Richarlison wasn't able to train on Thursday but will be assessed on Saturday before Marco Silva takes a decision over whether or not he can play at Chelsea
Everton face arguably their toughest test to date this season when they travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Sunday.
The Toffees have already faced an in-form Arsenal side and come away from the Emirates unfortunate to lose 2-0 in September but under new boss, Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea are the only remaining side from Europe's top five leagues that are unbeaten in all competitions.
That, coupled with the fact that an Everton side hasn't won on the Pensioners' home turf in 24 years makes a particularly daunting task for Marco Silva who, unluckily enough, has a significant injury worry on his hands.
Arguably his key player, Richarlison, hasn't trained with the main group this week because of an ankle problem and is a doubt for Sunday. [Update Richarlison trained on Saturday and travelled with the team to London.]
The Brazilian rolled his foot awkwardly on the touchline astroturf during last Saturday's 3-1 win over Brighton and it looked at one stage as though he would not be able to continue.
He remained on the field, however, and completed a brace with two fine goals but it may have been at the expense of being fit to face Chelsea this weekend.
Silva admitted in his pre-match press conference that Richarlison, Everton's top scorer this season and a vital component of the manager's strategy away from home, didn't train yesterday but did some individual work away from the rest of the team today.
The club's medical staff will assess him further tomorrow before a decision is taken on whether he can be included in the side.
Jonjoe Kenny, who missed the midweek friendly with Gor Mahia, is also a doubt for Sunday but Phil Jagielka and James McCarthy came through the SportPesa Trophy match unscathed.
Should Richarlison miss out, it would require that Silva change his attacking personnel for the first time in five games and likely open up an opportunity for one of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun to lead the line.
Tosun hasn't started a game since the Carabao Cup tie against Southampton at the start of last month but did scored as a substitute in the two home matches either side of that cup defeat. Calvert-Lewin also scored off the bench in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace and the decision will probably come down to whether Silva fancies a greater aerial threat and braun for this one.
At the back, meanwhile, the manager will be forced into one change given that the impressive Kurt Zouma is ineligible to face his parent club. The on-loan centre half has been in great form since arriving on a season-long contract over the summer and Silva will surely be loathe to break up what has developed into a solid partnership with the rejuvenated Michael Keane.
Though Phil Jagielka returned from his latest injury problem in midweek against Gor Mahia, another summer signing, Yerry Mina, is the more likely beneficiary of Zouma's ineligibility.
The Colombian made a brief debut against Brighton and played the full 90 minutes against the Kenyans on Tuesday but his real baptism by fire will come against the team that begins the weekend sitting in second place behind Manchester City.
His getting to grips quickly with the pace of the English game will be paramount and the defence as a whole is going to need to be at its best to counter the Londoners' myriad attacking threats.
Chelsea are likely to make some changes from the team that beat BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday with players like Alvaro Morata, Anton Rudiger, David Luiz and Willian, a perennial scourge of Everton, good bets to return to the starting XI.
The game will also be notable for the fact that it will, in all likelihood, pit Ross Barkley against his boyhood club for the first time since his £15m move to Stamford Bridge in January.
Everton's performances away from home, coupled with their increasingly more cohesive and attractive look in general of late suggest that they have what it takes to ask some serious questions of Chelsea and that they have the talent in their ranks to cause an upset by becoming the first team to beat Sarri's men this season.
It's a massive ask, however, and you can't help feeling that Richarlison is key to the Everton's chances. Given his commitment to the cause and the fact that he played through the pain barrier last Saturday, it would not be a surprise to see him start but, should he fail a late fitness test, the onus of creativity will fall very much on the shoulders of Bernard and Theo Walcott.
Kick-off: 2:15pm, Sunday, 11 November 2018
Referee: Kevin Friend
Last Time: Chelsea 2 - 0 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gueye, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Walcott, Richarlison
Reader Comments (76)
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1 Posted 09/11/2018 at 17:49:34
2 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:03:05
I wondered then, when I saw it a couple of days ago, whether he would be right for this weekend against Chelsea.
A chance for Tosun or Calvert-Lewinto step up if he doesn't make it.
5 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:06:50
6 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:14:48
As for the Chelsea game, well... we're not expected to get much, but I think we'll still give them a bit of a game. COYB
7 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:19:47
Barkley own-goal, anyone?
8 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:20:09
9 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:35:07
That being said, I wouldn't want to risk him exacerbating an ankle injury.
