With Kurt Zouma ineligible to play at Chelsea next weekend, could Yerry Mina be handed his debut in preparation for the trip to Stamford Bridge?
Everton return home to face Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend looking to bounce back from Sunday's loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
A difficult assignment made harder by incompetent refereeing ended in frustration for Marco Silva's men but in the broader context of the evolution underway under the Portuguese's stewardship, there were, again, positives to take even in defeat.
In what is a difficult run of fixtures away from Goodison Park — the Blues were pit against United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in successive away games — it's at home where Silva knows his Everton side needs to ensure it picks up maximum points.
A few weeks ago, the visit of Brighton might have looked like a “home banker” (or as close to you can get to that in the modern Premier League) but Chris Hughton is overseeing a five-match unbeaten run which has seen the Seagulls win their last three, all by a single goal to nil.
That has lifted them to 11th in the table, just one point behind their hosts this weekend who will be looking to record a third home win on the bounce following the 3-0 win over Fulham and the 2-0 triumph over Crystal Palace.
Silva has named an unchanged attacking quartet for the past three games, with Richarlison moving to a central striking role to accommodate Bernard, but what worked so well at Leicester has started to be questioned somewhat by supporters.
It took the introduction of Ademola Lookman, Cenk Tosun and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to tip the match in Everton's favour against Palace and while the same strategy wasn't quite as effect against United, the manager will have been given food for thought by all three players and it could well be that he makes changes this weekend.
That could see one of Tosun, who scored in this fixture earlier this year, or Calvert-Lewin lead the line and Richarlison move back out wide, while Silva might be tempted to take Theo Walcott out of the firing line based on his iffy form of late and, perhaps, try either Lookman or one of the two Brazilians in his place.
Central midfield, where André Gomes's poise and seemingly seamless introduction to English football is delighting Blues fans, is likely to be unchanged but circumstance could prompt Silva into altering his line-up at centre-half in anticipation of next weekend's trip to Stamford Bridge.
Kurt Zouma will be ineligible to face his parent club in that one and there is some concern over the wisdom of throwing Yerry Mina in for his full debut in such a tough game. As well as Zouma has acquitted himself since signing on loan from Chelsea in August, he could be forced to make way and potentially risk losing his first-choice spot in order to blood Mina against Brighton.
The Colombian has been fit enough to start the last two matches but has been kept on the bench by the form of Zouma and Michael Keane. His debut is much anticipated, however, and this could be the weekend where he gets his chance. We await to hear from Silva at his press conference for more.
As Brighton have shown with three consecutive clean sheets, they can be tough to break down and that kind of defensive resilience, typified by ex-Blues defender Shane Duffy, has been a problem of Everton sides in the past and it proved to be again against Huddersfield in two months ago.
Richarlison was, of course, missing that day, and with Bernard and Gomes having settled into the team since and Lookman now pushing for game time, there is more creativity and guile about Everton than was the case in the frustrating 1-1 draw with the Terriers. The Toffees should have too much for the Seagulls but they will have to earn it.
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 3 November, 2018
Referee: David Coote
Last Time: Everton 2 - 0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gueye, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Richarlison, Tosun
Reader Comments (70)
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1 Posted 02/11/2018 at 07:52:35
Lyndon has the team sheet right I think this week
Coleman Zouma Keane Digne
Walcott Tosun Richarlison
Everton 3 Hove & Brighton Albion 1
2 Posted 02/11/2018 at 08:11:23
Brighton will come here in good form but in reality there are very few goals in them especially away from home and it not a game we should be fearful of (although Glenn Murray will give any defence some difficulties with his forward play) .
I expect we will win this and we really do need to win as its away to Chelsea next week and even the most optimistic Blue out there will accept that Chelsea are playing amazing football this season and its practically a non event that we win that fixture.
Need the win tomorrow.
