26/09/2023 42comments  |  Jump to last
Carabao Cup Preview

Arnaut Danjuma could return to the starting XI after coming off the bench against Brentford at the weekend

Everton are back at Villa Park, the scene of their worst result so far in 2023-24, on Wednesday evening for a third round Carabao Cup tie hoping to build on Saturday's win at Brentford.

The Blues picked up their first victory of the Premier League campaign with a handsome 3-1 win at the Gtech Community Stadium to ease the pressure on the shoulders of Sean Dyche and his players and they can travel down the M6 in greater heart than they otherwise would.

Indeed, Dyche will be impressing on his charges not only the need to atone for what was an atrocious performance against Aston Villa in August when they deservedly went down 4-0 but also that they are more than capable of getting the result that would book the Blues' passage to the fourth round for the first time since 2020 under Carlo Ancelotti.

With no new injury concerns and Jack Harrison nearing full fitness, Dyche will have the luxury of making changes to the side that started in London at the weekend if he is moved to do so, although too big a reshuffle would risk upsetting any momentum Everton might take out of the Brentford win.

Article continues below video content

Harrison has been out of action since injuring his hip in May but has been working his way back and played 45 minutes for the Under-21s against Norwich City last Friday. Whether that makes him sufficiently "Dyche fit" and therefore able to take a place in the starting XI remains to be seen but the expectation is that his name will be somewhere on the team sheet when it is revealed at 6:45pm.

Meanwhile, Dominic Calvert-Lewin came off the bench for a second successive game against the Bees and is in the frame for what would be his first start since suffering a fractured cheekbone at Villa Park five weeks ago. He will be vying with Beto for a starting role, with the Portuguese looking to add to the goal he scored on his debut in the previous round at Doncaster.

The tie may also provide an opportunity for the likes of Nathan Patterson, Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey, Lewis Dobbin and Youssef Chermiti to get some game time and for Arnaut Danjuma to return to the team. Patterson recently lost his place to Ashley Young when he switched flanks to accommodate the return of Vitalii Mykolenko to left back but will be hoping to be named in the line-up should the veteran be rested.

Both Godfrey and Keane played the full 90 minutes of the tie at Doncaster and while Dyche may not elect to partner the pair together again, he could give at least one of them a chance alongside either James Tarkowski or Jarrad Branthwaite.

In Unai Emery, Dyche will be going up a consummate "cup manager", with the Spaniard having won three successive Europa League titles with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016, managed Arsenal to the final in 2019 and won the tournament again with Villarreal in 2021.

The furthest he ever got in the League Cup with the Gunners was the Quarter-Finals in 2019, however, and with Villa involved in the Europa League this season and looking to challenge for a place in the Premier League's top four, Emery might feel as though he has bigger priorities, especially as his side host Brighton in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday.

That could see him make a number of changes and, potentially, open the door to Everton to take advantage, provided of course that Dyche doesn't make too many of his own.

Villa will definitely be without Emiliano Buendia, Bertrand Traore and Tyrone Mings as well as Timothy Iroegbunam and Diego Carlos.

If Everton can spring a surprise and negotiate their way into the next round, they would be one of a maximum of 10 Premier League clubs left in the competition.

Kick-off: 7:45pm, Wednesday 27 September, 2023
Last Time:  Aston Villa 1 - 0 Everton, League Cup SF (22 February, 1984)

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Patterson, Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Onana, Garner, Danjuma, Harrison, Doucouré, Beto


Reader Comments (42)

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Kieran Kinsella
1 Posted 27/09/2023 at 03:09:55

I'm also hoping he puts out a B team and focuses on Europe. We don't want another setback after our first win.

Derek Knox
2 Posted 27/09/2023 at 05:38:44
While I appreciate this is a different Competition, I feel that putting a strong side out may not only yield a surprise result, but also add to the momentum and feel good factor, generated from Saturday's visit to London.

As Kieran says, Villa hopefully will be concentrating more on Europe and the Premiership and field a weakened side (we live in hope). Having watched all the games this far, we should have beaten Fulham and Wolves, and we have strengthened since then, so I feel we are in a false position in the table and the signs are there that we are getting better and better each game !