10 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:48:29
11 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:56:10
Tosun is a good finisher but what we need upfront against Chelsea (I would humbly suggest) is pace to stretch the opposition and break quickly. That I feel is not Tosun's game, unless I have been watching the wrong player!
12 Posted 09/11/2018 at 19:07:03
There's no one close to him upfront but it could be a chance for Tosun to prove a point or Calvert-Lewin.
Typical of the way it goes but let's hope that we can put on a show and surprise Chelsea, the bookies and Sky.
13 Posted 09/11/2018 at 19:11:45
Why is it always our better players, I mean I wouldn't wish injury on anyone but we seem luckless at times.
I'm finding it hard to see Calvert-Lewin or Tosun having the prowess or mobility to perform over 90 minutes against the better teams; both are impact subs in my opinion.
May be worth a shot starting Walcott up top with Lookman on the right wing?
I just feel Chelsea need something to surprise them and they won't be surprised by Tosun or Calvert-Lewin plodding a lonesome role up front.
14 Posted 09/11/2018 at 19:21:56
I understand your point but we also need someone to take the buffeting from Luis and Rugani and keep them occupied.
I have no faith left in Tosun so I would give Calvert-Lewin the job who at least wins a lot of the 50/50s and links up play better than most.
He also has the pace and athleticism to chase lost causes which may be important in this one.
15 Posted 09/11/2018 at 19:23:31
I expect an Everton win and us being talked up even more.
16 Posted 09/11/2018 at 19:23:37
He'll play (I hope). If he is injured and unable to play it's a blow. I can't see Bernard getting a look-in against their defense either and I'd be surprised if he starts this one.
Silva may be tempted to park the bus and try and nick something from a set-piece during the game. With Mina in the side, this is a possibility.
May line up like this:
17 Posted 09/11/2018 at 19:33:12
Agree with the consensus that Calvert-Lewin should get the call.
18 Posted 09/11/2018 at 19:48:16
However, I agree with Amit, I'd bring Walcott inside and have Lookman on the right and hope he finds the ball. I'm looking forward to the game as we have a number of players in form and a nicer balance than we've had in years.
19 Posted 09/11/2018 at 20:00:54
20 Posted 09/11/2018 at 20:51:43
As Amit @11, mentioned I would try Walcott in the more forward striking role, as he has been more or less anonymous in the last few games on the right. This would allow Lookman and Bernard to occupy the wide slots.
With all due respect to Calvert-Lewin and Tosun, they have been better used from the bench, more in the case of Calvert-Lewin than Tosun who has been disappointing for me, his touch and control being very poor for a £27M 'striker'.
I feel we are still capable of giving Chelsea a game if we play to our strengths, but feel Richarlison will be sorely missed.
21 Posted 09/11/2018 at 21:37:04
That's it, I'm out of lame catch phrases for now. I would love like the rest of us to think that such optimism will end up being something to smile about. COYB
22 Posted 09/11/2018 at 22:00:51
23 Posted 09/11/2018 at 22:16:22
Looking forward to Keane and Mina together – although Silva in press conference played Mina down as an automatic selection. Jagielka, anyone?
24 Posted 09/11/2018 at 22:38:42
25 Posted 09/11/2018 at 23:15:15
Opposing managers fear him. They emphasize his importance to Everton's success. No coincidence every team we've played kick his ankles.
I've gotta a lot of love for Tosun and Calvert-Lewin. They both play hard, have determination and grit. But you need to combine their skills and athleticism into one player to get near the effect Richarlison has on opponents.
26 Posted 09/11/2018 at 00:03:02
27 Posted 10/11/2018 at 00:04:26
28 Posted 10/11/2018 at 00:33:57
29 Posted 10/11/2018 at 00:49:27
30 Posted 10/11/2018 at 02:14:23
Pace is what we need and in this game more than most a counterattack is paramount. Neither Calvert-Lewin or Tosun can make something out of nothing. Lookman and Walcott can.
Up the Toffees, 2-0 the Ev!
31 Posted 10/11/2018 at 02:56:03
Lookman comes in, and either he or Walcott play in the middle.
I'd put Niasse on the bench, in place of Tosun, as Niasse actually has an impact when he comes on in spite of his obvious failings. And his pace and energy at least fits our current style, Tosun is just way off.
Gonna be a very difficult game, but should also be an enjoyable one and we can win it.
32 Posted 10/11/2018 at 04:20:24
I'd play Calvert-Lewin. He's the fastest player at the club. He plays better when not wasted out on the wing. He should play as striker and take his chance.
33 Posted 10/11/2018 at 07:26:32
We are playing well, but so are Chelsea. This game will provide us with a good opportunity to see just how much Silva has improved the squad, and just how much improvement is still needed.
