Kone and Oviedo closing in on full fitnessEverton will have Samuel Eto'o and Sylvain Distin back in contention for places for the Europa League opener against Wolfsburg after both recovered from minor injuries that kept them out of the win over West Bromwich Albion.
Eto'o picked up a groin strain during his goalscoring debut as a substitute against Chelsea at the end of last month and Distin suffered a dead leg in training but Roberto Martinez expects both to be ready for Thursday.
Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo, meanwhile, continue to build their fitness and the manager says that the pair will be fully fit very soon.
Reader Comments (56)
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1 Posted 15/09/2014 at 15:51:33
I love it when a plan comes together!!!!
2 Posted 15/09/2014 at 15:51:50
Who'd be a Manager eh?
3 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:06:43
4 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:35:10
However, looking at the run of fixtures I think we do need to start rotating the squad and we do on paper have good cover in certain positions.
Besic and Gibson should be given the opportunity in Centre Mid, Atsu wide left instead of Mirallas and Eto'o upfront to give Rom more time to nurse his niggles.
Would also rotate Baines as he has put in a lot of miles for club and country and Garbutt with Oviedo as sub can provide decent cover.
I would leave Howard, Coleman, Stones, Nais and McGeady in the team as I don't fancy their replacements.
5 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:44:03
Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines
6 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:55:24
Howard (surely a keeper canÂt get fatigued?)
Coleman Stones Distin Garbutt
Osman Naismith Atsu
I think that should be strong enough? Yet give enough players a rest.
7 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:56:31
8 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:04:36
9 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:09:56
10 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:11:35
I would not be surprised if the rest of the team is unchanged though.I know it will be 2 games a week but as people are nearing full fitness we can do it.
Winning stops players feeling tired!
11 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:51:46
I'd play the strongest side we have with only very little tinkering, knowing we can bring off 3 players if the game is looking good for us.
I'd certainly give Besic his first start and rest Barry or McCarthy. Difficult to say who to change up front, if Eto is fit then he could give Rom a break if his toe could do with a bit of rest. Then again Rom would hopefully be chomping at the bit to play in the first EL game, especially after scoring and am not sure if Eto will have 90 mins in him. Personally would start Rom and take him off after an hour. Would leave the defence as is, Distin can start against Palace for one of Stones or Jags.
Wolfsburg are no mugs so just the one change for me. The game is at home so no travel involved, those who play will have almost three days to recover before the game on Sunday. Would then give a few a rest for the Swansea game (would like to win it but at the end of the day the league cup is the least of the ones we want and we need the players fresh for the derby).
12 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:18:20
The EL game has been scheduled for this Thursday a long time now which meant we were going to be playing on the Sunday.
13 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:13:05
14 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:45:44
15 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:46:55
I think weÂll see changes in midfield though. I think Barry will either be rested Thursday or Sunday to keep him fresh ahead of the two big games against Liverpool & Man Utd. The Swansea game ahead of that we could see even more changes, maybe even Kone might make the squad for that one.
16 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:59:12
17 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:42:29
If we go all out for the Euro title, I think we can forget a high finish in the Prem. the extra games will start to tell on the squad when we get to the final 1/4 of the league season and that's not mentioning injuries.
We had an example on Sunday why the top 4 continues to be out of our reach,
Utd mullered QPR, why, because they have spent an absolute fortune to bring 4 or 5 world class players into their squad, and it didn't half show!
18 Posted 15/09/2014 at 18:05:50
19 Posted 15/09/2014 at 18:18:44
Distin not so much. IÂm a firm believer that centre back is not a position you want to be rotating or changing every match unless you absolutely have to. Stones/Jagielka partnership looked a hell of a lot more solid than the Distin/Jagielka one so why break it up after keeping your first clean sheet?! To do so would be utter stupidity.
