After missing the last two games with a shin complaint, Mason Holgate is expected to be fit enough to play
Everton's penultimate home fixture of this disrupted 2019-20 season sees them take on Aston Villa in a game that will have significance for both sides but for different reasons.
Unlike their hosts, whose alarming form over the last three matches has ended their quest for Europe, Aston Villa come into the game with something genuine to fight for. The Villans are hoping to pull off an impressive Houdini act that would keep them in the Premier League this season but they are running out of fixtures.
Trailing Bournemouth by a point and both Watford and West Ham by four and with a worse goal difference than all of them, Dean Smith's side realistically need to win all three of their remaining games, starting with their trip to Goodison Park this evening.
On the basis of Sunday's game against Wolves, they couldn't have asked for better opponents than Everton, most of whose players appeared to have their summer flip-flops on and one foot on beach. It drew stinging condemnation from supporters and a rebuke from manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The hope — and, arguably, the only thing Villa need fear — is that that will be enough to spark a reaction from the Blues, many of whom are playing for their future at the club under the new boss. Whether there is a reaction remains to be seen but if Everton are to have any hope of finishing in the top half, they'll need to win all of the remaining matches as themselves.
“We expect a reaction from the bad game we played against Wolves,” Ancelotti said yesterday. “Different attitude, different mentality and different character.
“I understood in my period at Everton, a big part of the DNA of this club is everyone wants to see players fighting. This is the most important part.
“We have to fight, then try to play well and win games. If there is no fight, it is not in the DNA of this club.”
While he no doubt planned to make changes to his starting XI regardless, Ancelotti will be forced into at least one after Yerry Mina had to come off at Molineux with a thigh injury. Mason Holgate reportedly wasn't able to train fully this week with the shin injury he sustained against Tottenham but he is expected to be fit enough to start, as is André Gomes who had to be substituted against Southampton and missed the defeat to Wolves with a knock to the ankle.
Assuming Gomes is selected, he would, in all likelihood come in for Gylfi Sigurdsson or Tom Davies, neither of who covered themselves in glory at Wolves but the Icelander's experience might get him the nod.
In terms of unforced changes, the Italian has limited choices but, once again, he has the option of giving a rare start to Moise Kean, perhaps over the over-worked and service-starved Dominic Calvert-Lewin, moving Holgate into midfield and giving Jarrad Branthwaite his first start.
Kick-off: 6pm, Thursday 16 July, 2020
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Chris Kavanagh
Last Time: Everton - Aston Villa
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Gordon, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (77)
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1 Posted 16/07/2020 at 00:13:59
Or like me you just feel let down once again with this woeful Everton team..
Carlos rally call is falling on deaf ears. I expect a defeat...
2 Posted 16/07/2020 at 00:14:22
They have no style or substance. I don't like many of them
They're spineless losers most of them. What a shame they represent us
3 Posted 16/07/2020 at 00:47:17
It's easy to write off the whole team but I think several of our players would look a lot better if we had a better hold on the middle of the park.
The centre mids need to be involved in every phase of possession, either driving forward, picking passes, making angles or opening up space. And they are fundamental to winning the ball back from the opposition all over the park. They need to be constantly moving.
Our centre mids are shite right now and they are dragging the side down with them.
4 Posted 16/07/2020 at 01:02:13
5 Posted 16/07/2020 at 01:20:35
We know the players are struggling and center mid is a real problem but blame the people who let Gueye go and replaced him with a crock and then let scneiderlin go before the end of the season.
We don't have any grit or determination in MF so all we can hope for is beating them on the flanks through Gordon and Sidibe/ Walcott.
Lets hope and pray because if we don't get 3 points there will be a bunch of suicidal and homicidal Blues to contend with.
6 Posted 16/07/2020 at 01:57:14
7 Posted 16/07/2020 at 02:33:43
8 Posted 16/07/2020 at 03:29:02
Just want to get these few games out of the way and let Carlo get to work on next season. I see he has made some comments about Pickford, pretty much bang on. He says he has quality but isn't showing it, and needs to be better. I think the same is true across the pitch but our keeper really needs to get back to his best.