A true learning experience for everybody.
34 Posted 10/11/2018 at 08:21:29
35 Posted 10/11/2018 at 08:51:50
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Lookman Walcott Bernard
Subs: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Baines, Davies, McCarthy, Calvert-Lewin, Tosun
36 Posted 10/11/2018 at 09:20:42
I'd almost start Calvert-Lewin just to tire them out – but we need Lookman, Walcott and Bernard to take on the defence.
37 Posted 10/11/2018 at 09:30:44
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Walcott Calvert-Lewin Bernard
That's if Richarlison is out.
38 Posted 10/11/2018 at 09:39:23
Richarlison would be a big blow but not insurmountable.
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Lookman Tosun Bernard
39 Posted 10/11/2018 at 10:03:53
Out of the two who could replace him, I would probably go with Calvert-Lewin at present – there isn't much between him and Tosun. But he is young and hasn't played many games up top so he may be our best option. I know some have suggested Walcott to play there, as he did play up top for Arsenal on occasions, but I am not sure he is up to playing in that position any more.
40 Posted 10/11/2018 at 10:08:29
To improve the right flank, I would play Lookman rather than Walcott. When he replaced Walcott, he got more touches in 15 minutes than Walcott got in this last four games. Hopefully Seamus can hold up a bit better.
The forward line is a problem, especially if Richarlison is not fit. Bernard on the wing and use a lucky dip to select the centre-forward, since Everton really need to buy a replacement.
41 Posted 10/11/2018 at 10:59:34
42 Posted 10/11/2018 at 11:07:51
43 Posted 10/11/2018 at 11:17:03
44 Posted 10/11/2018 at 11:29:06
There's little doubt it's a tough ask to get anything from the game but any improvement on the last two visits is a must. I'm expecting the worst but hoping for the best regardless of what team we put out.
45 Posted 10/11/2018 at 11:49:35
46 Posted 10/11/2018 at 11:58:51
Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne, Gana, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Lookman, Walcott. With Tosun & McCarthy on as subs in the second half.
47 Posted 10/11/2018 at 12:12:51
With the best will in the world at the moment, and going on past form at The Bridge, it seems likely a draw is the best we might do
today tomorrow. I think that, if we could put away more of the early chances we have been creating recently, it would settle the side, give them the confidence to go on and win the game.
48 Posted 10/11/2018 at 12:17:44
But, then again, last week I woke up at 2am convinced I'd got 6 numbers up on the lottery... lol.
49 Posted 10/11/2018 at 12:43:11
Get back to bed now, dream well and don't wake until Sunday evening.
Brian (#39) makes a nice point about Richarlison and availability for the Brazil and Liverpool games.
50 Posted 10/11/2018 at 12:58:29
I'm not up to speed about Chelsea's centre-backs... If they are the types who can be hassled by a more physical presence, and balls crossed into the box, then we can go with Calvert-Lewin at the top.
Other than that, I won't play Calvert-Lewin. Others have mentioned, in their earlier posts, having a front 3 of Bernard (left), Lookman (right), and Walcott (centre); this may actually give us a very mobile forward line which we haven't really have before.
In fact, these guys can switch up quick a fair bit (Bernard going right and Lookman left too); it might be akin to some false nine formation. There is enough trickery and pace between these guys.
The drawback to that is that these guys are on the small side, and it depends if they can hold their own when the play gets physical.
Just last week, Man City played with small forwards across their front 4. So, it's worth a shot.
And if it doesn't work out, we can bring Tosun or Calvert-Lewin on later in the game.
51 Posted 10/11/2018 at 13:52:08
Too many cheese butties before bedtime?
52 Posted 10/11/2018 at 14:24:28
I watched the game back on TV (Sky Sports 60 min) and I couldn't believe how badly he twisted his ankle. He was in clear pain, limped around like a dog with a sore paw, yet hit a brace.
Silva needs to bring us some more guys to the club to join Mina and Bernard as our South American trilogy.
53 Posted 10/11/2018 at 16:18:06
I'm not saying Calvert-Lewin is the answer. Playing him is far from the ideal scenario but I just think he's the best we've got to play in an away fixture once Richarlison is taken out of the equation.
54 Posted 10/11/2018 at 17:08:47
55 Posted 10/11/2018 at 17:21:01
All the results have gone our way; if we manage a win, and Man Utd don't get the 3 pts we'll be up to 6th, and only 6prs behind Chelsea — it's the hope that kills you.
