09/12/2023 53comments  |  Jump to last

Everton are hopeful that James Garner can overcome a stomach illness in time to face Chelsea

Just three days after their stirring victory over much-vaunted Newcastle, Everton are back at Goodison Park for another huge game, this time against big-spending Chelsea.

Were it not for the Premier League’s overly-punitive 10-point deduction, the Toffees would come have come into the weekend sitting a point and a place above the West Londoners in 10th; as it is, they hauled themselves out of the relegation zone with that 3-0 win over the Magpies and are not looking to get themselves further up the table in the coming weeks.

Sean Dyche had to put out a patched-up midfield on Thursday night with Amadou Onana ruled out with a calf injury and James Garner succumbing to illness earlier in the day but the manager is hopeful that both players could at least be in the squad this time.

Onana was rated as touch-and-go for the Newcastle clash but the medical staff erred on the side of caution but Dyche has indicated that there is a chance the Belgian could at least make the squad to face Chelsea.

Article continues below video content

Garner, meanwhile, will be assessed to see whether or not his stomach flu was “a 24-hour thing” and whether he can keep food down to regain his strength ahead of the match.

Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman will be checked to see whether he can play twice in such a short space of time so soon after returning from a long absence. The skipper came off after 67 minutes on Thursday with what initially appeared to be a knock but he was able to run off the pitch and Dyche assured reporters afterwards that there was no significant problem.

Chelsea could have as many as 10 players ruled out for varying reasons but they have a large squad that can easily absorb a loss of personnel on that scale. Conor Gallagher serves a one-match suspension for picking up two yellow cards against Brighton last weekend and Christopher Nkunku is unlikely to feature but Rameo Lavia and Malo Gusto will be given late fitness tests. Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Trevor Chalobah, Lesley Ugochukwu and Carney Chukuwuemeka, and Chukwunonso Madueke are all out until the New Year.

After making a disappointing start by their standards with just one Premier League win to their name until they won at Fulham at the start of October and struggled for consistency since, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have been showing of late signs that the Argentine is starting to get his arms around the job he took over the summer.

They thrashed Tottenham 4-1 in North London last month, albeit with the help of two red cards for Spurs, held Manchester City to a 4-4 draw at home and overcame Brighton at Stamford Bridge despite playing the second half with 10 men but Everton will take heart from their last two away games where they lost 4-1 at St James’s Park and 2-1 at Old Trafford in midweek.

Manchester United’s ability to force mistakes from Chelsea’s defence with a dogged press bodes well, as, of course, does the Blues’ recent attacking form which has seen them register an average of 19 shots in their last three matches.

Everton have found this to be a profitable fixture in recent years, winning it four seasons in a row before losing narrowly on the opening day last season under Frank Lampard, and the Goodison faithful will be hoping their team can carry forward the momentum from successive wins over Forest and Newcastle and resume the trend of victories over Chelsea.

Kick-off: 2pm, Sunday 10 December, 2023
Referee: Michael Oliver
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Last Time: Everton 0 - 1 Chelsea

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gueye, Garner, Harrison, McNeil, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (53)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer ()

Danny O’Neill
1 Posted 09/12/2023 at 16:01:50
It's going to be a long sleepless and nostalgic night thinking about tomorrow.

But we fight what is in front of us. On the pitch. Off the pitch.

A meet-up with my brother and a decent-timed kick-off. Early start but I'll get home early-ish having run the double gauntlet of Chelsea supporters.

We are the famous EFC.

Paul Kossoff
2 Posted 09/12/2023 at 16:10:15
Sheffield winning, Burnley winning, Forest were winning, the shite won and are top, I bet arsenal get beat. I hope tomorrow I'm not reading on here about how certain players shouldn't were the blue again. Back to reality Sunday, let's hope today's results change for the better. Next three games after Chelsea, Burnley and Spurs away, Man City at home.

As it stands.

Nottm Forest

16 -11 14



15 -2 10



16 -17 10



15 -14 9


Sheff Utd

16 -29 8

Chris Langton
3 Posted 09/12/2023 at 16:11:26
Be great if we have Garner and Onana back in our midfield. Gueye needs a rest!
Ajay Gopal
4 Posted 09/12/2023 at 17:04:53
Guys, I happen to be in New York City. Can anyone recommend a bar where I can watch the Chelsea game?
Kim Vivian
5 Posted 09/12/2023 at 17:18:25
Fuck's sake. Final score's depressing.
Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 09/12/2023 at 17:21:55
The only score that matters is Everton's.
Gerry Quinn
7 Posted 09/12/2023 at 17:22:14
Ajay .