20 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:56:09
Distin and EtoÂo will also be welcomed back, as will Pienaar,and Barkley will be an added bonus if his fitness can be assured in time for the tough season ahead, also looking forward to Atsu showing what he can do, Besics two late cameos werenÂt the best adverts for his rumoured skills, but all in all very good news for the faithful.
21 Posted 15/09/2014 at 18:08:27
Wolfsburg (Home, Thursday, 18th)
Coleman Jagielka Distin Baines
Mirallas Naismith McGeady
SUBS: Robles, Stones, Oviedo, Gibson, Besic, Osman, Eto
(Oviedo, Osman, Eto)
Crystal Palace (Home, Sunday, 21st)
Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Baines
Mirallas Naismith Atsu
SUBS: Robles, Distin, McCarthy, Besic, Osman, Lukaku, Kone
(Besic, Kone, Osman)
Swansea (Away, Tuesday, 23rd)
Hibbert Stones Alcaraz Oviedo
McGeady Osman Atsu
SUBS: Howard, Jagielka, Coleman, Baines, Mirallas, Lukaku, Naismith
(Mirallas, Lukaku, Naismith)
Liverpool (Away, 27th, Saturday)
Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
Mirallas Naismith McGeady
SUBS: Robles, Distin, Oviedo, Atsu, Besic, Eto, Osman
(Atsu, Eto, Osman)
If we win 3 of these (Wolfsburg, Palace & Liverpool) and lose 1 (Swansea), I will be a happy man!
22 Posted 15/09/2014 at 18:38:23
Finally, slightly off topic, regarding RS fans. Was on the train back from West Brom which pulled into lime st. about 7.40pm, probably less than 25 minutes after their game finished. The queue for the London virgin train was enormous, full of RS. About 75-100 blues let rip with "Never felt more like singing the blues". The pinkies weren't very happy with this. There was a strong police presence in the station who rounded us all up and actually escorted us out the station. There were loads of pinkies on the concourse as well and even more outside. So much for staying till the end when your team is only losing 1-0!!!
23 Posted 15/09/2014 at 18:47:25
So their form is not terrific but if we underestimate them and play a weakened side we will regret it. If Roberto has it in mind to play Robles, Alcaraz, Gibson and others we will come unstuck.
Kevin De Bruyne is a great player and he put both Mirallas and Lukaku to shame at the World Cup for Belguim. De Bruyne alone will be a handful but add to that an experienced striker like Ivica Olic and that's a dangerous team to play against.
And you know Nicklas Bendtner is bound to come back and haunt an English team. Roberto has to take Wolfsburg seriously and play his best side.
24 Posted 15/09/2014 at 19:27:53
If our game was down for Wednesday, does anyone know why it would be moved forward so that we have about 50 hours recovery from the Palace game?
25 Posted 15/09/2014 at 19:27:52
26 Posted 15/09/2014 at 19:35:50
27 Posted 15/09/2014 at 21:20:59
We need to see if Besic is nearly ready for the big time and well, Wolfsburg is a big test.
Atsu should also start with Mirallas on the bench other than that maybe just Eto'o ahead of Rom but I wouldn't mess with too much.
Good goal by Diame.
Would have thought Martinez would have been more interested in him than Cleverley??
28 Posted 15/09/2014 at 22:16:45
29 Posted 15/09/2014 at 22:26:42
30 Posted 15/09/2014 at 22:52:39
Osman on the bench could be a key player if he is needed with 30 minutes to go. He has done well each time he has been brought on. He is no longer a 90-minute player at Premier League pace but his cameo appearances have made a difference.
I would not be looking further than the Wolfsburg game at the moment.
31 Posted 15/09/2014 at 23:40:32
32 Posted 16/09/2014 at 08:19:57
33 Posted 16/09/2014 at 13:53:05
We all hope that clean bills of health remain with all players so that RM can have a full compliment to work with for the months ahead. Nothing worse than having some key players going down ahead of important games.
One may say that all clubs have this dilemma but the ’’poorer’’ clubs just don’t have the depth to cope; however, I believe Everton finally have a better depth than they have had for years.