9 Posted 16/07/2020 at 04:22:36
Confident in a 2-0 win.
10 Posted 16/07/2020 at 04:33:21
My boy McGinn to run the show
11 Posted 16/07/2020 at 07:18:33
I really really hope Carlo and the hierarchy at the club are actually aware (and give a toss) of our unease and pull out all the stops to rebuild the team.
12 Posted 16/07/2020 at 07:48:52
Mo Besic + a youngster. You'll never know until they're tested.
13 Posted 16/07/2020 at 07:56:56
I genuinely can't remember who my last Everton hero was.
Also, I just can't get into watching our games on TV. I know for some regular TW contributors it is the only way you can see us play and I totally respect that, but for me it's been like watching reserve matches or pre-season friendlies.
I'm not sure when I/we will be allowed back into Goodison but I will be first in the queue. I don't care if I have to wear a mask, scarf, hat, gloves, goggles, balaclava and wellies I will do it just to start loving our team again.
At the moment we are difficult just to like, never mind love.
Anyway. I fancy a nil nil tonight (sighs.)
Full support. ðŸ™
14 Posted 16/07/2020 at 07:57:28
15 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:00:49
16 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:05:48
They must win, so against an abject half interested Everton you would expect that they will get that win that keeps survival hopes alive.
Very rarely do we win a match when our opponent is hungry and shows desire.
It's a sign of the times at Everton but shocking to admit that I'd actually be surprised if we were to beat 18th placed Aston Villa at home.
17 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:15:27
18 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:20:11
They might be a poor team and in the relegation places. They might be off form and struggling but If they get about us, in our faces, work and harass us - on past form we will roll over.
Change the 'theys' for 'we' and '11th' for 'relegation places' (our form IS relegation form too) and you could say exactly the same about us.
Its that simple - as the guy in Shawshank never said - get busy fighting for it, or get busy losing.
19 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:28:46
Coleman Keane Branthwaite Digne
Davies Holgate Gordon
Richi DCL Kean
Young team, full of energy and ( hopefully) fight and will work hard. I'd go for it.
20 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:35:19
This is the first time since the formation of the Premier League the Everton have lost to all three relegated teams (providing Bournemouth and Villa join Norwich).
Another woeful stat and shows just how poor this team has been this season.
21 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:38:52
22 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:38:53
Anthony Taylor The ref ?... Have we had him this season ? I don't recall him being murdered on here
23 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:38:56
Another chance for our players to prove themselves before Ancelotti wields the axe for yet another rebuild. Given our latest performances I'm not convinced we will get a result.
In Ancelottis earlier games with our gritty high tempo performances this would be a definite win, but given recent performances, we just don't know who will turn up. Jekyll ot Hyde.
24 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:39:38
25 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:40:22
26 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:41:24
27 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:47:11
I know some posters on here have given reasons why they feel both of those players should not be included but, in all honesty, can they possibly be any worse than the clowns currently masquerading as our midfield?
Really not looking forward to what could well become a humbling at the hands of relegation strugglers
28 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:49:03
Having said that, the players if selected, know they have to play, so why can't they apply themselves and at least try to entertain, and more importantly win? It's been a disgrace in the last 3 games the lack of anything to justify the astronomical salaries they will collect for doing nothing.
Hypothetical I know, but I do wonder if they would try harder if the fans were there, or are they just overpaid crap?
29 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:54:53
30 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:55:11
31 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:01:59
33 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:21:49
As many a journalist has said Everton's performance against Wolves was one of the worst performances by any PL team this season.
It reminded me of some of the terminally insipid performances that Sunderland put in prior to their demise. That kind of attitude has to be stamped on before it takes root. Starting now.
I would like to see a 433 and inject some attack ( remember that) into the team.
Seamus Keane Branthwaite Digne
Davies Holgate Gordon
Richarlison Keane. DCL
7 lads under 23, maybe one of our youngest ever teams?