3 Posted 02/11/2018 at 09:49:40
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Lookman Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
SUBS: Stek, Holgate, Baines, Davies, Bernard, Tosun, Walcott
I hope Siggy and Diane are practising corners and Coleman has been watching old Hibbert videos of "The Art of Right Back Defending" all week long.
4 Posted 02/11/2018 at 10:17:20
Im hoping that things have changed and the attacking and creative style introduced by Silva will be too much for a bang average Brighton team.
As far as the team selection goes I for one would be happy if the only change is Mina for Zouma. The front 3 havent been on fire but tbf its only been a few games. After the inconsistencies and constant line up changes of the last couple of years, fielding the same team 3 or 4 weeks in a row would likely help us in the long run.
Lets not forget that we managed 14 attempts away at Man Poo and that was with the front 3 not playing to their full abilities.
5 Posted 02/11/2018 at 10:34:30
Wouldn't mind Walcott and Bernard being rested for this one - give Lookman a start and Tosun up front. Maybe bring on Bernard if things aren't happening by 60 minutes.
An early goal and we can win this. The longer it stays level or if Brighton get their noses in front, the more likely we'll in trouble. There are no easy games etc etc
6 Posted 02/11/2018 at 11:13:01
I look at the games before Christmas and the visits of, Brighton, Cardiff, Newcastle and Watford and think we need to be savaging 10 or even 12 points from that lot considering the away matches on the horizon and a final home game before Christmas against perennial bogey team Tottenham.
9 Posted 02/11/2018 at 11:38:56
I'd also like Davies to be given some game time if possible, hopefully we can be in control of the game and give Davies a run out for one of the central lads.
Side note it's good to see Tom Davies again make it into the top 20 golden boy list. I think some of our fans often forget Tom's age, he's a young lad with a great attitude and bags of potential.
3-0 blues win.
11 Posted 02/11/2018 at 11:45:53
Richarlison is not a central striker, at least not yet. Playing centrally with your back to goal most of the time is much more difficult than playing on the wing where you can turn side-on and see the whole game before you. It's unfair to ask him to do it.
Tosun knows the job, more than DCL at this stage, and I'd start him, telling him he's got the next six games to bed into a system that's very different from last year.
Theo Walcott has had a miserable time of late. I have some sympathy, he needs the ball early, on the half-way line, and I don't mean punts from Pickford, if we are to get the best from him. Where I lose sympathy is that his willingness to drop back and cover has faded, see Martial's goal last week, and this is giving Coleman a tough return into the team.
Lookman has great touch and quick feet, pace over 3/4 yards but not outstandingly quick otherwise. Worth a go out wide but the same caveats as Walcott. All wingers need the ball early. Even Kevin Kilbane hit a purple patch when Gravesen was able to collect breakdowns and get it out to the halfway line.
Anyone else think that Bernard is wasted out wide? I'd like to see him start in the number 10 but not at the expense of Sigurdsson.
We could play both if we played just one of Gueye or Gomes. Any thoughts?
12 Posted 02/11/2018 at 12:01:08
13 Posted 02/11/2018 at 12:15:21
Presuming we stick to the same formation keep Coleman and put his form down to lack of match fitness and rest Digne.
Put Ric back on the left to be more involved and effective and DCL to start upfront. Bernard play on the right ahead of Walcott.
RIC SIGY BERNARD
BAINES ZOUMA KEANE COLEMAN
I don't think Silva will pick this team and I can see us conceding the first goal from a set piece or long punt forward but what's new. Keeps it frustrating and interesting, typical Everton.
14 Posted 02/11/2018 at 12:18:15
But both Coleman and Walcott at present are struggling theres no getting away from it, problem is Kenny comes in for Coleman but he too is rather limited, puts a shift in but hes not great at much else.
Whereas Lookman arguably has the attributes to challenge Walcott (if he gets his head right and knuckles down).
We need to start learning to defend more as a team though and I still think at times we are a little too passive with everything we do, dont get me wrong we can play some decent stuff but it needs more conviction.