Lee Courtliff
8 Posted 09/12/2023 at 17:53:45
No way Ashley Young can play twice in 3 days, so maybe Patterson will be called upon given the knock Seamus suffered?

I hope either Garner or Onana are fit because Doucouré and Gueye did a lot of running on Thursday night and we're bound to be chasing the ball for long periods.

I also wouldn't mind Beto starting and not just because of his goal. I think Calvert-Lewin knowing he has genuine competition for his place will, hopefully, spur him on. He's had a lot of chances in the last 2 home games and failed to take any of them!

A point would be decent given our last 2 games, but we definitely need to win next week at Burnley.

Terry Farrell
9 Posted 09/12/2023 at 18:42:05

The Turnmill is an Everton pub and it's fantastic.

Chris Langton
10 Posted 09/12/2023 at 19:00:21
Let's hope we have Garner and Onana fit for our midfield.
David Hallwood
11 Posted 09/12/2023 at 19:21:27
I just re-watched the whole of the Newcastle game, obviously without the heat of battle so I can be a bit more objective:

Plus points; the work Dom gets through is phenomenal, you can forgive the glaring miss. The workrate is also phenomenal, they were pressing well into injury time.

Negative points: the passing is truly appalling and serious work is needed on the training pitch.

In the 1st half, Dom was shaping up for a header and Trippier pushed him and to me that was a stonewall penalty. If someone can get touched and go down and everyone screams penalty, what's the difference?

Onto tomorrow's game; they are terrible at defending headers and we should have a field day if we get the ball to Dom and make our corners count, This is the first time in years I've gone into a game with Chelsea, believing we'll win.

Liam Heffernan
12 Posted 09/12/2023 at 19:39:09
We have been a the most extreme end of Premier League corruption but I've seen naked defilement of the game today helping Liverpool, first in their game and in the Arsenal game, the refs aren't even hiding it anymore.

In such an environment, unfortunately we have no chance reaching the heights we once reached. After today, it's definitely RIP Premier League.

Robert Tressell
13 Posted 09/12/2023 at 19:46:57
David #11,

In all the fun, I'd forgotten the Trippier push. Definitely a penalty. We need to complain much, much more.

Barry Hesketh
14 Posted 09/12/2023 at 19:49:48
Paul @ 2,

At around 5pm last Saturday, we were 5 points from safety, we've played two matches since then, and find ourselves tonight, a point ahead of the Bottom 3.

Luton host Man City tomorrow, we are at home to a difficult side, but could, given the rub of the green, get the points. Not to mention the totally unfair deduction of 10 points, which if it was overturned immediately would see Everton fairly comfortable in mid-table.

I know you're a "glass half-full" sort of bloke, but sometimes I do wonder if you even own a glass at all.

John Keating
15 Posted 09/12/2023 at 20:29:51
After today's results, we need 3 points tomorrow.
Ajay Gopal
16 Posted 09/12/2023 at 20:41:26
Thanks, Gerry (7) and Terry (9).

I will try to get there tomorrow morning. Hopefully, I can catch it with some Blues.

Neil Carter
18 Posted 10/12/2023 at 00:20:05
Let's carry on from Thursday night's atmosphere.
Everton against the world – unified on and off the pitch in defiance of the unfair treatment by the Premier League.

Whoever is responsible for Goodison PA, let's have a bit of Chumbawamba's Tubthumping prior to kick-off to fire us up for a third victory in a week.


Paul Kossoff
19 Posted 10/12/2023 at 00:24:20
"They hauled themselves out of the relegation zone with that 3-0 win over the Magpies and are not looking to get themselves further up the table in the coming weeks."

Lyndon, I really hoped you haven't jinxed us with that typo.

Paul Kossoff
20 Posted 10/12/2023 at 00:40:22
Barry 14.

Now, now, Barry, no need to revert to the old personal digs. You don't know me from Adam and, as far as I know, I'm as much entitled to an opinion as you are.

So we get battered by Chelsea, what's your take up on that? "Oh the lads tried, but it's okay, we ain't good enough."

Have you seen our fixtures coming up? Let me wallow in the mire of not expecting anything and I'll let you, the eternal bloody optimus prime, shout from the roof tops that all is rosey in the Everton garden.

I bet you still look out of the window Christmas morning expecting a pony.

Derek Knox
21 Posted 10/12/2023 at 00:50:23
While we should never rely on other results to our advantage or disadvantage, yesterday's were not exactly favourable to us, but nevertheless a stark reminder that any team in the Premier League is capable of beating any other.