Nicolas Piñon
3 Posted 27/09/2023 at 06:03:34
This will be a tough match although Villa are in Europe or whatever we may think.
That’s why we should play our strongest side yes or yes. The most important thing, anyway, is we end the game without injuries. Would love a result, but more important is keeping moving our feet out of the mud.
Jim Bennings
4 Posted 27/09/2023 at 06:19:11
It's time we started targeting winning a Cup and I don't see why we are worried about staying up this season with the options in the squad we now have.

Personally I think we'd need to be absolutely horrendously bad to be relegated this season, and I don't see us being as bad as the three that got promoted, they are absolutely dog shit the three of them, I also think Wolves are sinking like a brick.

We should be going all out to try and get past Villa tonight and go into Saturday on a confident high.

Fans also need a break from league matches, the same humdrum of worrying every weekend, let's get a Quarter Final under the floodlights at Goodison and have a right good go at it.

John Keating
5 Posted 27/09/2023 at 07:17:10
Personally I would like to see as many squad players come in tonight.
Although we know for us to get a result we need a full first team playing we also need to look at the next 2 league games in which we need 6 points
Realistically league survival, long term, is far more important than a shot at a cup
It pains me to say all this because I’m a great believer in always playing your strongest team, however, I don’t think I could survive another end of season similar to the previous two
Lee Courtliff
6 Posted 27/09/2023 at 08:00:29
Full strength team for me, we've only got 2 more games after tonight before yet another break.

Maybe bring in Dan for Gueye and Patterson at RB.

Fran Mitchell
7 Posted 27/09/2023 at 08:08:22
No point in wholesale changes, it's of no benefit to squad players to come in if it's essentially a B team.

But a few changes, bringing in players who have something to prove in a 'strong lineup'.

Patterson in for Young, maybe Godfrey for Tarkowski but there is a case to keep the burgeoning partnership of Branthwaite and Tarkowski. Garner in the middle for Gana or Onana. Danjuma on the right, or left with McNeil on the right. Beto up top for 60 minutes then DCL (or Chermiti) off the bench.

Also a chance for further minutes for Dobbin, and maybe a chance for some minutes for Harrison.

Another interesting option could be one of McNeil or Danjuma in Doucoure's position behind the striker.

Danny Baily
8 Posted 27/09/2023 at 08:11:46
We can introduce a couple of players looking for sharpness, but no more than 2-3 if we want to win.

Keeping some momentum going is vital. A strong side for me. A rest for DCL; Patterson, Danjuma and Keane or Godfrey to come in. Chermiti and Dobbin off the bench.

A win tonight, followed by 3 points at the weekend, and our season is starting to look very different. Just 9 more league wins to go.

Steve Croston
9 Posted 27/09/2023 at 08:12:24
If we can get a draw, there is no extra time in this competition, so straight to penalties.

Anyway, I just want to see an improvement on our previous visit, anything else would be a bonus. COYB!

Martin Reppion
10 Posted 27/09/2023 at 08:54:35
I hate seeing any team put out what amounts to a reserve team in cup matches. The League Cup is still a trophy to be aimed for.

Having said that, we have a few issues to resolve. Our weakest part of the team at the moment is the defensive midfield where Gueye in particular keeps giving the ball away. Maybe tonight is the time to try Ben Godfrey or Ashley Young in that position. Or whoever plays the role in the Under-21s.

I'd like also, to see Chermiti get some proper game time. Bringing in Patterson or Harrison is potentially improving what we have anyway so this would not be a dangerous switch and would get them much-needed exposure.

Most of all, we need a performance to banish the disaster of our last game there. A win would be a bonus.

Robert Leigh
11 Posted 27/09/2023 at 09:25:32
We've options now, but essential we protect a few essential players for the league. So I'd go:

Patterson - Keane - Tarkowski - Myko
Danjuma - Gana - Doucoure - Harrison
Beto - Chermiti

Does show we're a little light in midfield, if Gomes was fit I'd throw him in and maybe even Godfrey who has played CDM before.

Ones to protect from overplaying are Garner, Branthwaite, DCL and McNeil IMO.

