Everton vs Leicester City

Tuesday, 26 January, 2021 200comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Alex Iwboi has missed both FA Cup ties so far through slight injury but is back in the squad to face Leicester

Everton return to Premier League action after a two-week hiatus to face Leicester City in a match that has taken on added significance as both clubs have maintained their challenge for a place in the top four this season.

The Toffees' recent inactivity because of COVID-enforced postponements of their games against Manchester City means that they have slipped to seventh place but they have as many as three games in hand while teams around them have continued to play.

The Foxes sit in third and are six points better off but have played two more matches, meaning that Everton can halve the gap between the two teams and move back into fourth place if they can complete the league double over their opponents on Wednesday evening.

This clash represents a big opportunity for Carlo Ancelotti's men to press their claims for a Champions League slot this season, then. However, in addition to Allan, who is expected back in the next week or so, the Italian will be without a key and often underrated presence in midfield in the form of Abdoulaye Doucouré.

The Frenchman serves a one-match ban for accumulating five yellow cards for the season and will be a huge miss but as Ancelotti hinted in his pre-match press conference, Tom Davies is ready to step in to deputise.

Meanwhile, Alex Iwobi and Lucas Digne are fit and available again after missing the FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday. The duo had minor knocks and were held back from the Fourth Round tie against the Owls as a precaution but Ancelotti confirmed that they are fit to face Leicester City in the Premier League tomorrow evening.

Fabian Delph continues his recovery from a hamstring strain and Jean-Philippe Gbamin is still working through his patient recovery from Achilles surgery while Niels Nkounkou is also ruled out.

"We have Digne and Iwobi back, and we have out Delph, Allan, Gbamin and Nkounkou. The others are all good," the manager said.

"We don't have a lot of injuries at this moment because Delph has started to train with us, so practically he is back. We have only Allan, Gbamin and Nkounkou that can recover soon.

"The squad are [otherwise] all in good condition."

Iwobi's return on the right flank will likely see James Rodriguez move into a more central roaming role with Richarlison continuing on the left playing off Dominic Calvert-Lewin who made a scoring return against Wednesday in the Cup.

That will leave Gylfi Sigurdsson and André Gomes to battle for the remaining midfield slot, one that Portuguese will feel he has earned with assists in each of the last two games while the Icelander offers a stronger presence on the press.

At the back, Michael Keane will likely return to partner Yerry Mina after sitting out on Sunday but it remains to be seen if Seamus Coleman will retain his place at right back or if Ancelotti opts again for Mason Holgate. Jordan Pickford is expected to rotate back in between the posts.

Leicester successfully negotiated a potentially tricky cup tie of their own against Brentford at the weekend but this will be their first League game since Jamie Vardy underwent hip surgery, a potentially significant loss for Brendan Rodgers, particularly given his side's penchant for playing on the break away from home where they are among the top flight's most effective outfits.

However, the Foxes have talent in all areas of the field and Ancelotti will be hoping his players can shut their opponents down in the same manner in which they did in the reverse fixture six weeks ago when they ran out 2-0 winners at the King Power Stadium.

Kick-off: 8:15 pm, Wednesday 27 January 2021 on BT Sport 1
Referee: Mike Dean
VAR: Simon Hooper
Last Time: Everton 2 - 1 Leicester City

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Holgate, Keane, Mina, Digne, Davies, Gomes, Iwobi, Rodriguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

 

Reader Comments (200)

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Minik Hansen
1 Posted 26/01/2021 at 16:17:08
The back four has been solid in the absence of Digne, due to Godfrey being a centre-back and limited involvement in attack. Now that our attack looks good, it'll get better with Digne on board, though I wonder how the back four will cope this, I'm hopeful as always.

As how we're looking in the table right now, imagine beating Leicester. We can do this! COYB.

Bobby Mallon
2 Posted 26/01/2021 at 16:31:18
Having seriously thought about tomorrow's game, I would keep a back 4 of Holgate Keane Mina Godfrey

Iwobi Rodriguez Sigurdsson Dignr
Calvert-Lewis Richarlison

Martin Reppion
3 Posted 26/01/2021 at 16:36:01
Stayin' positive.

They have their own worries with Vardy side-lined.

I would like to see Godfrey or Holgate playing in midfield in the absence of Doucouré.

In the long term though, it still worries me that so little is happening with the transfers both in and out. I know it is hard with movement of people in a lockdown. But we have less than a week left to get this squad ready for the longest run-in to a season.

And let us remember – this is as good a position as we have been in for some time. I don't want it risked for the lack of a striker.

Declan Campbell
4 Posted 26/01/2021 at 16:44:56
Bobby Mallon,

A central midfield of Rodriguez and Sigurdsson, are you having a laugh?

Chris Langton
5 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:02:16
I think 4 points from the next 2 matches would be acceptable
James Head
7 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:31:13
I'd try Holgate in the midfield holding role but it's almost certainly going to be Tom Davies, off topic I think we should try and sign Diego Costa on a short term deal to give DCL some cover.
Mike Gaynes
8 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:31:42
Ashley Williams has announced his retirement. Three years after his legs actually retired.

I endorse Bobby's lineup for tomorrow.

Fran Mitchell
9 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:36:09
Ancelotti has confirmed Davies will play. He also praised Gomes' performance in the cup. So expect them to play in the middle with James ahead and Richarlison and Iwobi out wide.

Godfrey will likely drop to the bench, with Digne at left back. If needed Godfrey can come on to tighten things up if we're winning.

The question is mainly at right back. Holgate or Coleman. I'd go with Holgate (or indeed Godfrey) as Barnes is possibly Leicester's most dangerous threat with his pace.

Davies will have a game on his hands to try and keep Maddison quiet.

Steve Shave
10 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:39:39
With respect Bobby and Mike that midfield would get completely bulldozed. They have excellent options in CM with real bite. Davies will play and deserves to on recent performances, Gomes has earned another start after his recent performances (fingers crossed he is finally returning to full fitness after that shit-head broke his ankle). I can see Davies and Gomes in the Allan and Doucoure roles with Sigi chasing shadows in front of them.
Ian Bennett
11 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:39:40
I'd keep the same back four and push Digne into midfield. Its not his best position, but Godfrey cannot be dropped.

Pickford
Coleman
Keane
Mina
Godfrey

Iwobi
Gomes
Holgate - but he will play Davies
Digne

Calvert Lewin
Richarlison

Brent Stephens
12 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:39:56
Fran, good comment about the challenge facing our RB from Barnes. And I fear Davies might be short of pace against Maddison. Hope I’m wrong.
Robert Tressell
13 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:41:30
I think it'll be a back 5

Pickford
Godfrey
Keane
Mina
Iwobi
Digne
Davies
Sigurdsson
Rodriguez
Richarlison
DCL

Coleman, Holgate and / or Gomes may come on to shore things up or enable a tactical switch to 433 / 451. Holgate in particular is unlucky if he does miss out.

Even without Vardy, Leicester are a really good side. So could be tricky.

Steve Shave
14 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:46:06
Like that team Ian, agree he will play Davies, let's be positive lads, Tom has not let anyone down recently.
Stephen Vincent
15 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:51:54
Totally agree Fran, the key areas are our right wing and can Davies get anywhere close to Madison.

I'd have Holgate behind Iwobi and risk Davies and Gomes in the centre of midfield. So 4-2-3-1 with James and Richy making up the 3.

I gave Gomes a load of abuse on Sunday but I don't think we have much option. Horses for courses and we have to neutralize Leicester's centre mid.

Hoping a goal will have made Richy more interested, he's looked miles away recently.

Steve Shave
16 Posted 26/01/2021 at 17:55:59
I think we discussed this on the forum on Sunday Stephen (unless I'm mistaken?) but I simply cannot fathom the downer on Gomes Sunday night, he was surely one of the best players on the pitch??!
Kevin Prytherch
17 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:01:19
Digne and Rodriguez have to play, or else the service to Calvert-Lewin will be zero. I think he’ll play Gomes and Davies and also try to keep a clean sheet with our now regular back 4.

Pickford
Holgate, Mina, Keane, Godfrey
Gomes, Davies
Richarlison, James, Digne
Calvert-Lewin

Stephen Brown
18 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:04:10
I hope Carlo doesn’t try to show horn players into the team.

If Godfrey is in possession of the left back shirt he should keep it.
If Davies is in possession of centre mid slot please don’t play a centre back there.

I’m looking forward to this!! Should I know better by now ?

Geoff Lambert
19 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:08:26
Kevin #17 that's the line up I would like to see, But I think he will go with Siggy instead of Gomes.
Fran Mitchell
20 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:08:54
Gomes was excellent when he came on at Wolves, and his beautiful cross won the game. He was again excellent against Sheff Wed. So hopefully he can keep it up.

Davies has been very good recently too. He has improved greatly and considering he is only 22, is reason to have great hope.

Robert's 3-5-2 is possible. Most formations are fluid anyway - in possession and out of possession.

