Did Sylvain Distin play his way back into a regular starting berth on Thursday?
Everton complete a testing sequence of six away games in seven this weekend as they make the mercifully short trip to Burnley in the Premier League. Though they didn't manage to record a victory on the road — apart, perhaps, from the moral one at Anfield at the tail end of last month — the Blues did secure two important points in the Europa League that has them well positioned going into the second half of fixtures in Group H.
The performance in Lille may not have even threatened to hit any noticeable heights but Roberto Martinez was happy with the draw and he will now look to build on last weekend's handsome win over Aston Villa that has his team sitting four points off the Champions League places despite their highly disappointing points return thus far.
With Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy wisely rested given their recent returns from muscle injuries, the manager will almost certainly look to restore the bulk of the starting XI the Villa game which would also entail recalls for Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku. Though they both put in accomplished shifts across the 90 minutes, Muhamed Besic would likely make way for McCarthy and Tony Hibbert would step aside for Coleman. Further forward, Naismith woudl likely come in for Aiden McGeady and Samuel Eto'o for Lukaku.
It's in central defence where Martinez may pause for further consideration given Sylvain Distin's solid display in France on Thursday. Antolin Alcaraz was equally impressive last Saturday but the Paraguayan may get the nod purely because he'll have fresher legs having had eight days off.
Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo are apparently close to full fitness and may be considered for the match against Swansea City next weekend but Martinez ruled both out of the trip to Turf Moor during his pre-match press conference yesterday.
Burnley will start the day in the bottom three, having amassed just four points and two goals at thus far on their return to the top flight. Of course, Evertonian Law says that the team waiting for a first win will inevitably get it against Everton with the striker suffering a goal drought — in this case, Danny Ings (although what price ex-Blue Lukas Jutkiewicz) — scoring the winner but maybe just pointing that hoodoo out will be enough to banish it in this instance!
The Clarets have been struggling in front of goal, though, and have been susceptiple to conceding goals, so if the Blues can get their act together going forward in the manner in which they did last weekend, then they stand a good chance of recording a second victory away from Goodison Park in 2014-15.
KIck off: Sunday, 1:30pm BST
Referee: Andre Marriner
Full coverage: ToffeeWeb Match Reports
Reader Comments (82)
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1 Posted 25/10/2014 at 07:41:00
I quite like Burnley’s style of play, under Sean Dyche, and I have seen them on TV a couple of times; on each occasion, they have been a little short of both luck and finishing. Having said that, I think they will still surprise a couple of sides, as they are not far away from being decent one themselves.
Let’s just hope they don’t start that trend against us on Sunday.
2 Posted 25/10/2014 at 08:10:34
3 Posted 25/10/2014 at 08:08:03
I mentioned on another thread that I believe Roberto will rest Barkley (at least put him on the bench) and Barry and will start with:
Coleman Jagielka Alcaraz Baines
Naismith Osman Pienaar
Subs: Robles, Distin, Browning, Gibson, Barkley, McGeady, Eto’o
This team is strong and energetic and surely should be enough to see off Burnley.
4 Posted 25/10/2014 at 08:31:06
Ajay, I disagree resting Barkley as he needs some game time to get to his best and build up his confidence and where better to do it. I think the McCarthy/Besic partnership giving Barry a week off is a possibility and doesn’t lose us much.
Another three points this weekend and we will start heading towards that top 4 again. Then the media can continue to talk about everyone else but Everton again and frustrate the life out of me!!
5 Posted 25/10/2014 at 09:33:41
6 Posted 25/10/2014 at 09:35:02
Great preview, Lyndon, on tomorrow’s game, I hope RM starts with the same 11 that beat Villa last week.
Barkley needs more game time & the form Barry is in, can he be rested? I wouldn’t want to see him rested tbh. I can see Barkley taking this game by the scruff of the neck & possibly getting on the score sheet.
Big 3 points required tomorrow but we must show more threat going forward; I’m sure we will.
7 Posted 25/10/2014 at 09:48:55
I do not fancy that team one little bit.