Benjamin Dyke
12 Posted 27/09/2023 at 09:28:12
I've never understood the whole sale changes with line-ups etc for the cups, even when we've been on a strong run of form (last seen under Moyes!?). It never works! Don't change a winning team except if needs must. If we don't perform then he can make changes and bring in fringe players. Of course changing out the keeper, a wide midfield player or maybe even the CDM is not so drastic or possibly 1 of the CBs but please no wholesale changes! We have no momentum and desperately need positive momentum!
Allen Rodgers
13 Posted 27/09/2023 at 09:30:16
We're taking 4,400 to a midweek game in a competition where we always fail and to a ground where we were trounced a few weeks ago. Our support is incredible. .
Chris James
14 Posted 27/09/2023 at 09:50:41
Whilst rotation is likely, I personally think it'd be a big mistake not to at least start with the same team as the weekend. We need to build momentum not rest players and there's another international break coming soon, so it's hardly a relentless schedule.

Giving Gueye and Young a break is fine, Garner 100% needs to start and Harrison given some decent game time off the bench for McNeill, but don't see the argument for starting Keane AT ALL.

Paul Jamieson
15 Posted 27/09/2023 at 10:01:14
Paul Ferry @60,

I always read ToffeeWeb but rarely post but I got to say your post was absolutely spot on. Read every word. I'm 64 now and remember the good times but, like you so eloquently put it, it's in the past. Great post.

Onwards and Upwards!

Jon Harding
16 Posted 27/09/2023 at 10:06:18
I can fully understand fans wanting to see a strong line-up this evening and a cup run in a competition we have unbelievably never won. But I don't think it's going to happen. Nearly all managers make wholesale changes for these games; it's just that some clubs have better squad depth than others.

I imagine when it comes to priorities, Dyche is focused solely on Premier League survival after our awful start to the season. So resting first-choice players tonight ahead of Luton on Saturday will surely happen. Luton have an extra 24 hours on us and I believe made 10 changes yesterday (resulting in a deserved defeat at “mighty” Exeter).

So prepare yourselves for Keane, Godfrey, Patterson, Dobbin, Chermiti and others starting. I'd be surprised in fact if any of the first-choice team from the weekend start, except maybe Pickford as it's penalties straight after 90 minutes, I think.

I don't like it but it's footballing reality in the 21st century sadly. And I bet Villa do the same.

UTFT and the travelling 4,400

Danny O’Neill
17 Posted 27/09/2023 at 10:24:15
I'm watching back the Brentford match highlights to get in the zone before heading off around midday.

My memorable moments of Villa Park are the semi finals against Luton and Sheffield Wednesday.

And then the Sheedy 1 - 0 win as we were closing on the title. We had at least 10,000 inside the stadium on seemingly all sides. I was in the away end.

I suspect more that the reported 4,400 will travel for this evening. How many of them get into the stadium, I don't know.

I'll see a few of you there before and during, as well as a couple of longstanding friends from my Army days. One a native of Allerton, another from Warwick who I introduced to Everton. The poor lad. His two children follow Everton as well.

Any game of football is winnable. And we have to win this trophy at some point.

Spirit and belief. That's what I'm travelling with.

Take Saturday with you blue boys.

Sam Hoare
18 Posted 27/09/2023 at 10:25:19
I think a few changes to rest the older players and provide the youngsters or bench players an opportunity is fine by me. It would be a very tough match even if we played full strength and the league is obviously the priority at the moment.

The likes of Chermitti, Dobbin and Patterson obviously need game time to develop though the former may be from the bench. Keep Tarkowski and Branthwaite, they need to keep building their relationship as will be crucial for us this season.

I'd go:


Patterson Tarkowski Branthwaite Mykolenko
Harrison Onana Garner Dobbin
Beto (or Calvert-Lewin)

Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 27/09/2023 at 10:55:57
Start strong. Win the game then rest.

Don't go chasing the game when it's too late.

Listening to music to relax myself. Randomly (as happens on the playlist), the two that are working?

The theme tune to the film Kelly's Heroes (Burning Bridges)

Is this the Way to Amarillo

Absolutely no relevance to Everton, but it's helping.

I can't wait and will be on my way into Birmingham soon.