Ajay Gopal
21 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:09:09
It will be an intriguing selection by Ancelotti. Will be go 3-4-3 or 4-2-3-1 or even a 4-4-2 as some have suggested? Robert's (13) starting XI is the most likely with Gomes and Holgate to come on and shore the mid-field towards the end, or Tosun and Bernard if we are trailing and need to turn things around:

Pickford
Mina Keane Godfrey
Iwobi Davies Siggy Digne
James DCL Richarlison

SUBS: Olsen, Coleman, Holgate, Gomes, Bernard, Tosun, Gordon

Stephen Vincent
22 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:13:28
Steve #16, just don't see it. Almost everytime he gets the ball nothing positive happens, I know he provided an excellent cross for DCL but that is kind of the exception that proves the rule. I just see a negative, pedestrian, timid player who is a shadow of the guy we signed.
Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:14:43
Steve, disagree. Gomes' two excellent sub appearances earned him another sub appearance, NOT a start. He's been at full fitness for months now, which means he has returned to his usual dismal standard defensively. Siggy is WAY better in that role. I'd give Siggy 70 and then bring Gomes off the bench if we need him. And a fit Iwobi is clearly one of our best 11, which Davies isn't. I say our backline is eminently capable of handling Barnes and Maddison without Davies running interference.
Tony Everan
24 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:16:01
He was asked about Holgate or Godfrey starting in CM, he said Mason was an option he has considered. Carlo said he is going to play Davies.

I think Digne, Iwobi maybe miss out and back in for Newcastle. 4231

Pickford
Holgate Keane Mina Godfrey
Davies Gomes
James Sigurdsson Richarlison
Calvert-Lewin

Rob Halligan
25 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:18:46
Watching the Newcastle v Leeds game, and this is just so easy for Leeds, who lead 1-0 after 17 minutes. Newcastle have barely had a kick. This could easily be 3 or 4-0 for Leeds.
Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:19:37
Steve #16, yes he was. Against Sheffield funking Wednesday.

Against a decent Premier League attack, Gomes is a defensive liability. Hell, he's a defensive nightmare. Gomes is a sub and that's all.

Thomas Richards
27 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:20:25
Can we give Gomes a bit of time?

Hes coming back from a bad injury.
A good player if we can get him back to where he was before the injury

Mike Gaynes
28 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:31:44
Rob #25, they do look dismal, don't they? I think we have the chance to push Flatnose Stevie into unemployment on Saturday.
Martin Mason
29 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:34:06
Give the guy a break Mike FFS, he is what he is and no amount of whingeing is going to make him any better. My own view as that he is still a very good asset for Everton and is playing very well at times. He can't be replaced this window or next possibly because I doubt that a knowledgeable guy like Carlo would see replacing him as a priority in any way. The way that we are making best use of our assets by improving and organising even you may give some credit by the end of the season.
Rob Halligan
30 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:35:45
Mike, that's if he's not gone already before Saturday.
Darren Hind
31 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:38:13
Cant see this being a classic

Carlo will play eight behind the couch, He will concede the lions share of possession, but Jamie Vardy has been as important to Leicester as any player in the league has been to his club. Without him, Leicester will be attacking with a blunt instrument. I don't se them scoring.
If Davies is selected he wont chase mark or hunt Maddison, In fact nobody will. He will stick to orders. He and everyone else in our ranks will keep the shape and discipline.

We just need to make it count when we do get opportunities.

I expect it to be really tense rather than wildly exciting...Massive Massive game.

Martin Mason
32 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:46:36
Rob@25 I feel a bit sorry for them. They are a championship squad with an owner who is trying to sell and won't spend a penny. Not one of their players would get a game for Everton.
Brian Hennessy
33 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:48:30
I like the look of Kevin's team #17

I thought Godfrey behind Digne worked great the last time. Holgate at RB gives us a bit more defensive cover than Coleman who gets forward more. If we fall behind or it's 0-0 in the last 15 minutes we can always bring on Seamus.

Tony Everan
34 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:53:30
Darren, I see it panning out like that. We have become a real threat from set pieces, Keane, Mina, Richarlison, DCL are all big threats in the box and great headers of the ball, too many threats for most defence to contain.

An attritional game and a headed goal from a corner 1-0 to us will do for me.

Graham Hammond
35 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:53:39
Tony #24. If Davies, Gomes, James and Sigurdsson are four of the five Midfield selections it will be 'knife through butter' for Leicester, just not enough pace, mobility, stamina and defensive quality in those players sadly. I certainly do not want to see Sigurdsson in the side, despite the loss of Allan and Doucoure. Gylfi has improved of late but still would not be in my starting eleven for this particular game, I do think Carlo will play him though, time will tell and good to have options.
Tony Hill
36 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:57:05
This is an interesting game because it has the hallmarks of us cocking it up. There's a serious chance to get into the top 4 and normally we crumble under a hint of pressure.

In many ways, if we win tomorrow it will be against the grain of Everton psychology. If we do win, I believe it would mark a turning point.

I am not sure that we will be passive. As I say, this is a game which will show us quite a lot. Stay calm.

John Boon
37 Posted 26/01/2021 at 18:58:36
Richy is due a standout game. Certainly needs to step it up. I have never been inspired by Holgate at RB. Everything is sideways or back. I do think he performs much better at CB where he has the options of going both sides. However I prefer Mina and Keane with Coleman at RB.

With Calvert Lewin back we need crosses from the byline. Godfrey at LB with Digne ahead to make the crosses, Certainly James at his best to provide the forward passes. COYB

Robert Tressell
38 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:06:38
The central midfield options aren't great without Allan and Doucoure, but it's encouraging that we've now got a good number of very reliable performers. Can't accommodate everyone but hard to drop any of the defenders and wing-backs.

Hence about 3 or 4 decent formations / personnel.

A bit more competition in midfield and forward positions is needed, but a lot of progress made.

Big game this. A win would be huge.

Martin Berry
39 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:08:20
I am looking forward to beating Leicester as I believe we are a better side.
Additionally It may make some of the media take us a little bit more seriously.
If we play both Iwobi, Richarlison on the flanks and DCL as the target man then I think we will cause them far more problems than visa versa due to the pace of our players.
Jason Li
40 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:10:12
I'm reckoning a big, big win.

No Vardy. Plus...

James looked as fit as a fiddle verses Wednesday, and so I reckon they'll be shocked within the first few touches by James in terms of the speed he acts as a connector to move the ball into dangerous areas of the pitch, and won't push forwards. They'll be scared to let one of his balls get Digne or Richarlison or Iwobi in. And any foul means a set-piece by James.

Yep - they'll be much more worried about how to contain this one.

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:11:03
That’s why I’d play Holgate alongside Davies, with both sitting just in front of our back four Graham@35.

Maybe switch Godfrey to right back, bring Digne back in at left back, and have Iwobi, Rodriguez and Richarlison, who can also possibly rotate at different times, with Lewin leading the line.

Ancellotti’s got options tomorrow, so hopefully he picks the right ones, in a very important game.

Martin Mason
42 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:14:30
Graham@35, like it was in the away game with a weakened side? Selective memory failure?
Mike Gaynes
43 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:14:43
Martin #29, if you're talking about Gomes, I give him credit where it's due. His last two assists, both left-footed crosses for Keane and DCL, were absolutely beautiful. (They are just his 4th and 5th assists for us in 64 total appearances, so it's not like he's consistently creative.) Unlike some here, I see no leftovers from his injury. I think he's recovered his full first-step quickness on the turn and his elegant first touch.

Unfortunately, he's still as dumb as a box of rocks defensively. Without Vardy, Leicester's best chance to score on us will be from free kicks. Barnes and Maddison are two of the best in the Prem at drawing fouls just outside the box. And Gomes is one of the worst in the league at committing them. He has 19 fouls for the season against only 14 tackles, so whenever he goes in he's 40% more likely to foul than win the ball, which is a joke. And he's WAY more likely give up a scoring chance with a dumb foul than he is to create one with a good pass.

So no, I don't want to see him in the starting 11 against this opponent. Gomes at defensive mid against a quality midfield is suicidal.

Martin Mason
44 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:18:55
Mike, he is one player of 11 and many players such as James can't defend well. Should we drop James for the game too? I disagree, I believe Gomes defends very well for an attacking midfielder. Easily as good as Messi.
Kim Vivian
45 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:20:08
Not sure about all this "blunt instrument without Vardy" business.

For sure they will miss him - he bangs them in but also keeps defenders occupied to the benefit of his midfield. Barnes, Tielemans and Maddison are dangerous units - 24 goals between them in all comps this season (what would we give to get that return from our own midfield) and I see a real tough shift for our boys whoever get the gig tomorrow. This is one game we could really use Allan and Doucs on the pitch.

I have been predicting a draw for this one and think we may struggle to manage that. Under the circumstances I would take that and follow up with 3 points at the weekend. However, the outlook before the Wolves game was a little bleak so trusting in Carlo to produce some magic again tomorrow.

Big game this and both teams will know that. COYB - a six pointer this.

Brent Stephens
46 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:26:11
Vardy's absence weakens Leicester but let's not overlook our own loss of players.
Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:27:11
Martin, James is 10 times the attacking player Gomes is. His talents make his defensive deficiencies unimportant. Gomes isn't even close to being in that category. And any comparison with Messi on any level is just plain ridiculous.
Kevin Murray
48 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:32:47
Gomes is not up to playing against the top premier league sides in a midfield two.
Yes, he played really well against Sheffield Wednesday but without Allan or Doucouré in there with him he is a liability defensively.
James is our game changer and should be allowed the freedom with two solid midfielders behind him. Probably Davies and Holgate with Allan and Doucouré out.
Iwobi more than deserves to come straight back in on the right and the back four should stay as is strongest, Coleman, mina, Keane, godfrey
So that's leaves a tough decision at left midfield, Digne or Richarlison? Carlo knows best though! COYB
Derek Knox
49 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:40:07
Tony @ 41, with all due respect mate that's too much shuffling around, like when a car is running okay but needs one new filter, you wouldn't strip half the engine down, while you were replacing it. Even if it means Digne on the bench, or as some have suggested play him further forward, a move I personally favour, as his crosses have been missed for DCL. I also think he was rushed back too soon before when there wasn't really a pressing need to do so. Anyway, what do we know?