I can see many similarities with Martinezs third and final season when before Christmas we played some dazzling football and scored plenty but there was a overwhelming feeling of frustration that we should have been getting much more.
It feels like that with this season a little bit and thats why we need to start being that bit more clinical and ruthless and less passive in our defending and attacking.
15 Posted 02/11/2018 at 12:36:11
So you're advocating starting Sigurdsson beside Gueye and dropping Gomes or starting Sigurdsson alongside Gomes and dropping Gueye?
Can't see either of those happening, thankfully because the team needs Gueye's engine and Gomes is getting better by the game.
I think the team will see two changes upfront with Lookman and Tosun coming in for Walcott and Bernard respectively.
Can't see Mina starting this one because if he gets injured then options at CB for Chelsea will be limited.
16 Posted 02/11/2018 at 12:46:35
Richarlison Tosun Lookman
Digne Keane Zouma Coleman
I really love Bernard but Richarlison looks better out wide playing with Tosun. It's great that we now have options. I think Lookman needs some minutes, and also settling in pre-January window speculation.
We've got tough games coming and a settled centre-back partnership is essential. Keane has been outstanding recently.
If the game is going really well, I'd give Davies and Kenny some game time. They might be needed in the approaching hectic schedule.
17 Posted 02/11/2018 at 13:02:13
Seamus is a great servant to the club but is currently out-of-form / off the pace. Defensively he gets roasted far too often, he's become a liability, necessitating Walcott to get back more, certainly more so than whoever is playing LM / LW quite simply because on current form Digne is a better defender.
Seamus is still a threat going forward but I feel is currently blighted by footballers equivalent of dartitus i.e. he needs to release the ball quicker. The system that Silva is trying to instill requires quick movement of the ball Seamus doesn't seem to understand that especially with throw-ins.
Seamus was targeted by Palace & Utd and found wanting. I'm pretty sure that other managers have noted that to be an effective tactic, why wait for it to happen again ?
I wonder with the current compliment of players and their form if Silva has contemplated switching to a "3" of Keane / Mina / Kouma in a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3.
If 3-5-2 I'd play:
Mina - Keane - Kouma
Lookman - Gueye - Gomes - Siggy - Digne
Tosun - Ricarlison
18 Posted 02/11/2018 at 13:03:40
Sure we might miss Gueyes workrate, but sigurdson also gets through a lot of work, but is much better with the ball at his feet, which might just make us a lot more productive from the middle of the park?
I still think this manager might switch to three centre backs soon though, because although we are improving, I still think this present system leaves us a little bit too open, the way our fullbacks push right up the pitch.
The other thing that is wrong defensively (IMO) is that if the fullback has to go inside to cover the centre half, then because of the system, sometimes the fullback then has nobody to cover him?
19 Posted 02/11/2018 at 13:04:14
20 Posted 02/11/2018 at 13:27:00
21 Posted 02/11/2018 at 15:20:59
22 Posted 02/11/2018 at 15:28:11
23 Posted 02/11/2018 at 15:50:42
Im not really convinced at this moment in time that Coleman is actually a threat going forward, perhaps if he sorts out his woeful crossing and final ball which had dogged him since his return in January then he might be a threat again.
Our problem is that Jonjo Kenny is not a massive improvement in that department and possibly no improvement at all even for a underperforming Seamus Coleman.
We need to hope Coleman can rediscover his old gusto and form, the player that made him a fans favourite because Seamus is all about swashbuckling head down running and without that he becomes quite ordinary.
If Coleman cant find form throughout the remainder of this year then it wouldnt surprise me too much if we started a search for a right back before long.
24 Posted 02/11/2018 at 16:07:51
It shows we have some real competition and quality in those areas.
If we can sort out the striker options ( and I believe in both Cenk and DCL) then we a real team capable of challenging for trophies.
25 Posted 02/11/2018 at 16:16:51
There are signs of improvement admittedly in comparison to the Neanderthal style under Allardyce; and the let's buy them regardless of cost and hope they will form a team style under Koeman; but there is something amiss that I can't quite put my finger on.