56 Posted 10/11/2018 at 19:06:57
57 Posted 10/11/2018 at 19:37:04
Up front, I think Calvert-Lewin is the best replacement for Richie if not fit. Calvert-Lewi is apparently our quickest player and quite adept at winning pens from rash defenders not keen on pace (see David Luiz). He's strong and runs all day so is the best fit for our counter-attacking/high press system.
58 Posted 10/11/2018 at 20:08:10
Experience and game time will help him. Tomorrow, I'm sure Chelsea will turn the screw early but also I believe we have enough ammo, to also do them damage... if we believe.
My vision for this weekend is that, Tony Bellew has a stormer and wins his fight and Everton tunes of glory set are set, for a long over due win at Stamford Bridge.
Siggy to score a stormer and Walcott regains his mojo, and bags a couple.
Deffo wishful thinking but I've more hope by far, than this time last year.
Silva will have them up for it, I'm sure and they'll learn from the mistakes at Manure.
No surprise.. no surprise, I didn't get no reply so far, from the FA, about cheating and diving by Martial. They've not even read the email, but may be it's filtered out and never got there.
Nb please Evertonians, TWrs, please say a prayer tonight for my uncle whose very,very poorly. Thank you.
59 Posted 10/11/2018 at 20:08:38
Depending on how this set-up works we could always bring on Bernard with 20 minutes to go to go for a win. I just worry if we don't flood the midfield we might get overrun and then there will be little chance of bringing in our fast counter-attacking approach. I think we have to play Mina tomorrow as he is our future.
60 Posted 10/11/2018 at 20:20:30
61 Posted 10/11/2018 at 21:26:10
62 Posted 10/11/2018 at 22:00:26
“Whats Our Name?”
63 Posted 10/11/2018 at 22:11:48
Which leads me on to the Southampton v Watford game, surprise, surprise, the official was Jon Moss, who disallowed a perfectly good goal at the end of the game.
I have no affinity with Southampton or Mark Hughes for that matter, but when the official makes a blatant error as was this one, regardless of who the team is, it raises the question of the severity of wrong decisions.
Charlie Austin was fuming when post-match interviewed, and didn't hold back in any way, shape, or form with his scathing remarks about Moss's refereeing.
No doubt Charlie will be fined by the FA for telling the truth, the sooner VAR is a part of the game the better, I know it's not ideal, but surely better than the likes of allowing bad refereeing decisions to go unchallenged, at the time, later, is too late!
Again I have no affinity with Charlie Austin, but the lad was spot on, with what he said. Imagine if it was the last game of the season (he said) and they needed the three points to stay up, this decision or any similar would have the Club wrongly relegated, and a Manager possibly sacked!
64 Posted 10/11/2018 at 23:19:34
65 Posted 10/11/2018 at 23:30:52
66 Posted 11/11/2018 at 07:11:00
67 Posted 11/11/2018 at 07:34:20
68 Posted 11/11/2018 at 07:59:59
They have two good full backs but Luiz and Rudiger especially can be got at.
Alonso is good going forward so he needs watching but we could turn this into an opportunity if we can catch him our of position.
If no Ricky its Tosun for me.
69 Posted 11/11/2018 at 08:37:14
70 Posted 11/11/2018 at 08:43:19
As has been mentioned Charlie will be sorely missed, assuming that he doesn't play, but we must remember too that we can't solely rely on him alone week in, week out.
The last few games have illustrated again, that goals are more likely going to come from midfield, as opposed to the striking department, hopefully I have put the hoodoo on them and Calvert-Lewin or Tosun prove me wrong.
71 Posted 11/11/2018 at 09:34:12
72 Posted 11/11/2018 at 10:17:06
We have a lot of talent too guys! We were really unlucky against Arsenal and Man Utd. The former – the only team to stop us scoring.
I'm backing us to win today. With or without Richy. Mina to score on his full debut and goals from Sigurdsson and Walcott. 3-2 Everton. So let's get with the positive vibes please.
73 Posted 11/11/2018 at 10:50:35
I'm not getting my hopes up after seeing Kevin friend is in the middle, we've had issues with him in the past.
74 Posted 11/11/2018 at 10:59:09
75 Posted 11/11/2018 at 11:40:35
76 Posted 11/11/2018 at 11:53:33
On the other hand, as a team we are on an upward curve performance-wise and it's a pity if Richarlison can't play – he might have been the difference.
I'm hoping for the best and anything will be a bonus.
77 Posted 11/11/2018 at 13:09:50
78 Posted 11/11/2018 at 13:14:28
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