Man Utd are no great shakes, and I am still scratching my head as to how we lost, despite playing better than them, but yesterday, who would have had Bournemouth down to beat them 0-3 at Old Trafford?

I do believe, if we play like we did against Newcastle, we can get all 3 points here, which hopefully will also exemplify that extravagant forays in the transfer market (Chavs) doesn't guarantee success!

COYB 🤔💙💙👍

Mark Taylor
22 Posted 10/12/2023 at 01:19:59
Chris @3,

I believe Gana is off to Afcon next month. I don't read he's done a Doucoure and prioritised us. So we play him as much as we can beforehand, till he drops, then bring back some fresh legs.

We don't have enough midfield cover to do anything else.

Paul Shipsides
23 Posted 10/12/2023 at 01:28:15
8 wins from the last 12 games shows that we are definitely heading in the right direction regardless of today's result. I believe that we are becoming stronger in self-belief than any time in the past few years.

Onwards and upwards from now on.

Derek Turner
27 Posted 10/12/2023 at 07:21:39
Morning, does anybody know when and where the team bus turns up today?

My son and I are on a pilgrimage. First ever visit to the city, though a supporter for 34 years. Any tips on a good pub also appreciated.

Derek Thomas
28 Posted 10/12/2023 at 07:23:45
Chelsea seem to either batter us and we don't lay a glove on them or the likes of Ferguson or Naismith beast them.

Which Chelsea turns up tomorrow? More Importantly — Which Everton?

Derek Knox
29 Posted 10/12/2023 at 08:06:16
Derek T @ 27, hope you enjoy yourself today mate, wow, that's some record almost surely, 34 years and first visit to GP ?

As a regular, but not today, through illness, I'm not sure about the Team Bus time arrival exactly, but no doubt someone will, I do know it stops in Goodison Road near the VIP's Entrance.

As for Pubs, they all get rammed on a matchday, but I prefer The Harlech Castle, on County Road opposite KFC. It doesn't tend to get as busy (early doors) as many others and you can get served fairly easily. Remember most only take cash for quickness, and a possible bo-diddle (?).

The other good thing about the Harlech, when leaving, Nimrod Street is directly opposite, which comes out by the Ground and the Holy Trinity Statue, handy for Main Stand, Gwladys Street, and even Bullens Road !

Enjoy mate ! Hope you and your lad are good luck mascots, and you witness both a 'Rocking Old Lady' and a good win. Be sure to come on after the game and relay your experience(s) with us too !💙💙👍

Sam Hoare
30 Posted 10/12/2023 at 08:16:09
Bournemouth have begun to click like I feared they would and are now pulling clear of the relegation battle which is very bad news. Hopefully Forest can be sucked in and Palace continue to struggle. A 4-horse race is never ideal as it only takes 1 club to find some form and we're in trouble.

That said, the club finding form currently is hopefully us and, if we continue to play as we have recently, there's no reason we can't be looking up rather than down. Though a thin squad tempers my optimism and we're only an injury or two away from seeing the likes of Keane and Gomes in the starting XI.

I expect Xmas game congestion to bite worse at weak squads like ours and we've been unusually fortunate with injuries so far this season. Let's make hay while the sun still shines and bag the 3 points today please.

Ian Bennett
31 Posted 10/12/2023 at 08:33:48
Our injuries I'd say have been typical Sam. Coleman out till now, Calvert-Lewin in and out, McNeil missed the start of the season, Onana, Garner and Gueye have all been out, as has Mykolenko. At the early part of the season, some of those did cost points, as just no goal threat.

No Gomes and no Alli, but they'd be bench at best.

What we have benefitted from is a settled team that pretty much picks itself. The back 4 look good, with Coleman being the obvious starter. The midfield of Onana, Garner and Doucoure looks best. With McNeil on the left, Calvert-Lewin up top, and at the moment Harrison on the right.

Bar Harrison, the rest have looked good and fit.

Tony Everan
32 Posted 10/12/2023 at 08:39:23
Chelsea will know this is a physical battle as much as a football one. Gallagher and few others will leave the boot in and try to intimidate our midfield. This physical midfield battle will be key, I hope the ref spots all their late fouls and they get a man sent off. I think there's a good chance of it today, but you know the script and it is more likely to happen in reverse.

Chelsea's stats for conceding from crosses are not good, Calvert-Lewincan take advantage, maybe Tarkowski or Branthwaite from a set piece. It will be tight but we can grab a hard-fought win.