We had a referee against United who was pathetic in his decision making; but we can't solely rely on getting a decent referee to hope we manufacture a win either.
We seem to be so lightweight in the last third of the pitch after some promising work going forward; the amount of shots on target are few as well; and when we do get a lead, quite often, are in danger of relinquishing it with collectively poor defending, or lacking the ability to kill a game off.
Brighton have surprised me to a degree; when I first saw them last year, they looked certain candidates to go back down again, and were poor even at home, but fair play to them, without having any superstars, or even expensive players, they have managed to turn things round with dogged determination.
While I expect a win tomorrow, I can't see it coming easily, I said before the United game that surely Walcott, Bernard and Richarlison can't have another poor display in them, and should need no motivation for that game, but they did.
Richarlison can be partly forgiven, as he is being asked to play up front which is not his best position, but Walcott has disappeared out of games recently and contributed very little. Bernard seems to be too easily knocked off the ball, but has some good touches and scope.
26 Posted 02/11/2018 at 16:28:39
We are a bit like someone whos building their house but has run out of money after laying foundations then comes back to money again, does a bit more work then runs out again so work stops and so on and so on.
We need a serious shot at things under Silva and we need him to stay here and get things right, whether he will or not I dont know, how long do we give him I dont know the answer to that but we cant keep changing managers and starting new dawns with the “work in progress “ getting dragged out every passing year.
This time next year I need conceete evidence that we are past the work in progress stage under Silva and we need to keep progressing month by month starting from tomorrow.
27 Posted 02/11/2018 at 16:49:21
I've decided just to enjoy rather than endure each game as it comes, and at the end of the season we may see what progress that Silva and his team have made, although I don't reckon we'll get more than sixty points maximum, unless we go on an unforseen winning streak at some point.
Next summer, to use Jim's analogy above, we'll still need to replace key parts of the building, especially if Zouma and Gomes return to their parent clubs or move elsewhere. Unfortunately this is the house that Bill built and despite the investment of Moshiri so far, we are, and possibly will for some time, be a continuous work in progress. Hopefully the actual building of a new stadium, will be less traumatic than waiting for a truly competitive Everton team.
28 Posted 02/11/2018 at 17:01:26
right? Richarlison back on the left and Tosun in the middle.
29 Posted 02/11/2018 at 17:18:12
Lookman & Tosun in for Walcott and Bernard.
Coleman Keane Zouma Digne
Lookman Sigurdsson Richarlison
Subs: Stekelenburg, Mina, Baines, Davies, Bernard, Walcott, Calvert-Lewin
The major issue has been the right hand side - and this is due to lack of defensive work rate. Coleman bombs on far too high up the pitch & doesnt have the pace to get back. Walcotts defensive tracking has also been poor. Easy solution - Coleman needs to defend first - he can bomb on when were 2-0 up.
Gomes has been very good on the ball - but I would like to see more movement off the ball - and for him to demand the ball. Also his defensive workrate needs to improve.
Lastly - I completely agree with Marco - we take it game by game. Zouma is performing - so he stays in 100%!
Mina can have his first start against Gor Mahia & he will be ready for Chelsea.
COYB - lets get the 3 points!
30 Posted 02/11/2018 at 17:21:30
Walcott has not really immersed himself into the workrate and involvement necessary to justify a regular berth so Lookman gets a runout for me.
I also prefer Richarlison on the left so its either Tosun or DCL or a half each and whoever gets the goal(s) keeps their place.
I think zouma will keep his place and we will get a clean sheet.
31 Posted 02/11/2018 at 17:35:01
32 Posted 02/11/2018 at 17:47:04
Id agree Lookman for Theo,Cenk for Bernard etc just to shake it up and keep everyone involved,plus it gives us permutations going forward into busy periods.
Overall hoping for a comfortable win cos weve got some tough away games coming up.
