Everton come into their weekend clash full of confidence and with a swagger in their step.
Rafa Benitez’s appointment was a strange one after Carlo Ancelotti departed Goodison Park but the board’s decision making has so far been proved right.
The Toffees have dropped just two points from a possible 12 available and have discovered some new fan favourites in Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for Everton as Dominic Calvert-Lewin will miss their clash with Aston Villa on Saturday evening.
It will be an exciting affair between two clubs who could be on the periphery of the European places this season.
How could Benitez’s side line up on Saturday evening?
We’re tipping the manager to make just one change to the team which beat Burnley 3-1 last Monday. That being said, we do anticipate a system change with an extra attacker brought into the fray.
Who should start up front instead of DCL?
Calvert-Lewin will be absent for another few weeks with a quadriceps issue, so we reckon that Salomon Rondon will be selected in attack.
Richarlison led the line last time out but didn’t fare too well against a bullish defence, completing just 64% of his passes. He may feature in a number 10 role behind Everton’s new £4.5m-rated striker who is set to earn his first start for the Goodison Park outfit.
As a consequence of moving to a 4-4-1-1 formation, Yerry Mina drops out of the starting XI. His height and aerial ability (nine headers won) was useful against Burnley’s long ball approach last week but he could miss out on this occasion.
That means that Michael Keane gets another chance to prove himself to Benitez. The English defender was hopeless in the early weeks of the season and proved to be a real liability at the back.
However, he has improved drastically in the last two matches against Brighton and the Clarets. He scored against the latter and won 100% of his defensive duels while keeping a clean sheet against the Seagulls, so he may get the nod ahead of the Colombian this evening.
AND in other news, Everton may have their new Godfrey in rarely-seen 17 y/o who Unsworth dubbed “superb”…