8 Posted 25/10/2014 at 09:55:26
I don’t care what team Roberto picks as long as we win. Niel 4 the press only talk about Manure, Chelsea, the Redshite and Arsenal in that order. Man City, the champions and a great entertaining footie team, just about get a mention. I would love it if some other team won the league.
10 Posted 25/10/2014 at 10:42:56
11 Posted 25/10/2014 at 10:49:16
I understand the need to rest McCarthy and so I’m not going to harp on too much but I think the lad’s got a long way to go if he’s going to be an "accomplished" player.
12 Posted 25/10/2014 at 11:09:52
15 Posted 25/10/2014 at 12:07:19
17 Posted 25/10/2014 at 12:35:58
However, I think Martinez will probably start Barry again this weekend with McCarthy. Barkley looked totally spent by end of Thursday night and will possibly not be recovered to start.
I reckon we will see...
Coleman Jagielka Alcaraz Baines
Naismith Osman Pienaar
A slow team and I think we may struggle to create that many chances vs an organised Burnley. Will rely as ever on Coleman and Baines.
18 Posted 25/10/2014 at 12:46:55
Coleman Jagielka Alcaraz Baines
Naismith Barkley Pienaar
I would prefer to see Browning given a go personally and EtoÂo to start for Pienaar.
19 Posted 25/10/2014 at 13:07:46
Why is playing on a Thursday/Sunday any different to playing on a Wednesday/Saturday?
Whenever anyone is discussing the Europa League, playing on a Sunday is always mentioned, yet itÂs not an issue for Champions League sides playing midweek and Saturday?
No excuse as far as IÂm concerned. I think some teams play better, the more they are playing, and we should be welcoming these extra games. Once you get into a winning groove, you want to play every day.
20 Posted 25/10/2014 at 13:03:20
I really hope Naismith isnÂt deployed on the right wing; he lacks the pace and technical abality to play out wide and weÂve seen before how much his form has suffered from playing in that position. It should be either behind the striker or the bench coming on as a impact sub for Nais.
I would play:
Coleman Jagielka Alcaraz Baines
Astu Naismith Pienaar
21 Posted 25/10/2014 at 13:21:00
22 Posted 25/10/2014 at 13:21:10
23 Posted 25/10/2014 at 13:22:04
24 Posted 25/10/2014 at 13:41:06
25 Posted 25/10/2014 at 13:29:24
26 Posted 25/10/2014 at 13:35:21
1. The ÂRÂ word Â– weÂre banging on about resting players again... have we learned NOTHING from the experience of twatting around with line-ups in recent games? Did we avoid injuries? Â– No. Did we look disjointed and lose points ~ Yes.
For my money, if itÂs a competition weÂre serious about, we should have the strongest team from available players lined up. End of discussion.
If thereÂs a tactical reason for changing, a player is injured, out of form or not fit, thatÂs one thing; if you want to give a reserve or youth team player a chance, thatÂs equally valid; but ÂrestingÂ young professional athletes being asked to perform for an hour and half twice a week is ludicrous.
When it comes to Barkley especially, the Villa game surely proved just how desperately weÂd been missing a player of his type (i.e. both creative and happy to run at defenders, not just pass). Not only did he create havoc himself and add an extra point to our attacks, but he also allowed Lukaku to look a little more like the player we hoped weÂd bought.
2. Osman should not be starting in the Premier League again. Unless we REALLY have no other options. I canÂt actually recall a good game heÂs had in 2014 and everytime heÂs played this season he looks massively off the pace in terms of pace + fitness, gets brushed off the ball with a gust of wind, and Â– with passes being largely back/sideways (another one) or stray Â– heÂs a net negative to the side.
This isnÂt to disrespect his previous service to the club or his talent as a footballer; he was an unsung player for a long time (and then briefly somewhat oversung), but heÂs just not good enough anymore.
3. I donÂt understand why no-one is suggesting McGeady or Atsu. With Mirallas out, our only real width is provided by our rampaging full-backs. Now donÂt get me wrong, they are both brilliant, the best pairing in the league if not global football right now I think, but they are so much more effective and harder to shut down when they can overlap and get space from a wide player ahead of them. WhatÂs more, a pacy wing-player gives us another easy out-ball other than pinging to Lukaku to try and hold up.