33 Posted 02/11/2018 at 17:47:39
34 Posted 02/11/2018 at 17:48:20
35 Posted 02/11/2018 at 17:59:32
36 Posted 02/11/2018 at 18:15:04
Tosun, Lookman or Calvert-Lewin for Walcott.
37 Posted 02/11/2018 at 18:58:38
The way Wallclock is playing at present it is hardly a difficult decision to drop him.
38 Posted 02/11/2018 at 19:33:50
39 Posted 02/11/2018 at 19:36:30
Not rocket science and weve barely tried it.
Folks calling for Calvert-Lewin and Lookman are changing too much at the same time when we havent clicked yet.
40 Posted 02/11/2018 at 19:53:31
41 Posted 02/11/2018 at 20:06:16
First time I've seen Astley and he certainly has a calm presence on the right-side of a back 3.
Sambou spending most of his time on the floor so hoping Ellis Simms gets a bit more time in the second half than he did in the last game.
42 Posted 02/11/2018 at 20:08:38
I'd stick with Richie up front as I still believe he may be the best chance we have of a top class CF and Bernard needs game time to get up to speed. I'd also bring Mina is as we may well get a few set pieces.
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Lookman Siggurdsson Bernard
43 Posted 02/11/2018 at 20:22:06
Bernard may be the one under most pressure as he hasn't performed at all in the last 2 games whilst Lookman looks sharp.
Coleman would be my skipper, the only time he wouldn't get in my team is if he is injured. He is one of the few leaders on the park.
Mina will have to wait for bad form or injuries as both Keane and Zouma are playing well.
44 Posted 02/11/2018 at 20:36:19
Seamy Mina Keane Dixie
Lookman Andre Gana Bernard
45 Posted 02/11/2018 at 20:45:56
Walcott was calling to be played up front for a while when at Arsenal, weve not heard that from him here. He always needs a few chances to score though. Interesting times. I just want us to click properly before heading across the park.
46 Posted 02/11/2018 at 21:04:00
47 Posted 02/11/2018 at 21:07:47
including great goal from Bowler, Brighton got one back
from a corner, free header, good save by Hilton but the ball was kicked home by the lad who had the header, poor defending there by defenders, but we we now lead
the table by five points.
50 Posted 02/11/2018 at 21:51:42
Would like to see that at the expense of walcott with Bernard slotting in on the right side. If I never saw DCL in an Everton shirt again Id be delighted. The lad has played 50+ games for the club and I still dont know what he does. As a wide player everyone talks about his pace, Ive not see him run with the ball. As a striker, he slowly runs around and offering nothing. He needs to be sold or loaned with a view to buy and we have to move on from him.
Hed struggle to start in the championship never mind a team with ambitions to move up the table.
52 Posted 02/11/2018 at 22:09:06
For me DCL holds the ball up a lot better than Tosun, is a better header of the ball, Wins more 50/50s has scored more goals and is only 20 years of age.
I don't believe he is currently good enough for a top six side but Tosun will never be a top 6 player.
53 Posted 02/11/2018 at 22:09:51
54 Posted 02/11/2018 at 22:17:19
how these things get through to successive mangers continues to baffle me.
.” Psst boss..DCL can play out wide you know, hes played there loads, why dont you try him there, just as an alternative to our shit strike force, but not actually playing him up front, cos we both know he's shit up top” I suspect one D.Ferguson for this, but Im probably wrong…
55 Posted 02/11/2018 at 22:47:05
Then this would perhaps prove or disprove playing 4 footballers with guile, pass and ability.
One game is not enough for such a perm, but this could ultimately prove to the board a sanction to buy a natural striker, accepting theres few and far between..
January transfer window is very tough.
56 Posted 02/11/2018 at 23:50:51
57 Posted 03/11/2018 at 03:07:27
After all we all wanted a squad for competition, Silva said as much. Lookman in for Walcott, Bernard to the Bench. Tosun up front. The dashing Gomes to score a hat trick.