Prediction: Everton 1 - 0 Chelsea (red card)

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 10/12/2023 at 08:51:38
Ian (31),

We have won the last two games without conceding a goal… and without Onana. Gana Gueye has had two excellent performances in those games — but you want to leave him out?

I'd have a good think about that.

Ray Roche
34 Posted 10/12/2023 at 08:55:16
Ian @31,

Ian, I thought Harrison had one of his best games for us last Thursday, he played a more central position and saw a lot more of the ball, even turning up on the left wing to create Doucouré's goal.

Maybe his energy is better used centrally?

Derek Turner
35 Posted 10/12/2023 at 09:05:25
Thanks, Derek 29.

Going to be an awesome day. COYB.

Dave Cashen
36 Posted 10/12/2023 at 09:07:37
Injuries part and parcel, Ian, mate. We just have to overcome them.

I agree with you about Harrison, but I thought he had a great game against the Skunks, even if it was in a slightly different role. Confidence is everything and last week's game will have done him no harm at all.

There will be more injuries, suspensions and international absentees, so it's important to keep putting points on the board.

Derek @27,

Better late than never, mate. Good to know you and your boy will be on parade today.

Enjoy and Savour.

Sam Hoare
37 Posted 10/12/2023 at 09:11:54
Ian @31,

Since October, we've had a very settled team with none of the starters missing more than 2 games in a row (except Onana currently).

I can't recall that happening too often over the last few seasons, mainly due to Calvert-Lewin being out so often. I hope it continues.

Robert Tressell
38 Posted 10/12/2023 at 09:30:16
A few weeks ago, I'd have said it's about who scores first.

Whilst that still matters, the big issue is taking chances. I think that will start to come as the self-belief in the squad is getting better. COYB

Martin Farrington
39 Posted 10/12/2023 at 09:43:27
I knew it would happen. As soon as Arsenal's Arteta and Man City's Pep began the psychological nonsense, the Klopp urchin was in there like a flash. His bezzies at the PGMOL ♥️VAR♥️LFC now ensuring that he never gets hurt by the nasty VAR again.

As for us. Well, another fighting performance it has to be. Chelsea might turn up. Leave the side as is. If that is doable.

Shane Corcoran
40 Posted 10/12/2023 at 09:45:18
I’d fear that fatigue might hit us for this one.

Dyche has the team extremely fit. Ashley Young chasing down the keeper in injury time is something I wouldn’t expect to see.

Garner and Onana at least will be rested but I just have a nagging hard luck story about this one.

Christopher Timmins
41 Posted 10/12/2023 at 10:27:30
Huge effort needed today on foot of last Thursday's performance. If good to go, I would start Onana, Garner and Patterson as we may need to freshen things up.

Having said that, I still expect that we will take something from the game.

John Hall
42 Posted 10/12/2023 at 10:29:06
Hope Pickford is okay. He looked a bit dodgy with his knee at the end of the game.
John Keating
43 Posted 10/12/2023 at 10:56:45
Absolute maximum effort from the first whistle until the last today.
Leave everything out on the pitch.
They may feel it having put a massive shift in a couple of days ago but they have almost a full week after today before a huge game against Burnley.

3 points a must today and next week

John Kavanagh
44 Posted 10/12/2023 at 11:05:19
I hope that the effort and commitment from Thursday carries over to today. I'm worried about the officials and VAR with it being against one of the ESL six, but if we can avoid the red cards and VAR penalties, I'm hoping we give these FFP dodgers a good battering.

2-0 COYB!

PS it would please the Premier League if their PGMOL puppets could at least show enough cards today to ensure we're missing two or three players against Burnley to help achieve their relegate Everton plan, so we can expect some even more dubious decisions than usual.

Jay Evans
45 Posted 10/12/2023 at 11:37:10
John Hall, he will be fine mate.

He certainly had no issues sliding on his knees in front of the horse punchers, or dancing in front of the Street End at full time.

He may have an issue with his best friend refereeing us today though.

For those who haven’t seen the pictures/wotsapp screenshots, give Mr Oliver a quick Google.

Onward Evertonians. 💙

Peter Moore
46 Posted 10/12/2023 at 11:43:53
Derek @ 27. Well done on making the extra special pilgrimage to The Old Lady after 34 years of support.
May your and your lad's visit help the further development of the sparks and flames of progress into a raging inferno of blue fire!
Very best wishes to you both, plus all blues of Everton on and off the pitch! COYB & UTFT 💙
Tony Abrahams
47 Posted 10/12/2023 at 11:48:45
The standard of refereeing and the way VAR is currently being implemented, are both very concerning for a genuine football lover, like myself.