34 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:26:37
I think we'll win this provided the attitude is spot on, there's bound to be a big reaction after the huge amount of deserved criticism from recent performances.
The future rests with Anceolliti and who he can persuade to join us in the transfer window, I hope he has full control and Brands is left to just tie up the deals and do the paperwork.
35 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:30:09
If you promise not to stick your tongue out every ten minutes, I think you would be a big step in the right direction
36 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:37:22
37 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:43:35
They too had a great team in the early eighties but since then not a lot has gone right for them, much like us- the difference being they have been relegated and we haven't.
When nothing is at stake for us we normally win but maybe this game will be the exception.
67 years an Evertonian and I have never felt so disillusioned. How many times have I said that over the past 30 years?
38 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:44:54
39 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:47:39
Midfield will be the issue again though.
40 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:49:50
So how do Everton finance new purchases and stay within the FFP must be a major headache. Carlo has already said that the club have told him money is available for new players, but without being able to sell off someof these players how much of a transfer kitty will Carlo get.
41 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:52:19
If Kean can't get a start now, when can he?
My instinct tells me if Beni was good enough, he'd have got games at Wigan, but I'd have him in the last chance saloon for two games.
42 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:00:51
43 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:05:52
I was looking forward to seeing Mina in his wheelchair, Walcott shuffling in his zimmer frame, Delph paraded in his iron lung and Sigurdsson doing his first sprint of the season to get off the pitch at the final whistle.
For Grealish, tonight will be an early Christmas. Free reign to stroll around and pick his passes at leisure and have a dozen shots on goal. He might even get a couple of assists from the only ADHD goalie in world football.
If we win or draw tonight it will be one of the shock results of the season. No harm, therefore, in giving the kids a go as the damage has already been done.
44 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:10:20
46 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:18:53
Coleman, Keane, Brait., Digne -
Richarlison, Holgate (DM), Bernard(creative off.mid), Gordon -
If Bernard don't work in that role, try Gomez, I have a sence he will make it good in a free off.mid where he can use his physical attributes with his passes. Eventually Davies instead of Bernard/Gomez as a runner-box-to-box as a tactical change if it dosent work.
47 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:35:15
48 Posted 16/07/2020 at 11:01:51
Coleman Keane Branthwaite Digne
Richarlison Iwobi Gordon
Davies, Walcott, Kean, Siggy, Gomes, Sidibe, Bernard on the bench.
Iwobi, Baningime, Pickford in their last-chance saloons.
49 Posted 16/07/2020 at 11:26:17
We young energetic legs in the centre and now is the time for Carlo to shake things up as best he can but then again there aren't too many options.
How would Bernard play as a number 10 behind DCL with Richy/Gordon and Kean vying for the flanks with Holgate and Davies/Gomes in the centre ?.
Bernard can make things happen with his quick feet and thought for a pass just thinking.
50 Posted 16/07/2020 at 11:38:29
If Holgate does play as a centre mid (can't see it happening mind), I'd play Davies as the more attacking option. He's better when attacking than when he's deeper. As a defensive mid, Davies is useless.
51 Posted 16/07/2020 at 11:46:44
We are talking about the likes of Davies as attacking midfielder despite not possessing an ounce of shooting ability, an ounce of creativity, can't carry the ball and isn't strong or quick enough.
I'd just start Branthwaite next to Keane and push Holgate in the holding midfield role, give Iwobi one last chance in the number ten and if he can't perform tonight just bomb him out.
Stick Bernard on the left in front of Digne and tell the two of them to start doing something or just read Iwobi, bomb them out.
The options are piss weak so whatever team we put out it's still gonna look shit let's be truthful.
We need four or five better attacking options starting in midfield and working through to the front.
One thing they have got to do tonight though is perform.
Any team can play shit but looking not arsed is unforgivable.
53 Posted 16/07/2020 at 12:10:44
Without a legitimate MF we have no chance.