5-0 to the blues.
58 Posted 03/11/2018 at 03:24:49
59 Posted 03/11/2018 at 04:03:50
60 Posted 03/11/2018 at 06:34:19
Keep the same team.
Theo makes great runs in behind the opposition defence and Bernard needs more consistent match fitness. Both are capable of golden moments to cut the opposition in pieces.
Gylfi, Gomes and Gana will build momentum.
Coleman will be much improved this week - he knows himself he is below par. With Coleman not having a world class Martial against him will bomb forward and support Theo.
With another weeks Silva training, confidence building - we should get a good win today. Brighton will be more Huddersfield than Man U so we need to unlock the defence.
Patience and load home support will help and we have options from the bench.
Still, would not surprise me to see one change of the front three.
61 Posted 03/11/2018 at 06:43:56
62 Posted 03/11/2018 at 08:28:44
I expect us to win (hoping goes without saying!) but it is not going to be a walk in the park. Maybe 1-0 or 2-0. I expect us to keep a clean sheet with an improved defence but Houghton will be coming here to look for a point and do not this to be the high point of our excitement this season.
However, stepping stones 'n' all that - we do seem to be making progress after the last couple of year's shite and another step forward today will be very welcome.
I, for one am beginning to believe in Everton again.
63 Posted 03/11/2018 at 09:22:45
64 Posted 03/11/2018 at 09:39:22
has provided quite a few assists: for a twenty one year old he has a great deal of ability, keep watching him Phil,
you might get to appreciate him.
65 Posted 03/11/2018 at 10:23:29
Whereas Tosun, is not being played out of position, has arguably better players around him this season and still has a very poor return, although he does seem a genuine guy.
I don't see it being the style of play we have changed to, being the reason for few goals coming from the striking position either, if you could graft the two together we may have a decent striker.
66 Posted 03/11/2018 at 10:46:07
Looks like we got CB sorted and a good LB, as well as a long term solution in goal.
So its CF we are missing the quality (ironic, given how we had a very good CF in Lukaku not long ago) and now RB, as Seamie is very much out of form and Kenny needs time (ironic, given Seamie's very good form pre injury).
Two players away from a very good side. This was the case in 2012, 2009, 1996, and arguably 1989.
How very Everton...!
67 Posted 03/11/2018 at 11:18:56
No game in this league is easy and Brighton come here full of confidence having won 3 on the bounce, but hopefully we will have enough to secure all 3 points. There is for the first time in years competition for places in every position, which makes me think that this team will only improve from now on. Team spirit seems high which is vitally important if a team wants to be successful.
68 Posted 03/11/2018 at 11:22:40
69 Posted 03/11/2018 at 11:57:24
Digne has played well, may not have impressed in his forward play in the last couple of matches as we've not had a proper #9 / target man for him to hot early crosses into. Also he's had Bernard in front of him whom doesn't offer much support in defence.
Give Baines a run in the FA Cup though I'd really like to see some of the U23's break into the 1st XI for the cup.
70 Posted 03/11/2018 at 12:11:48
Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Lookman
all 21 years old.
I wonder if at some point that Silva may see if these 3 feed of each other and become more than a sum of their parts because of it. It wont happen today, but it the potential in it is plausible . It would bode extremely well for the club if it did click.
71 Posted 03/11/2018 at 12:37:15
Get him back on loan in January!? :)
72 Posted 03/11/2018 at 12:48:03
73 Posted 03/11/2018 at 13:30:10
I need my usual 10 a.m. start. These few weeks where I have to wait until 11 a.m. just throw me off.
Everton 3 Tony Everan's "Hove" 1
Walcott on the bench, Tosun up top with Rich and Bernard either side.
74 Posted 03/11/2018 at 14:16:34
75 Posted 03/11/2018 at 14:19:02
76 Posted 03/11/2018 at 14:39:36
Im not keen on waiting an extra hour.
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