Will Oumar Niasse spearhead the attack again after his crucial goalscoring intervention last time out against Watford?
David Unsworth continues at the helm in what, officially at least, remains an interim capacity as Everton resume Premier League action this weekend against Crystal Palace.
The Blues travel to Selhurst Park, the scene of their last away win way back in January, hoping to record back-to-back victories for the first time since September. The successive triumphs over Sunderland in the Carabao Cup and Bournemouth in the League also marked the last time Everton had won in any competition prior to the meeting with Watford last time out.
Now, with the last international break of the year out the way, they are looking to put a run of results together that will get the club back on an even keel and banish further talk of a relegation battle this season.
Having overseen three successive defeats away from Goodison Park since taking over from Ronald Koeman but with the benefit of a further fortnight to get more settled into his role, this promises to be another test of Unsworth's suitability for a longer stint as stand-in manager or as a candidate for the job on a permanent basis.
With seemingly little progress made regarding other options, Unsworth could get a few more games to prove himself and he will know that wins are the only currency that will purchase him a position he clearly covets.
Once again, all eyes will be on his chosen formation, line-up and approach to taking on a team that sit bottom of the division after the worst possible start but one which has shown signs of improvement recently under Roy Hodgson.
The Eagles beat Chelsea 2-1 at home a month ago and drew 2-2 with fellow strugglers West Ham, managing goals for the first time at Selhurst Park while losing only narrowly away at Newcastle and Tottenham.
Hodgson also looks set to welcome Christian Benteke back to his side following injury, one player Everton would have preferred not to be facing given their defensive vulnerabilities this season, particularly at set-pieces.
Unsworth, meanwhile, insists that there are no problems with either Morgan Schneiderlin or Kevin Mirallas following reports and rumours of a lack of commitment and discipline from the duo and that both are available for selection.
Schneiderlin has started only one game in the last month, that his ill-fated appearance at Lyon where he was sent off in the 3-0 defeat while Mirallas hasn't figured since coming off at half-time at Leicester and it would not be a surprise if neither player made the starting XI this weekend.
A starting midfield trio of Idrissa Gueye, Beni Baningime and Tom Davies is more likely again, with Ademola Lookman perhaps providing the width if Unsworth doesn't opt for two strikers.
Depending on how results shake out elsewhere, Everton could rise to 12th with a win, close the gap further on the top half of the table and put more daylight between themselves and the bottom three.
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 18 November, 2017
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Last Time: Crystal Palace 0 - 1 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Kenny, Keane, Jagielka, Baines, Gueye, Baningime, Davies, Lookman, Rooney, Niasse
Reader Comments (33)
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1 Posted 18/11/2017 at 07:58:42
2 Posted 18/11/2017 at 08:20:12
3 Posted 18/11/2017 at 08:21:54
Kenny Keane Jagielka Baines
Lennon Davies Beningime Gueye Rooney
Stating the obvious but the formation and tactics are crucial to Unsworth's future today. Play too open and we could get a pasting. Keep it tight and grind a result out will do him no harm at all.
4 Posted 18/11/2017 at 08:43:27
5 Posted 18/11/2017 at 08:50:43
Kenny, Keane, Jagielka, Baines
Lennon, Davies, Gueye, Lookman
6 Posted 18/11/2017 at 09:02:06
A difficult one to predict this, having watched Palace in the last few games, their miserable run of results belies the performances.
This again will be a huge test for Unsy and the lads, Palace will be desperate for a win and will battle all the way. Like us, they have found goals hard to come by, and also have conceded too many, oh like us too.
A nail-biter till 4:50 pm, which could pose a problem I have none left!
7 Posted 18/11/2017 at 09:13:01
8 Posted 18/11/2017 at 10:10:30
Vlasic Rooney Sandro
Baines Williams Keane Kenny
4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 4-5-1; it's all the same thing.
Need to see a massive improvement from Gueye and Davies, both have been absolutely awful recently. Sandro deserves another chance I feel – try him out on the wing. Calvert-Lewin starts ahead of Niasse because Niasse only seems capable of scoring in the second half of games, and especially coming off the bench on 60 minutes.