I totally admit that neither of Atsu or McGeady is yet delivering at the level we need, but they are clearly capable of doing so and both need game time. Pacey flair players are by nature often ÂluxuriesÂ but I think either are a better gamble than the liability of starting Leon.
On this basis, my preferred line up would be:
Coleman Jagielka Alcaraz Baines
Naismith Barkley Pienaar
With a bench of: Atsu, McGeady, Besic, Distin, EtoÂo
27 Posted 25/10/2014 at 14:03:59
28 Posted 25/10/2014 at 14:20:51
29 Posted 25/10/2014 at 14:39:17
30 Posted 25/10/2014 at 14:51:19
It is a scientific fact that after European games, teams who play in the following weekend win over 30% less than when not playing in Europe. You only have to look at Man City today. No-one is suggesting you canÂt play three games in a week but, to perform at an elite level, that lack of freshness or the effects of a bad pitch or long travelling can make levels drop and give lesser teams the opportunity to take advantage.
Taking Leighton Baines example Â– yes he looks fresh as a daisy but Â– two seasons ago, for the first half of the season, he was brilliant and never rested... then, in the second half, he looked so jaded and wasnÂt the same player. With the amount of games Bainesy has played, donÂt be surprised to see a dip in form before the New Year... but hopefully we will have Garbutt or Oviedo on hand.
31 Posted 25/10/2014 at 15:30:46
And I donÂt know what the working man, working 60 hours has got to do with the grand scheme of things. Most peopleÂs jobs donÂt require them to run about and be fit as a fiddle.
32 Posted 25/10/2014 at 15:35:24
Who mentioned any connection to a normal bloke working 60 hours a week?
We have rested Coleman, McCarthy, Naismith and Lukaku played only came on for 20 minutes. I donÂt remember any teams playing poorly from being ÂtiredÂ after playing midweek games, and certainly not this early into a season.
34 Posted 25/10/2014 at 15:49:10
They only time that excuse is/should be allowed is when we have to travel thousands of miles to Eastern Europe on a Thursday and then have to play at Old Trafford on Sunday lunchtime to appease the arseholes from the TV companies desperate to see their pet team Man Utd win. We should have been allowed to play Monday night and have more rest...
35 Posted 25/10/2014 at 15:51:03
On another note, if we win tomorrow we could go as high as 6th and Lawro has got us down for a draw.
36 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:00:21
37 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:13:43
38 Posted 25/10/2014 at 15:55:53
Mark & Ray, players cannot complete at 100% in every game. What this research shows is that it takes a minimum of 72 hours for the body to be fully recovered from a big game such as Champions League football. This was not taken just from one league or one season and itÂs not because players are told they are tired, so play like that Â– thatÂs just a stupid thing to say.
I am so glad that we have such a forward-thinking coach like Roberto at the helm who is trying to use and rotate the squad to get the best out of the team over the whole season; he was slated for his methods in pre-season but come the end of the season we will realize why he did so.
39 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:10:38
40 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:17:21
Totally different, even when itÂs long haul, when itÂs chauffeur driven car / transport, fast lane processing through check-in etc, business class lounges and flights. These guys get all this and for flights that might only be a few hours.
41 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:21:40
42 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:19:56
43 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:21:58
44 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:28:02
Look at how many points Spurs dropped last year after Europa League matches. Do you think they would have finished that far behind us without the distraction of Europe?
Why does Roberto always talk about having the squad to cope with the demands if there is no difference in playing that extra game during the week?
45 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:41:20
Incidentally, I played Welsh League and was also extremely fit, running several half marathons; I played my last 11-a-side game when I was 50 and 5-a-side for some time later. (This explains why I need new knees!) I also trained several teams but decided against taking my coaching badges... golf got in the way.
46 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:10:50
We ought to beat Burnley but, if our two lines of four drop too deep, they have players who can smack the ball from outside the box.