IN Carlo We Trust.

COYB

Martin Mason
50 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:41:50
Mike, that is opinion stated as fact. Gomes is a very good international standard midfield player, all players make mistakes, you only see his mistakes to reinforce the prejudice you have formed against him. I think he is a very good player and a good asset for the club. I'm sure that many others do.
Brian Harrison
51 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:45:01
Looking at the games being played now in the Premier league, looks like West Ham could be up to 4th in the league being 3-1 up at Palace, and Leeds are 2-1 up at Newcastle. I think if Newcastle lose then Bruce might not be in charge for the game against us at the weekend, if that happens it means Jones will be in charge.
Brent Stephens
52 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:47:34
Martin "Mike, that is opinion stated as fact...you only see his mistakes to reinforce the prejudice you have formed against him".

Is that a fact or opinion?

Will Mabon
53 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:49:15
Yep - Moyes glides stealthily into 4th in the table (albeit 20 games played). 2004-05?
Martin Mason
54 Posted 26/01/2021 at 19:57:09
Brent, that is fact.

Special up to David Moyes today.

Danny O’Neill
55 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:03:43
Respect for what Moyes has achieved so far this season.

We do have 3 games in hand mind and will go above West Ham on goal difference with a win tomorrow with 2 remaining games in hand.

In fairness, he's done well with West Ham this season.

Graham Hammond
56 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:04:45
Tony #41. If Carlo does indeed go ahead and play a 4-2-3-1 formation tomorrow then I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with Mason Holgate and Tom Davies as the holding two. Tom will know and understand that he needs to be at the top of his game for this one and Mason will know also that there is now genuine competition for the eleven shirts and that he too needs to perform wherever he is selected if he is to continue to make the eleven. I believe these two will provide the best shield available in the absence of both Allan and Doucoure. I have largely defended Iwobi from the very start, I like players with pace and vision and I like what Alex has done since the Fulham away game, I sincerely hope he makes the eleven and that Carlo places his trust in him again and he justifies that trust. If James is to play in the centre of the three then for me Richy and Iwobi are the two other guys who should be handed the shirt. Godfrey cannot be dropped, it would completely send out the wrong signal if he was, by all means, swap him with Mason if he is struggling at RB but one way or another that lad needs to be kept in the side. Digne is short of fitness so moving him into Midfield might be a very big ask at this point, better I think that he slots in at LB and contributes when and where he can offensively but that he keep things tight defensively.
Brian Murray
57 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:06:37
Moyes will do his usual glorious failure bit but good enough for the hammers level. Couldn’t smash a glass ceiling with a sledgehammer.Shudder to think the cosy time we gave him. We need Gomes not to go back in his shell and carry on this Valencia form. The front 3 are a match for anyone if Rickys head straight again.
David Hayes
58 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:12:46
Anybody who thinks Leicester without Vardy are weaker, just watch what happened in the game against Brentford. Rather than aiming for one focal point Vardy, their attack and build up was multiple and more not less affective. Unless they have another off day like the previous encounter, the only way to is run the midfield and win second balls. With the lack of Allan and Doncorue that's not going to happen. So play to our strengths and out score them built on the four centre back defence. Gomes won't get the time or space on the ball as he did Sheff Wed, The key for us is outwide and counter attack with pace, Force set pieces on them at every opportunity, they are not as strong at the back as used to be. COYB
Joe McMahon
59 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:13:11
Yep congrats to Moyes, maybe that vile club should have not dismissed him the first time. He has some good players in the squad, I can't see them in the top 7 by season end though.
Will Mabon
60 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:20:09
That was pretty unsavoury of them, Joe - but I guess Moyes is thick skinned enough. I agree, unlikely to remain in the mix but likely to be their best season for a long time.

We just need to put them into fifth tomorrow.

Mike Gaynes
61 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:28:55
Martin #50, I rely on both opinion and fact. In my opinion, Gomes is not a "very good international standard midfield player" -- he is a decent player with some huge deficiencies in his game.

Is he an attacking midfielder? Well, he has been involved in six goals in 64 appearances for us (one goal, five assists). Is that what you call "very good"?

By contrast, James has generated the same six goals in just 12 appearances (3 goals, 3 assists).

So I guess I was indulging in hyperbole when I said James is 10 times the attacking player that Gomes is. Statistically speaking, he's actually only 5 times the attacker. I stand corrected.

So is Gomes a defensive midfielder? Sorry, but a player who fouls nearly 3 times for every two legal tackles isn't a defender, he's an arsonist.

Thomas Richards
62 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:31:46
Mike#

"He's been at full fitness for months now, which means he has returned to his usual dismal standard defensively. Siggy is WAY better in that role"

Wow.

Can you put Siggys tackle stats up please

Fran Mitchell
63 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:33:09
Brian, Moyes may well have hit a glass ceiling, but in the 7 seasons before he left we averaged 6th in the league and averaged 60 points a season. In the 7 seasons since Moyes left we've averaged 9th in the league and 54 points per season. All this with a net spend close to zero for Moyes, and eye watering losses spent on players after.

So while i'm very happy we have Ancelotti, and in no way do I believe Moyes to be the greatest manager ever - his pragmatism and conservatism will forever be the better of him - I do occasionally wonder what would have been if we had had Moyes when we splurged all that money. And for Everton to 'smash the glass ceiling', it required a heck of a lot more than a managerial change.

I'm pleased to see Moyes do well. The way he was mocked post-Man Utd always felt like they were patronising Everton too. Like with this 'He may be good for little old Everton, but to manage 'Utd', no chance', he should have known his place etctect.

Fran Mitchell
64 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:39:45
Mike is correct in terms of Gomes' liability in the tackle. I wince everytime he goes near a player around the box - he always just clatters them and then holds his hands up with a 'what, me?' look on his face.

The penalty incident in the last game at Leicester could well have cost us the win - luckily the VAR gods were being kind with us that night.

So Gomes is a liability in that regard. I had given up on him, but his most recent cameos have given me hope. Maybe more for games where we will dominate possession, or off the bench when we are pushing for a goal, he can add some attacking flair.

In terms of his creativity - I think stats are unfair, because he has always played deep - so his good passing doesnt usually result in assists, but can still be an important cog.

Same issue with Rodriguez. His stats show 3 goals and 3 assists, but we all know he has actually created about 10 goals this season if you include 'pre-assists'. So stats are misleading.

Christy Ring
65 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:43:34
I hope Carlo plays 4 at the back tomorrow, brings Keane back in and plays Holgate as the ball winner in midfield alongside Davies and Gomes, who has been impressive in the last couple of games and offers more than Siggy, Mike might disagree!
Graham Hammond
66 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:45:04
Martin #42. From what I recall, we had both Allan and Doucoure available and on the field, last time round against Leicester. If I remember rightly, Gomes came on when we were already winning the game! Although we won the game and played well, the score could very easily have been different and Michael Keane was a rock that day, I just do not think that having Sigurdsson and Gomes and James in the starting eleven will give us enough speed and mobility to deal with things defensively down the middle. I think Keane and Mina will need better shielding down the spine of the team and that is why I agreed with Tony Abrahams that starting with Mason and Tom as the defensive shield would be a good option. Gomes would appear at present to be a very good, motivated substitute to bring on either for a tiring or an underperforming player. I may not always agree with Mike Gaynes, but Andre Gomes does give away way too many free-kicks and often in dangerous or semi-dangerous areas, it is where he needs to improve on most of all, James often just simply gives up the chase but at least we avoid free kicks against! I stand by my preference that Gylfi should not be in the starting eleven tomorrow.
Mike Gaynes
67 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:49:00
Thomas #62, Siggy has the same number of tackles as Gomes this season, 14, but has committed only 9 fouls compared to Gomes' 19. Siggy just commits way less fouls around the area that produce dead ball opportunities for the opponent.

The eye test is even more convincing. Just watch the two of them. Siggy's in position defensively. Gomes isn't. Siggy has intercepted 16 passes this year. Gomes has 1. Siggy tracks runs from opposing midfielders. Gomes waves at them as they go by. Siggy marks attackers on free kicks. Gomes needs a map to our penalty area.

Siggy ain't no great shakes defensively, but face it, Gomes is a walking can of gasoline.

Paul Hewitt
68 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:51:08
If we don't get top 4. I hope Moyes does.
Thomas Richards
69 Posted 26/01/2021 at 20:52:47
Mike,

Would you start tomorrows game with Sigurdsson as a defensive midfielder?

I ask because, in my opinion he is the most feeble of our players apart from Iwobi.