9 Posted 18/11/2017 at 10:22:11
Sandro is just not up to the standard and won't make the squad, never mind the bench. Lookman and Lennon will add pace and, in Lennon's case, some good covering work to help Kenny.
Kenny Jagielka Keane Baines
Lookman Davies Gueye Lennon
Niasse or Calvert-Lewin
10 Posted 18/11/2017 at 10:25:59
11 Posted 18/11/2017 at 10:41:46
Id go with the 4-5-1, wingers to give the full backs some cover and give us some width on the front foot-personally.
Whatever happens, sacrifice the performance for the result, win ugly if we have too.
12 Posted 18/11/2017 at 10:53:46
Palace will be looking to get a result against us and Woy will have them up for it.
The pace they have will give us a big headache defensively.
Fingers crossed to escape with a point.
13 Posted 18/11/2017 at 11:08:39
14 Posted 18/11/2017 at 11:15:51
Modern football is all about pace, power, and height. You need athletes and Rooney lacks all those qualities. Age and injuries have took their toll on him and he's just reputation. The odd goal he gets cannot make up for the downside he brings to the team whenever he plays. Look to the future and play those players that actually have one and not a player who is all past.
15 Posted 18/11/2017 at 11:24:49
16 Posted 18/11/2017 at 11:28:13
I am hoping David Unsworth sets up in a 4 5 1 with Rooney as the lone striker in this one. Tell him not to cross the halfway line or drift out wide. if he does that he will get opportunities and will score.
Kenny, Jagielka, Williams, Baines
Lennon, Gueye, Siguarddson, Beningime, Mirallas
Subs : Niasse, Lookman, Keane, Sandro, Davies
Lennon and Mirallas must make a big contribution in this game because our fullbacks are going to need cover.
17 Posted 18/11/2017 at 11:35:26
Kenny Keane Jags Baines
Tom Gueye Beni
Lennon DCL Lookman
It is so difficult to pick a balanced team.Id go for Vlasic over Lennon if he can be trusted to track back. This is why Unsy or whoever comes in needs time- we do not have a sufficiently balanced squad to be able to pick regular starters and way too many of the players are showing very poor form. If the Schneiderlin of last season was available with the Siggy from his Swansea days then the team would be so much stronger and it is a pathetic indictment of the more senior players that we have to look at the young players to provide the fight and energy which the more experienced players should be showing by example.
We really have accumulated a very sorry collection of prima donnas!
18 Posted 18/11/2017 at 11:54:25
19 Posted 18/11/2017 at 11:56:18
20 Posted 18/11/2017 at 12:06:29
21 Posted 18/11/2017 at 12:07:59
Today's Times tells all Everton fans all they need to know.
During the summer transfer window one Premier League club who negotiated with Everton over a player transfer were given three different prices in the space of a day with Moshiri,Kenwright and Walsh all providing significantly different valuations.
So now we know for sure that we have a chaotic management team.
It is a complete disgrace.
22 Posted 18/11/2017 at 12:09:14
23 Posted 18/11/2017 at 12:29:49
24 Posted 18/11/2017 at 12:37:49
25 Posted 18/11/2017 at 12:58:36
26 Posted 18/11/2017 at 13:28:06
27 Posted 18/11/2017 at 13:41:10
Now then, COYB - let's see some passion and pride!
28 Posted 18/11/2017 at 13:41:40
29 Posted 18/11/2017 at 13:50:03
30 Posted 18/11/2017 at 14:06:18
31 Posted 18/11/2017 at 14:16:41
32 Posted 18/11/2017 at 15:49:41
Gueye, Kenny and Sigurdsson have played well. Niasse our best but his fighting spirit is a red card waiting to happen.
Don't even know how to improve, we have the same problems with no width or pace on the bench with the omission of Mirallas and Vlasic. That Loftus-Cheek is a real player, wish he was one of ours!
33 Posted 18/11/2017 at 15:56:13
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