Mark Murphy
20 Posted 27/09/2023 at 10:56:18
I don’t see bringing in Patterson, Danjuma, Harrison and Chermiti/Beto as “playing the reserves” and would be happy with that. In fact I’d rather see Patterson rested for Saturday as I rate him better than Young at right back. My main concern is centre back. IF we lose Tarks or Branthwaite to injury we’re screwed so I’d put Keane and Godfrey in and tell them their futures on the line! I’d LIKE to win this cup but not at the risk of 6 points the next two games. UTFT!
Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 27/09/2023 at 11:15:25

Dyche-fit caught my eye Lyndon, because McNeil was blowing for tugs and at least a yard off the pace against Arsenal, but a week later he was still full of powerful running towards the end of the Brentford game.

Does the manager know his player, or was the player just enjoying his team playing well and winning?

Winning breeds confidence and confidence breeds momentum, so if Everton win tonight, then Goodison will be absolutely bouncing on Saturday.

Know your players and learn about the fans, the art of good management in a nutshell!

Hopefully it’s - we’re gonna shit on the Villa tonight Danny🤞

Rob Halligan
22 Posted 27/09/2023 at 11:16:01
Play the strongest possible side we can. Players can easily get injured at the start of a league game, just as much as getting injured during a cup game. Players can even get injured in the warm ups prior to a game, as we seen with Brentford on Saturday.

But we all know it won’t happen!

See you down there Danny. We’re due into Birmingham New street around 1.15pm.

Jack Convery
23 Posted 27/09/2023 at 11:52:57
In any other season I would go with the same XI as Sunday. However the thinness of the squad and the lack of quality of some of our reserves means we can't take risks with the quality we do have. Luton on Saturday is much more important than this game given the season ahead and the limitations of the squad. If Pickford, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, McNeil, Mykolenko, Garner, Doucouré, Beto or Calvert-Lewin picked up an injury ruling them out of the next two games, we do not have great cover for them.

Patterson, Keane, Godfrey, Young,
Harrison, Gueye, Onana, Dobbin.

Also give Onyango some game time in the second half to see where he's at as regards being ready for the 1st team.

I expect Villa to make at least 9 changes for this match.

Does anyone know if Luton made 11 changes last night or did they play their regular first team as they lost to Exeter?

ps: I draw your attention to

Everton, BK Hacken Glory and Zlatan: Johan Hammar Interview, which is well worth a listen.

Jack Convery
24 Posted 27/09/2023 at 12:23:48
Just read Luton made 10 changes to their team v Exeter.
Mal van Schaick
25 Posted 27/09/2023 at 12:26:37
We owe Villa for that 4-0 thrashing. We’ve improved since then and I expect a win.
Tony Everan
26 Posted 27/09/2023 at 12:42:43
There's good arguments to keep some players safe but we do not have the midweek stresses of European football so I think it's more than justified to go with a very strong side. A win would keep momentum up and be another confidence boost, both of those would provide more fuel and motivation than resting players.

Patterson Tarkowski Branthwaite Mykolenko
Garner Onana
Harrison Doucoure McNeil

Calvert-Lewin, Danjuma, Chermiti, Dobbin to change it up offensively if necessary in the last 20-30 minutes.

Mick O'Malley
27 Posted 27/09/2023 at 13:07:16
Full strength team for me, it's the beginning of the season, the players should be full of running. The away support deserves to see a full-strength team giving it their all to try and get us through to the next round.

It drives me absolutely mad when we don't play a full-strength team in the cup. Even if we get an injury or two, I'd like to think any team we put out Saturday should be able to deal with Luton, UTFT!!

Duncan McDine
28 Posted 27/09/2023 at 13:19:28
Rob & Danny... where are you meeting before the game? As long at traffic isn't too bad, I'm hoping to be near Villa Park around 5.30 to 6. Would be good to put some faces to names!
Christopher Timmins
29 Posted 27/09/2023 at 14:21:36
10 Premier teams left after tonight, let's be one of them! Dyche should start as many of the first 11 as possible while giving Patterson and Harrison a run.

A win tonight hardly hinders our prospects on Saturday?