He will not put his foot in

Brian Murray
70 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:05:34
Paul post 68, why would you get any pleasure in what Moyes does. He constantly let us down in the games that mattered. Wigan at home fa cup shite at Wembley and so on. Brainwashed a generation of blues into being grateful to even be in the premier league.
Brian Murray
71 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:09:38
Jeez let’s hope that rearranged Man City game is when they are embroiled in the champions league hA ha. Having said that no one will look forward to playing a full strength Everton.
Dave Abrahams
72 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:11:24
I wouldn’t be arguing over Sigurdsson and Gomes, the quicker the two of them have gone the better Everton could be without them, if only one of them start it is the lesser of two evils, but then you’re left with dreading the other one coming on as a substitute.
Danny O’Neill
73 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:12:19
4-2-3-1

Back 4, take your pick from the 6.

Davies and Gomes.

Iwobi, James, Richarlison.

DCL

Thats my guess but its a guess. The manager will pick the team and the formation.

Newcastle in trouble?

Eugene Ruane
74 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:14:07
.
Moyes?

STILL!?

Jesus, easier to leave Scientology (even with them top Thetan ones after you)

Tony Abrahams
76 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:27:54
Derek k, if you think we only need one new filter then I hope you’re right mate! I don’t see it as to much fiddling around Derek, I just see it as making us as solid as we can possibly be, with the players we have got to pick from. For the first time in a long time, I’m intrigued to see what team Carlo Ancelloti picks.
Kieran Kinsella
77 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:28:31
Gomes, Sigurdsson and Davies are all much of a muchness to me. Each has his strengths, while their weakenesses have been well documented on ToffeeWeb. But, like Mike Gaynes, I worry about Gomes as a liability prone to make rash tackles up against a very dirty team of cheating divers.

I think Sigurdsson and Davies have cooler heads while not necessarily being "better" overall. I would say Sigurdsson is a bigger liability against a possession side like city as he will happily be a spectator for 90 minutes, and Davies is a bigger liability against a physical team as he is physically weaker. But for Leicester's dirty divers, Gomez is the weakest link.

Joe McMahon
78 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:39:22
Just seen that Richard, brilliant for Ellis, and fingers crossed us!
Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:39:43
Thomas #69, I think putting your foot in is a vastly overrated standard for defensive ability. Gomes' biggest weakness is putting his foot in where it doesn't belong. Same with Davies. People who can't tackle, shouldn't try.

So I don't care whether Siggy does or not. If it's a question of which player fulfills his overall defensive responsibilities better, it's no contest. Like I said, Siggy has 16 interceptions. At least he knows where to position himself on the pitch when the opposition has the ball. So do Davies and Iwobi. They know fundamentals. Gomes doesn't have a clue. Never has.

By the way, I think you're being a bit harsh on Iwobi. He's not feeble. Did you know he has more tackles than Digne, Keane or Mina?

Paul Birmingham
80 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:40:15
Massive game and Everton need to be organised and decisive with passing, covering and taking chances and dead balls.

It’s a massive 6 pointer and I’ll take a grinding win, but win is a must.

I sense Leicester will be cagey but can spring on the break so keeping shape is key.

For me Godfrey should play and Digne a day I’d take Siggy over Gomes at the moment, despite his two good low driven crosses, the last two games, over all in my view he needs to do more.

But the team is showing belief and hopefully the goal for Richarlison, v SW, will get his mojo, going and stick a few in tomorrow night.

Nice to see a few goals around the team.

Thomas Richards
82 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:55:06
Mike,

Not being a smart arse but you pick a defensive midfielder who won’t tackle?

Did Stevie Wonder do the stats on Iwobi’s tackling?

Darren Hind
84 Posted 26/01/2021 at 22:39:41
Whats this obsession with two DM's ?

I would (just for once) like to see us play a more aggressive game. One which forces the opposition to worry about how they will defend.

This could be a world record. The 312th home game in succession that we have gone with two insurance policies

Steve Shave
85 Posted 26/01/2021 at 22:43:12
Stephen 22 and Mike 23 I agree that he has not been at his best, I agree he flatters to deceive at times and I definately think he is clumsy in the tackle. However, he had a horrendous injury, came back too quick, Ancellotti and Gomes have been quoted as saying he has been struggling for fitness this season. Let's get behind him, credit where it's due, he has looked sharper of late. We would all love the Gomes from his first season with us back. As for who he was playing against is irrelevant in my opinion, he played well, pulled strings and looked more confident, so what if it was against Sheff Weds? I just hope he continues to improve.
Oliver Molloy
86 Posted 26/01/2021 at 22:49:32
This is a massive massive match for us, a win will really boost everybody and keep the nice momentum going.
Maddison and his mates need to be taken down a peg or two.
COYB.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

87 Posted 26/01/2021 at 22:58:24
Just 6 weeks ago when we won 2-0 at their gaff, the line up was this:

Olsen
Holgate, Mina, Keane, Godfrey
Siggy, Allan, Doucoure
Iwobi, DCL, Richy

On 40 minutes Carlo made a forced substitution, bringing on Gomes for the injured Allan (even with Davies on the bench).

Thereafter, he only made two token subs after 90 minutes, Anthony Gordon for DCL and Jonjo Kenny for Iwobi.

They had 60% possession to our 40%.
14 shots (only 2 on target) to our 11 (6 on target).
0 goals to our 2.

We were so in control they were largely kept not just at arms length, but half a pitch length from our goal.

Of course, they know the game plan from that match so it may not be a simple matter of rinse and repeat, but I imagine the line-up and tactics will be close to it.

Just 2 players who played that night are missing, Allan and Doucoure. In his presser today Carlo confirmed that Tom Davies will start and how happy he is with his performances in recent weeks. He also praised Gomes, but without confirming he will be a starter.

When asked the question about playing Mason Holgate in midfield, I thought Carlo indulged the journalist. Saying yes he could play there before saying Tom will start.

The dilemma in selection is the full-back positions with Coleman and Digne both available, and covering for Allan and Doucoure. Will he repeat the Godfrey-Digne combo down the left flank as per the Wolves game? If that's the case with Tom also starting, places are at a premium.

James, DCL and Richy I fancy will start. Iwobi, Siggy and Gomes could possibly be fighting for one place. And Iwobi was a constant creative threat in the away game.

Suddenly, we look in a very good place with our squad.

I just hope it doesn't turn out like my dream last night. I never dream of Everton's upcoming games, but I did last night. Mason Holgate was sent off and we lost 2-1!

Christy Ring
88 Posted 26/01/2021 at 23:06:01
Kieran#77 I wouldn't put Davies and Siggy in the one category, whether you like Tom or not, he'll put in a shift up and down the field, and will tackle. Looking at Mike Gaynes comments, he's 100% right, Siggy won't tackle in our penalty area, or anywhere else either, he'll let players ghost by him, mark no one at corners, just point for someone else to pick them up.
James Flynn
89 Posted 26/01/2021 at 23:14:20
Tom Bowers
90 Posted 26/01/2021 at 23:15:27
It would be a big boost to put one over on the Foxes again and shoot back to fourth in the table. Can't believe Moyes is looking down at us albeit because of extra games they have played.
We need to win some of the games in hand if we are to be in the mix for Europe and tomorrow would be a good time to start..

I like Tom Davies as he is a grafter but a little one paced and Siggy has a good brain but is past his best. Iwobi will start tomorrow in place of Doucoure.

Annika Herbert
91 Posted 26/01/2021 at 23:24:58
Mike @ various. You were quick to criticise my constant complaints about how poor Sigurdsson had been for months. I believe you said no matter how well Siggi played I would never admit it.

Aren’t you doing exactly what you criticised me for with Gomes? I think Christy explained perfectly what Siggi brings to the team. But, with regards to you’re Gomes comments, kettle, pot black springs to mind

Jason Wilkinson
92 Posted 26/01/2021 at 23:28:19
Unless I have read it wrong. Vardy isn't playing tomorrow night. (Hernia op) That is a boost for us.
Mike Gaynes
93 Posted 26/01/2021 at 23:46:46
Thomas #82, we have two fine defensive midfielders who can tackle. Their names are Allan and Doucoure. Neither is available for this game. So we have a choice at DM -- guys who play positionally well and can't tackle (Siggy and Davies) or a guy who can't do either (Gomes). Pretty easy call for me.

Personally, I'm with Darren at #83. With our current brilliant backline of four CBs, we don't need two DMs. Best way to defend Barnes and Maddison might just be to keep them on their heels with our own midfield attack. So yeah, I'd go with Iwobi and Digne on the flanks with James and Siggy in the middle. Rich does a great job of getting back in support.

Will Mabon
94 Posted 26/01/2021 at 23:52:09
A real test of the mettle, this one. Anything could happen ("That's football") but no three points without the win. For too long we've gone safety-first, cautious. To be a top team we need to play like we believe we are one.

I'm not going to speculate a team; the attitude, belief and commitment matters more in this game. Taking it to your direct rivals and top teams is what separates the big boys, no room for hiding.

I'm hoping to see a bit of attacking "Strut" tomorrow, let's see them look for safety.

Mike Gaynes
95 Posted 26/01/2021 at 00:02:18
Christy #88, I didn't say Siggy wouldn't tackle, I just said I'd rather he didn't because he sucks at it. I'd rather see him stay on his feet to cut off passing lanes, which he reads quite well. An interception per game is a pretty good average. (And he actually marks very well at corners -- his man rarely wins the header.)

Annika #91, I haven't recovered yet from seeing you compliment Siggy the other day -- I needed CPR and adrenaline to restart my heart -- so I hadn't responded. My apologies.