I have sympathy with the refs because the game is littered with cheating, but VAR, and the way it is currently being used makes me feel absolutely sick. They are ruining the game imo, and one of my biggest gripes is that the bigger picture is constantly getting overlooked, for the freeze-frame.

Controversy over skill, might be working for the EPL, and the television companies at present, but I’m not sure it’s going to help the game in the long run, but maybe I’ve just become an arl bastard, who doesn’t want to move with the times.

Hopefully today’s game is allowed to flow and pass off without any real controversy.

Frank Crewe
48 Posted 10/12/2023 at 11:50:19
The only change I would make to the side that started against Newcastle is Patterson for Coleman.

I think Young at right-back is a liability. He picks up cards playing there because he mistimes tackles trying to stop young, quick wide players getting past him. Plus he doesn't get forward often enough to help the attackers. As was shown on Thursday he's better as a wide-right forward player.

If Dyche wants to bring back Garner then he should bench Young and put Harrison wide right, Doucoure behind Calvert-Lewin and Patterson or Coleman at right-back.

Tom Bowers
49 Posted 10/12/2023 at 12:03:22
The standard of refereeing has fallen badly and the VAR is just as bad.
How they are missing so many bad incidents is beyond me and yesterday was no different.

Have to say all teams have suffered or benefitted even Everton.

Anyway we hope there is no controversy today which affects us.

Tom Edwards
50 Posted 10/12/2023 at 12:22:52
It sounds so bleeding obvious but we need all the points we can get. I feel we can get all 3 but it's going to be hard. Citeh turning up against Luton will mean we can be 4 points ahead of the drop tonight. Have you noticed that the blessed BBC don't have the usual asterisk and footnote showing we have been deducted 10 points in their league tables? Bastards.
Dave Abrahams
51 Posted 10/12/2023 at 12:22:58
Tony (47), Re your post on players, referees and VAR you can’t beat fair play and honesty in any part of life.

I think we are getting very little of those attributes from all three above and it is spoiling every game in the sport all fans used to enjoy with many losing their interest in the game.

Derek Knox
52 Posted 10/12/2023 at 12:26:00
Tony A @ spot on there mate, as with the 10 points deduction, we as fans had nothing to do with, the same with reffing and VAR, we all see what's going on, and not going on, and should be going on.

Will they change it ? I hope so for the sake of the game we all love, but at the same time very much doubt it. As Jay @45 said today's Ref is Michael Oliver a ' Cow's Melt ' even on a good day, so expect no favours or fair decisions should they be required for us !

The GP Atmosphere will see us get this over the line !

James Hughes
53 Posted 10/12/2023 at 12:31:16
At the risk of upsetting Tony A. I am confident about today. We are finally showing some form.

met my BIL yesterday who is a big Chelsea fan. he is not expecting anything from the game and that is not like him.

2-0 to us both from corners as they defend them as well as we did under Roberto

Tony Abrahams
54 Posted 10/12/2023 at 12:47:24
We need some negativity quick, but even Michael Oliver seems to have been refereeing us more fairly recently, although I don’t believe this has always been the case.

I’m enjoying this team, and although the score line suggests we won quite convincingly against Newcastle, we could have also ended up losing the game. The same/ reverse happened in the Man Utd game, which tells us how important it is that Everton score the first goal.

Maybe there will be a couple of changes to help try and keep us fresh? But I honestly won’t be worrying about tiredness because I’m certain there will be a much better rest and recovery system in place now.

The worry is that our small squad lacks talent, once you go past the starting eleven, but the final pass and the goal came from our two subs the other night, and we were also missing Garner and Onana, so hopefully we have got enough to get over the line today?

Just keep working hard and fighting for every single ball and leave it up te crowd to do the rest🤞

Geoff Lambert
55 Posted 10/12/2023 at 13:01:44
The teams around us are starting to grind out results. Three points needed today.
Alan McGuffog
56 Posted 10/12/2023 at 13:02:14
A propos of nothing, I'm told that Tony Bellew has a chance of winning that jungle thingy. If he does it'd be lovely if he could highlight all this ten points bollocks in some way
Jamie Crowley
57 Posted 10/12/2023 at 13:18:42
This game will be tough. I agree with Shane @40 - fatigue lies in wait in the dark forest.

I've seen so many teams on short rest play sub-par.

Let's hope Dyche's levels of fitness overcome surely inevitable tired legs.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

How to get rid of these ads and support TW

© ToffeeWeb