34 Posted 16/09/2014 at 19:59:13
35 Posted 16/09/2014 at 20:55:18
Class preview of this match over on GOT
36 Posted 16/09/2014 at 21:42:18
37 Posted 16/09/2014 at 22:00:13
38 Posted 16/09/2014 at 22:09:02
I foolishly said to my lad when I heard that Ludo Razgd had managed to equalise that there was still a few minutes for the dodgy penalty... should have kept my big mouth shut. Hopefully that's their massive slice of luck for September used up.
I'd like a last minute Steven Gerrard own goal to make it LFC 0 EFC 3, a week on Saturday please.
39 Posted 16/09/2014 at 23:38:46
Gidman Higgins Hurst HHinchcliffe
Ball Kendall Young
Lineker Dean Latchford
Subs: Howard, Stevens, Baines, Steven, Sheedy.
Or is that too controversial ?
40 Posted 17/09/2014 at 00:12:44
We must start well in this and at home to one of the better teams too many changes might be counter productive.
41 Posted 17/09/2014 at 00:26:17
42 Posted 17/09/2014 at 02:08:22
Sergeant B Wright McNaughton McLaughlin
Telfer Buckley Bernard Connolly
43 Posted 17/09/2014 at 07:59:55
You left out the great Ray Wilson!
44 Posted 17/09/2014 at 08:16:01
I will actually be in Scotland then, but should still be able to get some sort of viewing opportunity if it's on any of the recognised ITV2, 3 or 4.
Thanks in anticipation!
I just hope we set up for this one properly, as although they have experienced similar results to our own, I think that belies their true potential, and on the day they can be a force to be reckoned with, they also have some very good players. I am looking forward to it, but must admit with trepidation, our defence still worries me on occasions.
45 Posted 17/09/2014 at 09:18:02
46 Posted 17/09/2014 at 09:24:23
47 Posted 17/09/2014 at 09:25:59
I’d personally like to have a good look at Gibbo, Garbutt, Atsu and Eto’o who will hopefully all play a part in the coming weeks. It’d also be great to see Oviedo back in the squad, and finally get a proper look at Kone. I just hope the usual suspects aren’t crocked before they’ve had a chance to make an impact.
48 Posted 17/09/2014 at 09:57:02
49 Posted 17/09/2014 at 09:53:29
Good point mate, but as I was born there, I should get Dual Nationality Status, and I can get Foreign Channels (English) on my laptop. :-)
Thanks mate, I just hope they don't let us down, as I will have a tartan horde looking on too, after I have 'bulled Everton up, as the team to watch' but then again it is US the team that will always surprise you or let you down in equal measures.
The defence still has my bum squeaking under my kilt!
50 Posted 17/09/2014 at 10:31:05
51 Posted 17/09/2014 at 11:29:22
52 Posted 17/09/2014 at 16:02:12
I think the wings are important in this game so I would definitely play Baines and Coleman and I would have Besic man-marking De Bruyne. That would leave SuperKev free to add to his goal tally.
I would concentrate on building up a good lead in the first leg and then put out a defensive side in the second leg.
53 Posted 17/09/2014 at 16:21:33
Also, it isn't two legs but a league system.
54 Posted 17/09/2014 at 16:58:04
We need to be fully focused to get anything out of the match. Any mishaps in defence will be punished without fail. Apart from 3 or 4 teams in the EPL, this lot are in a different department. I hope Roberto has everybody properly prepared or else we could be in for a shock.
Also Warnock and Palace worry me. They will be set up to nick a goal and make us chase the game. We must not let this happen.
On a positive note we have the strongest squad we have had for many, many years and Eto'o looks very, very dangerous.
55 Posted 17/09/2014 at 17:10:05
I wasn't demeaning the quality of Wolfsburg Â– just pointing out their main threat and the need for RM to put out a strong side, especially on the flanks.
58 Posted 17/09/2014 at 17:41:48
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