47 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:58:31
After Thursday, I can see Roberto alternating Distin and Alcaraz, if only to keep Distin in the frame if/when Alcaraz gets injured.
As for resting Barry, I would not like to be the one to tell him; in the Independent, he is now nearly always there or thereabout for MotM.
48 Posted 25/10/2014 at 16:58:29
A couple of uncharacteristic lapses and any team can be undone. There are checks for fitness levels so I hope the manager and staff have a good idea of each playerÂs mental stamina as that might well determine the team selection and enable what should be a win for the Mighty Blues.
See you there,
UP THE BLUES
49 Posted 25/10/2014 at 17:17:50
So tell you what: letÂs lose tomorrow so that we remain in the bottom half Â– not too near the bottom though, as we donÂt want to be relegated. Say somewhere between 12th and 16th should be sufficient.
We can then lose our next three Europa League games so we donÂt qualify from the group. After all, moving on would then mean we might possibly win the damn thing and qualify for next seasons CL.
Then, come January, hope for a really difficult away game in the FA Cup and get knocked out, thus reducing our chances of qualifying for next seasonÂs Europa League.
So we can then finish bottom half of the league and some will be happy as there will be no European football next season and we will be trophyless again.
Then again... tell the 10,000+ who went to Lille and see what reaction you get to Europa League? This club needs European football every season; if itÂs not Champions League Â– then Europa League is just fine with me. Also, we need to win a trophy as well. Football is after all about winning things, not being happy to plod along mid-table and just surviving!!
50 Posted 25/10/2014 at 17:51:45
51 Posted 25/10/2014 at 17:57:40
But the result is not a forgone conclusion. ThatÂs why we actually have to go there and play the game. WeÂll only know if we were good enough at 3:30 pm tomorrow afternoon...
53 Posted 25/10/2014 at 18:54:48
I have long defended footballers earning a fortune but my God some of them are loathsome.
54 Posted 25/10/2014 at 19:20:40
55 Posted 25/10/2014 at 19:06:28
57 Posted 25/10/2014 at 20:36:16
He had a pass-accuracy stat of ~89%, compared to Barry who had the best rating of 91% and Baines, for example, who had ~74%.
I like him. As mentioned above, heÂs athletic and moves the ball well.
58 Posted 25/10/2014 at 19:49:11
Makes a bit if sense to me.
59 Posted 25/10/2014 at 21:36:49
The great thing about the likes of Man Utd, Spurs and Liverpool playing so inconsistently is a few wins in the coming games puts us in a really solid position in the top 4.
EverybodyÂs fit apart from Mirallas, Stones and Kone, with the likes of Lukaku & Jagielka just playing themselves back to full match sharpness. Then we have Barkley and Coleman who are going to be fresh after their injuries for the remainder of the season?
All is good in the world, IF we get 3 points tomorrow!!
60 Posted 25/10/2014 at 21:57:47
61 Posted 25/10/2014 at 22:07:31
62 Posted 25/10/2014 at 22:21:42
Linda. Yes, the intelligent positional play of Barry is not always appreciated. He keeps an experienced eye on everything.
63 Posted 25/10/2014 at 22:29:44
Watching Everton this season it's obvious that the Everton skill players that take the game directly to the opposition are difference makers.
I'm talking about Barkley, Coleman and Mirallas. When none of these players were available play bogged down. Having Barkley and Coleman available should give Everton a big edge tomorrow.
Looking at the top of the table at this early stage it's interesting that only 2 teams are averaging 2 points a game. My point here is that top 4 places for Champions League are wide open at this point in the season (last season it took 2 points a game to make the top 4, but it might take less points this season).
For Everton to get in the mix for a top 4 finish they really need to move up the table in the next month.
64 Posted 25/10/2014 at 23:30:37
The fella is a brick shit house, can hold the ball up, and can score goals and the thing that I really like is that he's always in the bloody MIDDLE, in the box not hanging around on the wing.
How much money have we got left??
Imagine partnering Lukaku with Bony???
Phew that's some thought.