Regarding Gomes, I am quick to compliment him for his positives -- lovely movement to make himself constantly available, the immaculate first touch, great turns, the educated distribution of his passes, and the fact that he almost never makes a mistake on the ball. Few in the Prem move the ball from defense into attack better than Gomes. And his attitude is stellar. You should have seen how ecstatic I was on the Forum with that ball to Keane against Wolves -- best pass of the year I called it -- and the slide-rule cross to DCL.

But it's a simple numeric fact that up until the past week he almost never directly contributed to goalscoring plays. (If he has in fact raised that part of his game, I'll cheer louder than anybody.) And it's irrefutable that his defending is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Thomas Richards
96 Posted 27/01/2021 at 00:15:17
Mike,

A central midfield partnership of James and Sigvurdson?

We will have to agree to disagree.

I don't think Ancelotti will select Siggy as a defensive midfielder tomorrow.
Obviously could be wrong.

David Pearl
97 Posted 27/01/2021 at 00:32:12
I have read the majority of the predicted line ups... and seems to me only Tony Everan, 24 has nailed it.

Carlo had learnt his lesson so l can't see him changing the back four. Gomes is getting his confidence back after that injury. Davies will plug the hole. If anything and he fancies Digne then Richarlison could miss out. Or if Iwobi is fancied we could see Siggy miss out and James taking the spot behind DCL.

I'm starting to really like these players. They seem a tight group, fighting for each other and enjoying the ride. If we can get 6 points from the next 2 we might all be gping on a european tour... errr

Not too much tinkering Carlo. And definitely no to 3 at the back.

Rick Barnes
98 Posted 27/01/2021 at 00:55:49
I think the debate over whether Sigurdsson is any good really depends on what you value as a spectator. If you're quite stats-oriented I can see how when he comes off with a lot of touches and a 'completion pass percentage' of 80% or something, in your mind he's done his job. And that's a valid viewpoint, if that's what you're wanting from him.

The opposite viewpoint is that recycling the ball left, right and back does nothing to advance the play (and in fact slows attacks down) and just looks nice on the stat sheet.

On defence, if you value defending a square of turf, and 'shepherding' your man side to side until he passes to someone else, in some sort of zonal territorial defending, then Sigurdsson is surely your man.

...the flip side to that is the argument that a player who doesn't tackle or hassle the opposition just moves the problem on to someone else to try to win it back.

Football is all about opinions, and for me I rate a combo of Allan and Davies more than Gomes and Sigurdsson. I'd rather a pairing that will often lose the ball, but also one that will often win it back / thread a thru ball that leads to an attack, over a pair that keeps possession more but is pretty static.

But, of course, in a perfect scenario an astute manager would utilise different combinations of all these players depending on the opposition - maybe against one team that plays thru the middle, an obstinate Sigurdsson might force them down the wings... But perhaps in the following game against someone else, a harrying, haranguing Davies in the middle might be more worth...

..I guess that's the decisions we entrust to Carlo and his team, and given where we currently sit I'm pretty content that they know what they're doing...

Derek Thomas
99 Posted 27/01/2021 at 00:56:08
I think we'll see some variation on the 4 of a kind at the back - KITAP1 theme.
With 13(?) fit first team outfield players to choose from I see Coleman drawing the first short straw. The other 2 are much harder to pick...or not pick in this case.
Jamie Crowley
100 Posted 27/01/2021 at 01:10:54
Captain Cliche - this one's big.

I mean seriously, this time, this is a big, big game. Gotta beat Leicester.

Glad to see Iwobe and Digne back. Whomever Carlo picks, I'll go with it. Just want 3 points.

Mike Gaynes
101 Posted 27/01/2021 at 01:36:08
Thomas #96, we already know Davies will be selected at DM because Carlo said so. The formation will determine who else gets in.

Rick #98, I'd rate Allan and Peter Ustinov ahead of Gomes and Sigurdsson, but Allan's not available.

Mike Gaynes
102 Posted 27/01/2021 at 01:36:08
Thomas #96, we already know Davies will be selected at DM because Carlo said so. The formation will determine who else gets in.

Rick #98, I'd rate Allan and Peter Ustinov ahead of Gomes and Sigurdsson, but Allan's not available.

Graham Lloyd
103 Posted 27/01/2021 at 02:27:02
Mike Gaynes - "Annika #91, I haven't recovered yet from seeing you compliment Siggy the other day -- I needed CPR and adrenaline to restart my heart -- so I hadn't responded. My apologies."

Just spat my coffee out all over my keyboard laughing at that!

For what it's worth, I think it is more likely that Siggy will play ahead of Gomes though I really don't like the idea of either them as a DM. Tom is going to have his work cut out either way if we play with 4-2-3-1 formation. I'd be tempted to push Holgate into mid if Seamus is fully match fit.

Pickford
Coleman Mina Keane Godfrey
Holgate Davies Digne
James Richie
DCL

3-0 to the Toffees! DCL, Mina (corner), Keane (free kick)

Per Stumo
104 Posted 27/01/2021 at 03:01:18
The one thing I really can't understand is how anyone can think or allude to Sigurdsson not putting a shift in. The guy runs his socks off every game. Because of that he's a better DM than Gomes, but he's not a good DM regardless. However, playing him as a DM opens up for James in a more central role with Iwobi on the wing. So there's that.

Ancelotti did say that playing Holgate in midfield is an option, so we might see Tom and Mason together at DM tomorrow.

Phil Smith
105 Posted 27/01/2021 at 03:08:14
Martin (32), how about Wilson? I’m sure he would. Sharr is decent as well.
Jay Harris
106 Posted 27/01/2021 at 03:44:20
I like the look of Grahams team but Carlo does not seem to want Holgate in MF.

I think will has a good point too.

Determination, belief and a will to win is more important than who plays

# points tomorrow and the media cant continue to count us out of the equation.

COYB.

Terence Leong
107 Posted 27/01/2021 at 03:56:35
My team:

Olsen (though I think Ancelotti will go with Pickford)
Coleman Mina Keane Digne
Davis Sigurdsson
Iwobi Rodriguez Richarlison
DCL

I think having our original full backs will give more balance and fluidity (transition between attack & defence) overall.

Our four centre backs of Holgate and Godfrey are really solid, but it's disjointed when we have to shift into attack mode. Now that we are playing at home, and Leicester is already a predominantly counter-attacking team, we need more fluidity.

I think Iwobi's current form will help our attack, and he can be counted on to support Seamus in defence.

Moving Rodriguez into the middle can allow the team to accommodate Iwobi, while still allowing James that free rein.

In the middle, while Gomes is getting better, I would still trust SIgurdsson to be more disciplined alongside Davis.

Jay Harris
108 Posted 27/01/2021 at 05:00:40
I think Digne came back a little too quick after a serious injury and is still getting to match fitness. Godfrey hasnt looked out of place and has a afir degree of pace and is a better defender.

Save Digne for Newcastle and continue with Godfrey.

RB is slightly different as I think Mason hasnt looked totally comfortable there and we miss the marauding runs of Seamus but I would consider MAson for the holding MF role backed up by Tom Davies in this one.

Bobby Mallon
109 Posted 27/01/2021 at 07:06:51
Christy @ 88 everyone knows you dislike sigi, but you have it very wrong. He has been one of our most consistent players over the last few games
Mal van Schaick
110 Posted 27/01/2021 at 07:36:16
Agree with#86. This is a big game for us, especially with our games in hand.

If we can stop their midfield creating chances, then I think we can win this game. I’m not sure about playing Davies, maybe push Holgate into midfield and leave Godfrey in the back four, put Digne on the bench as he recovers.

John Keating
111 Posted 27/01/2021 at 07:44:49
Massive game for us
Although it sounds a bit daft with so many games left for me it’s a must win
We need to keep up with the pack and turn one over in the process
We have a couple if games in hand and must make them pay
Mind you pointless beating Leicester if we don’t go for the throat against the Geordies
We have to beat Leicesters strong midfield
Doucoure will be a big miss
Eddie Dunn
112 Posted 27/01/2021 at 07:52:54
Leicester are dangerous through the cleverness of Maddison and the good feet of Barnes. I would play a centre half pairing of Keane and Holgate and I would keep Godfrey(who has been fantastic). I would push Digne up the left ahead of him and slot Coleman in at rightback, mainly because he nows the position best.
I would sit Richi on the bench- he has to realise it is a team game and he simply hasn't been gelling.
Iwobi on the right, James at ten and Davies will have to do Doucoure's job. Gomes looks to have improved and I would give him a start and obviously Dom up top. As for the goalie, Pickford may be quicker but Olsen can reach those long shots from Maddison. Late-on, if we're losing, it's Siggy for James and Richie for whoever.
Laurie Hartley
113 Posted 27/01/2021 at 08:06:13
We must not crumble in this one - so I would play a team of none crumblers.

I only saw the highlights of the Sheffield Wednesday game but noticed Olsen was called in to action on at least three occasions. Two things struck me:

He made a very good shoulder height save to his left from a shot just outside the box.
He has got “soft hands” - he killed two shots / crosses stone dead at his feet.
I think he is a better keeper than Pickford and he would be my first pick.

My team against Leicester

Olsen
Holgate, Keane, Mina, Godfrey
Coleman, Davies, Digne
Rodrigues
DCL, Richarlison

Gomes, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Pickford, Bernard, on the bench.

That will probably raise a few eyebrows!

Up the Blues!!!

