa, whereas this quick turnaround only effects the less important League Cup tie, where you may be able to play some squad players.
6 Posted 19/09/2016 at 19:47:21
7 Posted 19/09/2016 at 19:53:19
Perhaps Deulofeu and Lennon will for Bolasie and Super Kev, maybe in with Barry rested and Funes Mori in for Jags? Holgate for Seamus, but maybe that's too many changes for Ronald. It will be very interesting to see how we are set up.
8 Posted 19/09/2016 at 19:59:47
9 Posted 19/09/2016 at 20:02:25
10 Posted 19/09/2016 at 20:07:49
If we are to progress as a club we need to start winning things and with these victories we will attract top players and encourage others to stay. I'm sure this is not lost on Koeman.
11 Posted 19/09/2016 at 20:29:40
12 Posted 19/09/2016 at 20:32:48
13 Posted 19/09/2016 at 20:55:02
You would think there would be some way for clubs to weed these kind of players out before they start earning the big bucks and waste their clubs money and the physio's time.
14 Posted 19/09/2016 at 21:24:24
15 Posted 19/09/2016 at 23:06:32
You have to remember that young, promising players represent large bags of free cash to clubs. It's a bit like deal or no deal, do you want to believe that yours is the one that's worth 50p or £50,000,000?
While there are some players who let themselves go once they've got their contracts, more likely for most is the hiding of injuries by their clubs and the optimistic views of club officials. Look at the use of cortisone injections by clubs, whose interest is that in? Certainly not the players. It's just greed by the clubs.
16 Posted 19/09/2016 at 23:51:21
It's not an experiment or a pseudo-friendly it's a new and long-overdue trophy in the cabinet and a European place next season.
Koeman, you Blues!
19 Posted 20/09/2016 at 03:04:59
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines;
Lennon, Barkley, Deulofeu;
Maybe this is too many changes given the comments of Ronald Koeman but it's a decent side all are solid Premier League players. I hope to see Tom Davies get some game time as well.
I think Barry, Jagielka and Bolasie could do with a break. Holgate, Deulofeu and Barkley need game time to continue their development. Lennon, Cleverley and Funes Mori won't let anyone down.
21 Posted 20/09/2016 at 05:31:01
22 Posted 20/09/2016 at 08:05:43
Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman (RWB), Oviedo (LWB)
Deulofeu, Idrissa, Barkley, Lennon
Robles, Jagielka, Baines, Davies, Cleverley, Bolasie, Kone
With this formation, Koeman can change into a back four if needed:
Coleman, Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori.
Personally I feel that Holgate & Funes Mori are the ideal replacements in the Premier League as they can slot in at RCB & RB and LCB & LB, respectively. Plus, they will do a decent job there too.
23 Posted 20/09/2016 at 08:46:57
Would probably give Funes Mori and Holgate a run out as well.
24 Posted 20/09/2016 at 09:51:56
They can be difficult to open at times, especially pickles, where one has to resort to placing the jar between one's legs, whilst turning the lid and singing "Come All Ye Faithful"! (:
25 Posted 20/09/2016 at 10:38:55
26 Posted 20/09/2016 at 11:12:43
Or the very long one about the useless midfielder from Aston Villa. Yep the same little work horse who is taking the Premier League by storm.
Still, we are all entitled to our opinion. I just think we should be giving plenty of credit where it's due.
27 Posted 20/09/2016 at 12:10:21
Holgate - Jagielka - Funes Mori - Oviedo
Davies - Gueye
Lennon - Barkley - Deulofeu
Robles, Williams, Baines, Cleverley, Dowell, Mirallas, Kone
Gives Barry a rest, Barkley a chance to continue his form from Saturday, a couple of lads a run-out and ammunition on the bench if required. COYB!!!
28 Posted 20/09/2016 at 12:46:28
29 Posted 20/09/2016 at 12:50:09
30 Posted 20/09/2016 at 12:51:57
31 Posted 20/09/2016 at 12:52:35
32 Posted 20/09/2016 at 13:00:45
Can Holgate play defensive midfield? Or drop Barkley deep and see how he performs.
I'd probably rest Bolasie and Mirallas for Lennon and Deulofeu too.
33 Posted 20/09/2016 at 13:15:14
How is he still on our wage bill?
Probably got his groin strain skipping back from the cash machine on wages day.
34 Posted 20/09/2016 at 13:15:51
35 Posted 20/09/2016 at 13:17:22
36 Posted 20/09/2016 at 15:22:51
37 Posted 20/09/2016 at 15:24:03
I suspect it'll 'be 2 or 3, as we need to be in that last 16 and avoid the burden of extra time and penalties.
38 Posted 20/09/2016 at 15:33:15
According to Merson, Everton will struggle with lack in depth. As a sports pundit, you would think he would know the players who cannot even get into the starting eleven, let alone the youngsters we have in the Under-23s. Strange how he can think Leicester last season had strength in depth.
Not too many changes tonight and job done.
39 Posted 20/09/2016 at 15:33:59
40 Posted 20/09/2016 at 15:41:39
41 Posted 20/09/2016 at 18:00:22
Watch where Rom is at the end of the game tonight!!
42 Posted 20/09/2016 at 18:08:32
43 Posted 20/09/2016 at 18:20:45
It has Everton playing.
44 Posted 20/09/2016 at 18:21:44
45 Posted 20/09/2016 at 18:24:16
46 Posted 20/09/2016 at 18:34:43
I heard that he hurt his groin playing Pokeman Go, trying to catch a Petrolipum.
47 Posted 20/09/2016 at 18:48:17
Subs: Robles, Jagielka, Kone, Mirallas, Bolasie, Barry, Oviedo.
48 Posted 20/09/2016 at 18:51:30
49 Posted 20/09/2016 at 19:01:57
50 Posted 20/09/2016 at 19:53:40