Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping for a big response from his Everton side when they face Aston Villa on Thursday.
The Toffees were easily beaten 3-0 by Wolves in their last game, managing just two shots on target, and such was the nature of the defeat, the Italian called the performance and attitude unacceptable.
Due to a number of returning players, as well as the poor display, Ancelotti could ring the changes. Here, we try to predict his starting XI.
Jordan Pickford wasn’t at his best against the Midlands outfit, as his 6.58 WhoScored rating indicates, but there is really no other option than for him to start. With the end of the season approaching and the transfer window looming, though, the shot-stopper will be hoping for some big showings to convince Ancelotti that he is still the man for the job between the sticks.
It is no surprise that a change in formation saw the Toffees dispatched without as much as a whimper, so expect the former Chelsea boss to revert to his preferred 4-4-2. That should see Seamus Coleman come back into the side at right-back, whilst Jarrad Branthwaite could make his first ever start for the club with Mason Holgate still a doubt for the match. He should partner Michael Keane at centre-back, with Lucas Digne on the left of the back four.
The midfield could have an almost whole new look. Bernard could return to side, just like Alex Iwobi, whilst Gylfi Sigurdsson may make way for £20.25m-valued Andre Gomes – as per Transfermarkt – in the middle of the park. He should be joined by Tom Davies in central midfield.
Will Everton beat Aston Villa?
Up front, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are likely to be tasked with causing plenty of problems for the Villans’ defence. As the club’s two top goalscorers this term, they are the duo Ancelotti can rely on the most.
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