Frank Sheppard
114 Posted 27/01/2021 at 08:24:45
Fascinating prospect of a game tonight. We had a great start to the season, then a terrible patch, and now we seem to be back on track. So tonight is an important pointer, false dawn again? Or evidence of real progress?
Paul Baxter
115 Posted 27/01/2021 at 08:31:09
This is Leicester we’re playing not Real Madrid, just get out there and get them twatted 3-0. They’re shite!!!
Declan Campbell
116 Posted 27/01/2021 at 09:31:01
Ian Bennett, do you realise the team you would pick has not got Rodriguez in it?. If so I would love to know how you would leave out Evertons most talented player by a country mile. Someone backed that team up as well.
Dave Williams
117 Posted 27/01/2021 at 10:03:12
I’d be loathe to disturb the back four as they are solid and keep their positions well.
Maddison is a worry but I should think they’ll be a bit concerned about James.
I’d go with Tom, Gomes and James in CM flanked by Richi and Digne with Dom up front.
A very intriguing game and if we win it really will send a signal of intent to other teams.
Any notion about dropping Godfrey has to be quashed- he and Holgate add some bite and determination which affects the rest of the team not to mention some genuine pace. They have to play.
Charles Brewer
118 Posted 27/01/2021 at 10:29:18
Thank God we’ve got someone with a subtle and analytical approach to the game, someone who understands how the hypermodern approach of a Nimsovitsch will generally prove superior to an “occupy the centre” methods of the classical masters like Steinitz.

Paul Baxter, your strategic genius is an inspiration to all of us.

Bobby Mallon
119 Posted 27/01/2021 at 10:54:41
Declan @116, let’s face it we won, I think all of our games that James didn’t play in so it’s not far fetched to leave him out. ( I wouldn’t) but like I said we gave fine we’ll with him not playing
Stephen Brown
120 Posted 27/01/2021 at 10:56:21
Paul Baxter - that is a spot in attitude that should be adopted by the players!

Win this and we’re really amongst it !!

Justin Doone
121 Posted 27/01/2021 at 10:59:07
I think Carlo will play Digne as he likes his crossing and creative contribution.

We have no real defensive midfielders available and in terms of Siggy or Gomes neither can tackle and both lack pace.
Siggy does more running around but he's never been a defensive player. He's an attacking player.
Gomes stays deeper in position and is a midfielder.
Davies is our best midfield option IMO but who partners him should be a gamble. I understand Holgate can do a job there but as a defender lacks the passing ability to be effective.
To really challenge the top 4 we need better.

Brian Harrison
122 Posted 27/01/2021 at 11:04:39
I think tonights game will be really fascinating, not least in our team selection.
We know that Tom Davies plays but who else and in what formation we play nobody knows. We have played with a few different formations this season, which is a big plus for Carlo, knowing that whichever formation he chooses these players can cope. We know that Leicester have a very decent midfield in Tielemins, Ndidi and Maddison, and it will be interesting to see how Carlo tries to nullify their impact. We are missing both Doucoure and Allan who I think would have been more than a match for Leicester, but they are missing Vardy who is integral to the way they play. He is a constant threat and a nightmare to mark so the fact he isn't playing must be a plus for us.

I am sure both sets of players realize the importance of tonights game, a win for either and it will not only improve their league position, but more importantly it will send a message to the rest of the league. Should Leicester win it will be a big statement showing they can come to a club in the top 6 and win without their talisman Vardy. Likewise if we win the message is something similar we will have beaten a team at the top end of the league, and we will have done it without 2 of our most influential midfield players.

Jim Bennings
123 Posted 27/01/2021 at 11:31:32
Could the fact that Vardy is not playing tonight actually work against us?

Might seem like a crazy thing to say because he's always been a massive thorn in our side but the last two games we've faced Leicester our defence has been completely switched on knowing Vardy had been on the pitch.

I just hope we don't get too casual thinking Leicester will lack punch without their main striker because they do have quite a few good threats going forwards.

Tony Everan
124 Posted 27/01/2021 at 11:38:16
We have a sound defence, they have a very strong midfield with Harvey Barneys, Telemans, Maddison, Ndidi . They can all be a threat, I can see them taking shots at Pickford from 20 - 25 yards. Our midfield will have to be closing them down non stop coupled with Pickford being alert for 90 minutes, no abberations.

On the positive side we do have that compact and tough defence, and going forward we have match winners in James, Richarlison and Calvert Lewin. On top of that we may have the biggest threat from set pieces in the league with Keane Mina Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison all ready to head a decent cross home.

It all makes for an excellent and competitive game. I think we will sneak it with a set piece goal.

Come on you Blueboys !

Mark Pringle
125 Posted 27/01/2021 at 12:05:19
It's great to read through a thread where there are so many different predictions around the line-up. The truth is we don't have a clue but what a great position to be in now compared to seasons gone past.

Carlo is getting a tune out of a squad that he will change massively. I genuinely believe he will let Pickford, Coleman, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Davies & Tosun go, as well as the out of contract Bolasie and Besic etc and will revamp in the summer. However, if we can get European football, particularly Champions League, with this squad that's only going to help the Don bring in even better players more quickly. Exciting times.
For what it's worth, I reckon tonight:–

Pickford
Holgate Keane Mina Godfrey
Davies Sigurdsson
Richarlison Rodriguez Digne
Calvert-Lewin

I think the Don will have one of his fluid formations where Digne will play in front of Godfrey when we have the ball but will drop in beside him when we don't have it to make a back 5, same with Richarlison on other side. And we'll win 1-0.

Neil Lawson
126 Posted 27/01/2021 at 12:11:42
Such a lot of chat and prattle about the appropriate team selection and why. Wouldn't it be easier to just wait and see and to get right behind the 11 chosen?

In the time saved reading through this ever-expanding thread, we could be watching reruns of A Place in the Sun or Location Location, Location or Porridge and Are You Being Served?

Fingers crossed for a positive result and a decent performance.

Thomas Richards
127 Posted 27/01/2021 at 12:13:09
I'm freeee
Martin Mason
128 Posted 27/01/2021 at 12:37:55
Correct, Neil, whoever plays will be the coaching staff’s best selection and that will be good enough for me.
Christopher Timmins
129 Posted 27/01/2021 at 12:56:41
For this six pointer at the top of the table I would go with:

Pickford

Coleman
Keane
Mina
Digne

Iwobi
Holgate
Davies
Charlison

James
Calvert-Lewin

A 4411 formation with James having a fee role.

A difficult game in store and they have a good record at our place but I think we will do enough to win.

Brian Wilkinson
132 Posted 27/01/2021 at 13:15:04
Laurie@113, I could not agree more in regards to Olsen, he has a calmness and makes the saves he needs to make.

Others have said he could have done better with the Rotherham goal, so even giving that the benefit of the doubt, he has done the simple things, no over playing the ball around our penalty area, no flapping at crosses, catches a ball when he needs to, pushes the ball away from the danger area, so it is not parried out towards an incoming attacker.

He has done a very good job, which is also making Pickford raise his game, fewer mistakes from Pickford now.

For me you play a player or keeper in form, if Pickfords form dips, then we should look to put Olsen in goal, I do not like the Pickford will definitely play in the next league game, everytime Olsen is selected for the cup game, from our Manager.

We seem to have the right balance now, but push comes to shove, I would have no problems Olsen taking over the number one spot, love his calmness and presence between the sticks.

Tony Abrahams
133 Posted 27/01/2021 at 13:36:52
Mike G, if Davies is playing, and you want to keep our 4 centre backs on the pitch, who are you advocating leaving out, because you have picked Iwobi and Digne to play out wide, James and Sigurdson inside and say Richarlison is great at covering and getting back, so that means you haven’t left any room Dominic?

Repeating myself I’d say Ancellotti’s got choices so let’s just hope he gets it right!

Graham Hammond
134 Posted 27/01/2021 at 13:52:31
Interesting selection from Laurie #113. Having three midfielders to shield the back four and Coleman and Digne (who are essentially defenders) as the two wider players. I do not think Coleman is back to his best sadly (even for this season) so I would tend to go with Iwobi over Coleman even in that formation but a selection with some merit from Mr Hartley. This one really does feel like a six-nine pointer at the moment but I would take four points from our next two games now quite happily.
Derek Wadeson
135 Posted 27/01/2021 at 14:07:35
The game against Leicester City will be Carlo Ancelotti’s 38th Premier League in charge of Everton.

This is his record to date
Last season P20 W8 D6 L6 F24 A27
This season P17 W10 D2 L5 F28 A21
Combined P37 W18 D8 L11 F52 A48

Obviously against Leicester we can win, draw or lose and taking each one of those scenarios into account this is what a combined 38 game season would look like.

If we win Played 38 Points 65
If we draw Played 38 Points 64
If we lose Played 38 Points 62

If you take into account Everton’s improved record this season and a victory against Leicester would see Everton move onto 35 points after 18 games an average of 1.94 points a game over 38 games. 1.94 x 38 = 73.8 points for the season.

An Everton loss against Leicester would using the same maths bring us a total of 67.5 points for the season.

The average points required for a top four finish in the last six seasons is 71 points
(highest was 76 points, lowest 66 points)

The average points required for a top six finish in the last six seasons is 64 points
(highest was 69 points, lowest 59 points)

If we continue in a similar fashion to the second half of the season as we have done in the first half, top four is not out of the question.

Am I happy with top four, yes. Will I see it as job done, no. That only comes when we finally start to see stats comparing us with first place finishes.