Dale Self
30 Posted 27/09/2023 at 14:44:48
Play a strong 11. Put them away early. Mass subs at the 60 minute mark. Never liked Villa.
Jay Harris
31 Posted 27/09/2023 at 14:45:31
Dont mess with a winning side, just rest one or two and make full use of subs.

Personally I hope Michael Keane gets nowhere near a start because he always has a mistake in him. I would be happy for Patterson and Harrison to get some game time and would like to see Danjuma given a start. Other than that I would see how the game is going and make tactical changes.

Barry Rathbone
32 Posted 27/09/2023 at 14:45:41
We need to win something and it won't be the league and a teams winning mentality comes from one thing - can anyone guess what that might be?

Yes, losing.

We need to disrupt things as much as possible break up any semblance of a developing team spirit and go down to a whimpering defeat because it's character building.

The idea of breeding a winning mentally by having a settled first team getting good results in cups and league alike is cheating imo. But there we go

Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 27/09/2023 at 15:16:38
In my way to New Street Duncan. Hoping to meet a few there. If not will figure out somewhere near the ground.

In the Upper Tier.

Stephen Vincent
34 Posted 27/09/2023 at 15:32:29
Witton Arms on the roundabout on Witton Road. Its 5 mins from the ground and at the right end.
Denis Richardson
35 Posted 27/09/2023 at 15:52:14
All for going for every game but we do also have a very thin squad and are only a few injuries from disaster.

I’d play a strong team but look to rest a couple we’re still easing back. McNeil should not start and I wouldn’t start DCL either. Both off the bench in the 2nd half for a run out. I’d start Patterson and give Young a rest.

So Patterson for Young and McNeil for Danjuma. Keep rest as is.

Martin Farrington
36 Posted 27/09/2023 at 16:53:50
I hope it isn't a full side as we are so unlucky our best player(s) are bound to get injured.
Replace Gaye with Garner.
Chermiti on the flank.
Make Onana work in front of the defence.
I think Doucoure should be switched for Danjuma.
And Patterson for either Mykolenko or Young.
Pray the ref hates Villa.
Tom Bowers
37 Posted 27/09/2023 at 17:52:42
With many teams playing some of their ''second stringers'' in these early rounds it's easy to write this competition off as needless.

However it is a chance for others to possibly stake a claim and as Everton are not yet firing on all cylinders the opportunities for them are likely to arise.

Yes we want to win every game no matter how important but the next league game is more important than this and let's face it Villa are becoming a pain in the backside to us Evertonians.

If they can get off to a good start they may just beat Villa but if they play like the Doncaster game then we are toast.

Billy Shears
38 Posted 27/09/2023 at 18:00:21
Play your strongest side,it's time to win this fucking Cup,two finals since this competition started is simply a disgrace, look at past winners...jeez,even Norwich has won this pot!

It's high time us Blues had our Easter day at Wembley and what that could lead too... European footy again.

I'll even take a shitty kopite victory (penalty shootout) tonight,time to show some bollocks and finally do villa at their gaff!

COYB...Just believe!!!

Robert Tressell
39 Posted 27/09/2023 at 18:28:37
Go for the win, keep up the momentum and help the players get into a decent rhythm with each other. So not too many changes please to a winning side.

As it happens the squad is so small it's not like there are lots of options. Onyango and Metcalfe both played (and lost) against Burton Albion last night for the u21s. Dobbin and Chermiti are the only other youngsters available. I'm not sure Virginia, at 23, is even a youngster anymore.

Otherwise, hopefully we'll see Patterson. But otherwise I guess Godfrey, Keane and (hells bells) Gomes could be given a run out.

Jim Lloyd
40 Posted 27/09/2023 at 18:37:17
I'm not sure. I don't like the idea of going full strength at Villa. We've won one game. I still want to see us have all our players available for the two home games.
It'd be great to win a cup, but to me, we seem to be cursed as far as injuries go. We definitely played well at the weekend, and it looks like a great beginning of a decent team. I'd like to see as many of that team as poss, be fully fit for Saturday and next week.
Mark Andersson
41 Posted 27/09/2023 at 18:38:35
Good win for the traverling blues, hippy dayz
Duncan McDine
43 Posted 27/09/2023 at 19:16:24
Just saw your reply, Danny.

Sorry... we're lower tier. Another time.

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