54 Posted 16/07/2020 at 12:18:16
56 Posted 16/07/2020 at 12:26:14
I'm sure no-one on here can disagree with that
But I wouldn't bet on it... ðŸ¤£
59 Posted 16/07/2020 at 12:56:44
He is a disgrace
61 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:03:47
Moise needs to be given a full 90mins. See what he's got in him. He'll either sink or swim.
62 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:03:47
63 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:07:21
I wonder if we lose tonight whether we will change the tag line for the home kit marketing to be 'more than eleventh'.
64 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:17:27
65 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:26:57
66 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:36:10
Some of our players might have received a little more "encouragement" given their recent performances.
Funnily enough, when a player puts in a genuine shift and has a go, Goodison must be one of the most supportive sets of fans anywhere.
The players know this and I have heard former players talking about it. Everton fans can immediately spot what our fellow blues from the US used to call "goldbricking" (not sure they still use that expression).
67 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:37:43
68 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:38:09
Villa have been useless all season and are almost certain to go down. I hear that Terry can't wait to move on from his coaching role unless he gets the top gig when the sack race starts!
69 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:46:10
For what's it's worth I would go
Coleman, Keane Holgate Digne
Davies, Gordon, gomes(shit but not as shit as the others)
Kean, DCL, Richarlison
70 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:46:43
Instead of demanding for a player in, he will demand 2-3 are sold. There's a cancer in that locker room that needs a good carving.
If the players don't understand they are playing for their places, I'm praying they are offloaded.
71 Posted 16/07/2020 at 14:08:41
The lack of an intimidating atmosphere, you would have thought, would have helped us in away games. At Goodison, we have done alright on the whole for a few seasons. When Silva started dropping points to the likes of Norwich at home, we were done for because our away form will never be good enough to get us up the table. What cost Silva was that we'd played the easy teams so it was only going to get harder.
Since the restart, we held the RS in the first game back where the Goodison bearpit atmosphere is the only leveller we have. We got a good win against Leicester who are top 3 after a decent first half performance. We were woeful against Southampton but sneaked a draw. If anything, I would think the likes of Tom Davies and Sigurdsson would do better without having 30,000+ fans criticising. Fact is, I don't think the crowd, or lack of crowd has influenced our results. We are just not very good and have too many players who aren't of the quality we need. I don't blame Ancelotti. He can't polish turds. As I keep saying, only Richarlison out of the whole squad is good enough and of the calibre we need before we start talking about regularly competing for trophies and European places.
72 Posted 16/07/2020 at 14:26:47
73 Posted 16/07/2020 at 14:37:51
On paper we look a decent bet.
But we all know Everton don't work that way. Mcginn and Grealish will likely run the show in the middle and at the very least we need to try and hold the ball better whilst moving the ball forwards. More bravery all round. Fingers crossed.
74 Posted 16/07/2020 at 14:44:07
75 Posted 16/07/2020 at 15:00:38
76 Posted 16/07/2020 at 15:01:55
77 Posted 16/07/2020 at 15:06:32
On Sunday I only saw the first half, and knowing we were down, I couldn't see us improving on the poor display we had to endure thus far.
Are we Evertonians masochistic?
I sincerely hope we can improve.
79 Posted 16/07/2020 at 15:17:38
It is not who he chooses to play what matters is how they play as a team, and I believe Ancelotti knows who the players of his team will be for next season, with 2/3 major signings
80 Posted 16/07/2020 at 15:20:31
RE Carlo, I think we do have to wait for some new midfield additions, not even Pep, Klopp, SAF or yes Ancelotti would get a tune out of the current midfield set up, who seemed to have given up.
81 Posted 16/07/2020 at 15:28:39
82 Posted 16/07/2020 at 16:31:50
83 Posted 16/07/2020 at 16:35:36
85 Posted 16/07/2020 at 17:10:15
86 Posted 16/07/2020 at 17:15:01
Have just seen the real side. 5 changes but none of them dramatic. No youngsters, not even Kean. That's disappointing.
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