David Hayes
136 Posted 27/01/2021 at 14:11:17
TW's combined selected 11, . Pickford, liability/ flapper and mistake waiting to happen. Coleman, legs gone past it. Mina, Carthorse/ donkey and will cost us a goal. Keane too slow / not aware of danger. Digne, can't defend / gets caught out. Davies, all of the above. Gomes, all of the above. Siggy all of the above plus repellent to women. Iwobi,can't tackle plus all of the above. Richy, Diver sulker and deluded. DCL championship at best. And finally Hamez, luxury / injury prone and never fit.
Thomas Richards
137 Posted 27/01/2021 at 14:16:03
Fuck me David.
How have we got the amount of points weve got mate
Michael Boardman
138 Posted 27/01/2021 at 14:16:17
Nice to see the BBC talking about the "tightest" title race - and then showing the top 6 only (although Everton are an option to select at the bottom). We win one of our games in-hand and we go 4th, win both and we're level with Leicester (and if we beat them tonight...even closer). Voting shows West Ham more likely than Everton to win the title too (although you may as well just ask "Who do you support" and you'd get very similar results.)
James Fletcher
139 Posted 27/01/2021 at 14:45:08
Michael (138) - what is really funny is that "Other" has nearly double the votes that we do
Kevin Molloy
140 Posted 27/01/2021 at 14:50:38
I think the only way we get top four is by moving in to title contention territory over the next six weeks. if we aim for top 4 we will miss it, but if we stay level pegging with Liverpool and city in the next few weeks, when the downturn comes as it inevitably will the fall will not be below fourth. As such, given that that is a tall order indeed I suspect we will just miss out on the hallowed fourth.
Colin Battison
141 Posted 27/01/2021 at 14:52:33
Christopher #129

That would be my perfect team for tonight.

Pickford
Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne
Iwobi, Davies, Holgate, Richy
James
Calvert-Lewin

Michael Boardman
142 Posted 27/01/2021 at 14:58:00
Excellent point James (139) - that must be the barcodes, as their fans "deserve" success (or may just be Arsenal or deluded Chelski fans who have misread the question)
Derek Moore
143 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:15:20
Firstly, fuck Moyes. Did anyone here see his Hammers team wilt against United earlier this season? They had the lead with twenty something minutes left, ended up losing 3-1...the dizzying temporary heights of fourth will probably give Moyes altitude sickness or similar. He'll never ever change.

My bookie has the Foxes marginal favourites at 6/4, the quote for the Blues was 15/8. (The draw at 11/5) Interesting in light of the previous result when we played and in the absence of Vardy.
Whatever configuration we start the game in will be critical I feel, even just as a statement of intent (or god forbid, lack thereof). This is as big a league game as we've had for some time. Avoiding defeat is vital today and a win would set us up nicely for the run in.
We play the very troubled Barcodes at home followed by a trip to that most pleasant of places, Elland Road. A win would give this group terrific momentum heading into some very winnable fixtures.
But I must confess, I had a small go at 11/1 for the draw and Richarlison anytime to score. Even Ancelotti so far in his tenure has been unable to get these players to seize opportunities when they're presented to them. I don't see any reason why that should change today.

Dale Self
144 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:23:46
Nice to see the lineup debate take the place of impending doom. Not looking for any action but you have to admit Gomes and Siggy are on the up and could create some probs for those having a go at these professionals.
And anyone thinking Siggy offers nothing going forward try to note where he pulls defenders with his runs. That unselfish purpose is what has brought our final third opportunities.
Rennie Smith
145 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:25:50
Thomas@137, I don't think you're getting David@136's irony 😁
Thomas Richards
146 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:27:50
Rennie.

I don't think your getting mine

Rob Birks
147 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:37:17
Paul Baxter well in matey
Martin Mason
148 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:38:30
There's a real positivity and hence humour around now. It won't get past a Leicester goal on the live forum, aka the Temple of Doom
Will Mabon
149 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:41:39
Michael, 138;

I just read that BBC article, then read a fair chunk of the comments while eating. As ever, Everton barely mentioned even there, by fans of all persuasions; five times I think. Someone implied us as "Big six" and was immediately corrected with the "Recognized" six in the next comment.

We really are the ugly sister to many. It could be seen as a positive from one angle but I'd like to think I'll be around long enough to see another 80s, shove it right up 'em.

Let's start tonight!

Dale Self
150 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:42:39
Oh yeah, I forgot, keep it going Paul Baxter. I’m always looking for that!
Thomas Richards
151 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:42:42
Martin, 148

Who plays Indiana Jones?

Brent Stephens
152 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:46:29
Martin, you worship at the temple as well!

You miserable sod - just joking!

"humour...won't get past a Leicester goal on the live forum" - at least we can fall back on your wit! Just joking!

Thomas Richards
153 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:47:40
Reports coming out that Mr Usmanov is lending the money to CSKA for Tosuns transfer.

What a guy.

Will Mabon
154 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:48:13
Thomas - serious?
Tom Bowers
155 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:51:42
Everton are in a good place at the moment and it would be really nice to consolidate that with some good results over the next few weeks including the RS game.

Whilst we still have a couple or three injured, a few other top clubs also have people out so we can't complain.

Would like to see Richarlison do a bit more to help the attack that is to say getting stuck in instead of whining when he loses possession.

It goes without saying that City are the team of the hour and look like the eventual champions but anything can happen if a team can get on a good run. Now would be a good time for Everton to start that run.

Realistically though, Everton are still building a squad and we may have to wait until next season to expect bigger things.

Jay Harris
156 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:52:14
MIchael,
There is definitely a media bias. Here in the US NBC were showing just the top 5 when Everton were 6th and now that Spurs are 6th they are showing the top 6.

I reckon its all those rednoses in the media.

They will be showing the top 8 when the RS are down there.

Thomas Richards
157 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:53:05
Will, yes mate
Derek Knox
158 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:55:25
Thomas @ 153, sounds like Russian Roulette to me. :-)
Derek Taylor
159 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:57:36
Ancelotti fails to 'come up trumps' when he has too many options. What's the betting no one on here has got his pick and he'll have to be farting round at half-time on a rescue mission to get us a point ?
Chris Williams
160 Posted 27/01/2021 at 15:58:42
Jay,

If Everton reach number 1, will they show the table at all?

Mike Gaynes
161 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:03:47
Tony #133, the side I nominated didn't have Davies in it. Now that Carlo has confirmed Davies will start, I'll leave it to him to decide who sits!
Bobby Mallon
162 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:03:58
This will be the team for tonight, Carlos team.
Pickford
Holgate
Keane
Mina
Godfrey
Iwobi
Davis
Deign
Richy
Rodriguez
DCL
Deign
Bobby Mallon
163 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:06:25
Ok bin the second deign 😂😂
Rob Halligan
164 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:08:35
The post by Thomas # 153, is being reported in the red echo. It's just another way of saying Usmanov is ploughing more money into the club. We should put a £50M price tag on Tosun's head!!
Rob Halligan
165 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:09:36
Bobby, bin both deign's. It's Digne!!
Derek Taylor
166 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:12:40
Reminds me of my arl fella; just after the War, he lent a mate of his £500 to buy our house off him !
Barry Thompson
167 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:14:03
I just wish it was time for the match coz I’m getting tired of stroking Mrs Slocombes’ pussy now, been at it all afternoon. Roll on the LF.
Bobby Mallon
168 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:14:15
Rob I am, he’s beign dropped to subs bench and sigi is in few 😂
Martin Mason
169 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:23:35
Brent@152, I think I have a good sense of humour and don't worry I can take stick. I expected it over the Temple of Doom. Here's to tonight everybody, what a lift a win would be.
Brent Stephens
170 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:25:53
Here's to tonight, Martin.
Alan J Thompson
171 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:30:56
I thought Abrahamovic had an interest in CSKA, who was that centre forward he bought for them and was it from Chelsea?
Bobby Mallon
172 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:40:25
I just read it was Usmanov who sanctioned and loaned money for them to buy Vlasic
Derek Knox
173 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:42:05
Barry @ 167, Mrs Slocombe's Pussy must be a Matted Moggy these days! :-)
Brian Murray
174 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:44:03
We have had managers who over think too much ( silva especially) and the rest not capable of it. Leave it to Carlo. Win or lose we are now serious players in this league wether the kopite pundits like it or not. Coyb.
Dale Self
175 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:45:34
That really was beneath you Bobby
Graeme Beresford
176 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:47:56
I am so confident going into this game tonight, I just think it’s ours for the taking, however I know when we needed a win in December to go top and then keep pace, we done an Everton and messed it up.

I just think we have the beating of these tonight and I honestly think we will do them 4-0. Richy and DCL hat trick. However, we must turn up. It’s not really a must win game but we need to show up tonight, there’s really no excuses. Team should be well rested enough to perform for 90 minutes. I expected Brendan to of made a plan for James, I.e, one of these midfielders stick to him like glue and a constant press, not allowing him to dictate the play like he did on Sunday. I’m hopeful Carlo has prepared for this and if anything encourages James to get the ball and give and go, drawing their players out of position.

I’m just hopeful at the end of the evening we all aren’t on here saying, dreadful performance and reeling off names of players who didn’t show. Richarlison needs a good game, like a really good game, he needs to get the ball to his feet and start running at defenders again. Also, whoever he starts in midfield needs to watch Maddison tightly as he has a quality with finding space and creating the killer ball. He needs to be closed quickly and marked well throughout.