65 Posted 26/10/2014 at 00:01:34
I can't understand how he is still at Swansea, he would be a real asset to any team looking to finish in top 6.
Problem is, for the last 10 years once a striker comes to Everton they inevitably end up spending far too much time out wide. I had hoped this would end after Moyes left but RM seems to do the same. For me your main striker should almost never be outside the width of the 18-yard box.
Lukaku has got a fair share of criticism this year, but he has received the ball far too much either out wide or with his back to goal.
I would just love to see RM give him a few games with instructions to just sit on the shoulder of the last man and stay away from the wings, we have more than enough wide players in our squad to do that job.
66 Posted 26/10/2014 at 00:35:10
The guy we missed out was Alex Song. If you want to talk strikers, than Pella Grazzo of Southampton is the man. Hold it up, pick out a pass he has all the skills. Given his age, though, I think we did okay with Romelu.
67 Posted 26/10/2014 at 00:46:54
68 Posted 26/10/2014 at 01:04:18
69 Posted 26/10/2014 at 09:18:28
70 Posted 26/10/2014 at 09:29:04
Happy with 3 points today and a steady climb up the table.
71 Posted 26/10/2014 at 09:59:58
72 Posted 26/10/2014 at 09:17:30
I remember CantonaÂs assessment when he was at Leeds and they got another chance in Europe meaning they played a lot of matches early on in the season. He said that the players were shattered but kept saying it was alright because they were English, and would just get on with it. CantonaÂs reply was to tell them that it didnÂt matter if they was from outer space and if your tired, then your fucking tired! You will still play the game but of course it will affect your performance.
Do you think Everton would have lost to Man Utd in 85 if it hadnÂt come 3 days after Rotterdam? Modern football is all about the squad and we should have enough in ours to beat Burnley today!
73 Posted 26/10/2014 at 10:18:12
Come on Bobby, not asking for too much am I?
(Couple of Eto goals for my fantasy team wouldn't go a miss either...)
74 Posted 26/10/2014 at 10:32:01
75 Posted 26/10/2014 at 11:16:36
76 Posted 26/10/2014 at 11:29:01
I glad you made the point about Hodgson not using Baines's link up play effectively. In the last England game I saw, Baines kept making the runs in advanced positions as he would at Everton and never received the ball. Waste.
77 Posted 26/10/2014 at 11:34:08
Three points will do me today and, like Martinez, I couldn't care less about a clean sheet.and wouldn't want the team to have it as a target.
78 Posted 26/10/2014 at 12:01:24
We really need to batter someone sooner or later so I'd like us to win 7-0 today.
79 Posted 26/10/2014 at 11:37:18
80 Posted 26/10/2014 at 12:09:55
I do believe that it would suit Baines and Coleman as they would have even more influence on games as wing backs rather than full backs...
It also suits the players we have in other areas such as Jagielka, Stones and Alcaraz all accommodated in the back three, Baines and Coleman pushed further forward as wing backs, Mccarthy and Barry as midfield duo with Barkley playing ahead of them as an attacking midfielder, and Mirallas playing just off Lukaku...
That formation employs our most important players with the likes of Eto’o, Naismith, McGeady and Besic on the bench... also Browning could be our answer to replacing Distin with him and Stones playing either side of Jagielka...
That’s my view anyway....
Go for the jugular straight from the off Blueboys and get an early goal... should be enough to make it a routine afternoon for us... NSNO
81 Posted 26/10/2014 at 12:27:38
Burnley haven't won a game all season, so that means only one thing, and Lukas Jutkiewicz scoring the winner.
82 Posted 26/10/2014 at 12:32:34
83 Posted 26/10/2014 at 12:24:01
84 Posted 26/10/2014 at 12:36:23
My thoughts exactly, turned on myself hoping to see a preview, and some team news, and the gobshites (pundits) are talking Manure and Chelsea.
85 Posted 26/10/2014 at 12:37:37
86 Posted 26/10/2014 at 12:47:16
88 Posted 26/10/2014 at 12:58:44
89 Posted 26/10/2014 at 13:02:25
90 Posted 26/10/2014 at 13:26:58
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