FA Cup Preview: Everton vs Luton Town – stats, team news, line-ups

by   |   25/01/2024  0 Comments  [Jump to last]

Everton's troubled 2023/24 campaign saw a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel last week as Sean Dyche's side squeaked past Crystal Palace 1-0 in the third round of the FA Cup. 

Following a scoreless draw in the first game at Selhurst Park, Andre Gomes' first-half winner in the replay propelled the Toffees into the fourth round, where they'll meet Luton Town on Saturday. 

Out of the League Cup and embedded deeply in the Premier League relegation battle, Everton have continuously defied the bookmakers’ odds and maintained themselves just above the relegation spots. You are likely to have better results playing online casino games like hitnspin than predicting Everton’s results, such is the nature of their battle both on and off the pitch.

Plagued by off-field turmoil, the Merseyside outfit fight tooth and nail to avoid another punishment after being found guilty of breaching Financial Fair Play rules for the second time this season.

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November's ten-point deduction plunged Everton into the relegation scrap, and another potential points-related sanction could prove detrimental to their survival hopes. Everton's best chance of salvaging some pride is to go the distance in the FA Cup. 

With the club facing immense financial struggles, offloading prized assets could be a way for the Goodison Park side to balance the books.

According to Calciomercato, Serie A top-four hopefuls AC Milan have set their sights on versatile defender Ben Godfrey, whose contract on Merseyside runs out in 2025. 

Selling Godfrey might help Everton alleviate some pressure on their balance sheets. For now, Dyche must focus on the upcoming fixture against fellow bottom-half adversaries Luton. 

Goals on either side of half-time saw Rob Edwards' team squeeze past third-tier Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in the last FA Cup round to set up their fourth consecutive fourth-round tie. 

Match Preview

Everton last won the FA Cup title in 1994/95, and they'll likely have to punch above their weight to replicate that success this season.

Dyche must focus on taking baby steps, knowing the Toffees haven't progressed beyond the third round in the last two campaigns.

However, they've reached the quarter-finals on the last two occasions they've featured in round four, which is encouraging. 

Adding to home fans' enthusiasm, Everton have racked up three successive clean sheets in the build-up to this encounter, which has been the case in both previous cup games against Luton in the 21st century.

That's only a reason for cautious optimism, considering the Hatters stunned Goodison in September, beating the Toffees 2-1 for the first time in the Premier League era.

Luton had to navigate a replay showdown to crash Bolton out of the competition following a dull 0-0 draw in the initial leg at Kenilworth Road.

But before running out victorious at the Toughsheet Community Stadium, they had gone winless in three competitive matches (D2, L1), including a 1-1 draw at Burnley on their most recent top-flight travel.

That's also their only away success in the last six games against Premier League clubs (D2, L3) despite another failed attempt to keep a clean sheet on hostile turf.

Luton's substantial defensive woes have seen them concede at least once in all 12 away outings across all competitions in 2023/24, offering Everton a perfect chance to uphold a two-game unbeaten home record in 2024 (W1, D1).

Team News

Ashley Young and Dele Alli are long-term absentees, but Everton welcomed Dwight McNeil back in the abovementioned victory against Palace.

With Idrissa Gueye away on international duty with Senegal, Amadou Onana should partner James Garner in Dyche's double-pivot behind the attacking quartet. 

As for Luton, captain Tom Lockyer and midfielder Marvelous Nakamba remain unavailable for selection, while Issa Kabore is with Burkina Faso at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Everton potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford; Nathan Patterson, James Tarkowski, Jarrad Branthwaite, Vitalii Mykolenko; James Garner, Amadou Onana, Jack Harrison, Dwight McNeil, Arnaut Danjuma; Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Luton Town potential starting line-up:

(3-4-2-1): Tim Krul; Teden Mengi, Gabriel Osho, Amari'i Bell; Chiedozie Ogbene, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Ross Barkley, Alfie Doughty; Tahit Chong; Elijah Adebayo, Carlton Morris. 


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