First goal, as in any game, is vital tonight and we do really need to perform and win if we want to be taken seriously. Win our next two home games and all of sudden we are asking major major questions. COYB, please no red cards, penalty’s, mistakes or let downs. For once let’s go out and do what needs to be done.

Tony Abrahams
177 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:48:45
I would like to see if Richarlison, could play as a number ten Mike, but not in front of Sigurdson and Rodriguez though. We are missing are two best central midfield players tonight, and yet Ancellotti has got quite a few permutations, because thinking about it now, I’d love Luca Digne’s energy in the middle of the park tonight, — throwing a proper curveball!
Thomas Richards
178 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:00:17
A central midfield pairing of James and Sigurdsson would be trampled over against a team lile Leicester. Far too lightweight.

Our biggest problem tonight is their midfielders ability to shoot from distance.
We need as much strength kn front of the back four as our depleted squad allows to try to stop that.


Kieran Kinsella
180 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:10:08
Jay/Will/Michael

On the BBC bias. read two articles on there today; one about Chelsea the other about West Ham. The former is talking about Chelsea being in the title race despite being ninth. The other refers to fourth place West Ham as being "11 points above the relation zone." Wow, how to spin a positive into a negative. It almost sounds as if Moyesy wrote that himself.

Bill Gall
181 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:21:02
Well as Ancelotti said this game tonight and Saturday; will show the position we want to be in. With the games in hand we have, a win tonight will definitely put us in an advantageous position in a quest for top 4/6.

Leicester are no Sheffield Wednesday but even with no Vardy will still play their quick break tactics and have got dangerous scoring midfielders who will be looking for the openings. We have to score quickly to put them on a more defensive game to stop another one, and stop their fullbacks from getting up field quickly.

This is another chance to take advantage of other teams struggling to get into the top 6, but it is always in the back of my mind that this is Everton who let us down at the wrong times. We cannot afford another display like we had against West Ham, and have to show that we are willing to fight for a result. A win is wanted, a draw may be except-able depending on the display, a loss is not wanted.

We are starting to get over our injuries, but even with the injuries and suspensions we have had, we have still managed to put out a winning team.

Lets put one out tonight and show these pundits who consistently overlook us we are there on merit and consistency.

Brent Stephens
182 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:24:54
Kieran "It almost sounds as if Moyesy wrote that himself."

Cracker!

Will Mabon
183 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:25:17
Kieran, yes, already read most of today's fayre re. "Everton, who?" - one of my pet hates. I know I shouldn't, but...

It really is beyond oversight, is consistent, and the chance is taken at every opportunity. I really wonder what's behind it, it's more than ex RS in the media. There was a sort of hush after we won the first four too.

Would love to see us succeed to a level that has them all squirming.

Will Mabon
184 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:27:10
Bill, agreed, the bottle and a strong team performance is the biggie tonight. Have to show up and stand up.

Can't wait!

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
185 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:28:44
Bill - When West Ham came to Goodison Park the other week, did Moyes bring a knife or a gun?
Will Mabon
186 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:31:08
Phil - ouch.
Graham Hammond
187 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:31:28
Got to agree with Thomas Richards #178, I also would not want to see both Sigurdsson and James down the spine of the team, I think we need to prioritise and focus on keeping and pushing the ball wide tonight to get the result.

As others have mentioned, hopefully, we can get some joy too from corners. A big test of character tonight and to see if the players themselves are truly starting to believe, I hope so.

Dale Self
188 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:33:20
Derek T 159, I think Carlo is Biden his time here. Sorry, had to do it
Bill Gall
189 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:36:44
Kieran,

Chelsea are actually in 10th, sometimes a change in manager helps but there are no guaranties the premier division is one of the hardest leagues in the world especially if you are struggling. The different comments about West Ham make me laugh, but the one thing I smile about is Everton have 3 games in hand over them.

Mick Davies
190 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:37:40
How is it Mike Dean has recently reffed 'them' and now us? I was led to believe that officials from the same area were barred from this due to possible bias, one way or other: maybe it's due to the Covid situation, with restricted travelling, and/or lack of fans to influence their decisions! Most interesting COYMB
Bill Gall
191 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:40:45
Phil The way Everton played against the Hammers, all he had to bring was the water gun that blows the bubbles.
Bobby Mallon
192 Posted 27/01/2021 at 17:44:43
I just read it was Usmanov who sanctioned and loaned money for them to buy Vlasic.

Phil 185, Moyes got lucky.

Kieran Kinsella
193 Posted 27/01/2021 at 18:00:26
Alan 171

Abrahamovich's company sponsor CSKA and his partner is a shareholder, his son also apparently tried to buy control of the club but technically Roman has no personal equity in the club. So he got away with conflict of interest charges when CSKA and Chelsea were both in the Champions League.

Mike Kehoe
194 Posted 27/01/2021 at 18:14:16
Zlatan was taking the piss out of Lukaku, saying he should check his voodoo, as that is why he choose to leave Everton. Never heard that before.

Zlatan was supposed to offer Lukaku £50 every time his first touch was good.

Thomas Richards
195 Posted 27/01/2021 at 18:19:54
Zlatan’s attitude and arrogance rapidly changed when Lukaku stood up to him. Nice to see a bully back down.
Darren Hind
196 Posted 27/01/2021 at 18:29:54
Loved listening to Ancelotti speak about Tom Davies.

It seems the guy who has managed some of the all time greats doesn’t know his arse from his elbow when it comes to judging these players. He's been here a year and still hasn't spotted that Tom is a "Championship player at best".

Real head-scratcher...

Alex Gray
197 Posted 27/01/2021 at 18:31:07
Huge game tonight! Let’s make a statement! COYB!!
Thomas Richards
198 Posted 27/01/2021 at 18:42:10
Whole heartedly agree re Tom Davies and the praise from Carlo.

A big improvement in Toms play over the last couple of months can be put down to the coaching Tom is getting from the manager.

Tom has got a difficult job on his hands tonight. He will give it his best shot.

Darren Hind
199 Posted 27/01/2021 at 18:55:07
Davies has been slaughtered in every game he has played for this manager... So it can’t be the manager.

In fact the biggest criticism of Tom is that he hasn't progressed from when he first burst into the team. This is what happens when sychophancy meets poor judgment.

Danny Broderick
200 Posted 27/01/2021 at 18:59:28
One word for tonight’s game ; mentality.

Leicester without Vardy do not pose the same threat as Leicester with Vardy. A good team would take advantage of them not being 100%.

I have noticed a massive improvement in our mentality this season. Our away record is much stronger, for starters. We are defending much better. And importantly, we are now managing squad rotation. We have had a half-hearted go at it in the past, but it’s pretty much always been a case of having a first team backed up by misfits.

Now, we have two decent goalies fighting it out for a game. We have maybe 6/7 defenders battling for 4 places, with prospects Nkounkou and Branthwaite coming through. In midfield, we are regularly rotating Davies, Gomes, Iwobi, Sigurdsson etc. They are all fighting for their places and, generally speaking, doing ok. In the past, no matter how badly Sigurdsson and Gomes played, they played every game, as did Schneiderlin.

Up front, we don’t quite have the same options. But we do have a quality front 3, and when fit, they will be dangerous against anyone.

I’m feeling very positive at the moment. I’d love a striker to come in, maybe on loan. But our improved mentality and competitiveness has to lead to good performances in these types of games, and 3 points ideally.

Darren Hind
201 Posted 27/01/2021 at 19:04:03
Yep agreed

A Leicester team without Vardy is much less of a Leicester team. We must cease the moment

2-0 for our boys....although 1-0 will do

Brian Murray
202 Posted 27/01/2021 at 19:04:29
Davies will never be a box to box player but he’s brave in at least he tries the forward pass instead of easy sideways, Something siggy and Gomes have made a career out of.
Thomas Richards
203 Posted 27/01/2021 at 19:04:49
Two questions Darren.

1,Has Tom improved?

2,If so, who do you put that down to?

Darren Hind
204 Posted 27/01/2021 at 19:07:39
Agreed Brian
Kieran Kinsella
206 Posted 27/01/2021 at 19:18:32
Ancelotti on Tom:

"Tom Davies in the games he played, he played really well"

on JonJoe Kenny in September "Jonjoe is different, he knows the club, he’s a player I have a lot of confidence in."
On Bolasie in October "Bolasie is doing well, he's training well and properly. He's a professional."
On Lossl and Virginia in December "My desire was to give opportunities also to Lossl and Virginia because they are good goalkeepers and training professionally but unfortunately I cannot do what I want sometimes."
On Gordon in June "Gordon deserves to play"

The clear trend is that Carlo says nice things about everyone because he isn't a arse hole. Obviously he doesn't think Tom is that great or he would be a regular starter. Obviously he has to play the players he has in his squad so people get chances here and there, even Tosun. He may or may not think Tom is "championship at best." Probably not, he probably thinks like most on here that he's not brilliant, but is one of four (Sig, Gomez, Delph) that fall into that category. But if they're all we have they're all we have.

Thomas Richards
207 Posted 27/01/2021 at 19:24:47
Common sense post from Kieran to close this thread.

Good post, mate.

Brent Stephens
208 Posted 27/01/2021 at 19:31:02
Yes, good post, Kieran.

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