Theo Walcott will be assessed to determine whether he is feeling any lasting effects from the ankle injury he picked up at Anfield as Ademola Lookman waits in the wings
If there is a positive in the aftermath of Sunday's derby defeat — apart from the overall performance, of course, which was largely applauded despite the result — it's that Everton now have two home games in the space of five days in which to quickly re-establish the momentum they took to Anfield and which had lifted them into sixth place.
Erratic and unpredictable Watford are the visitors on Monday but, first, Marco Silva and his side host struggling Newcastle United under the Goodison Park lights tomorrow evening.
The Barcodes come into the game sitting in 15th place, three points above the relegation zone which, without the significant investment for which Rafa Benitez has been agitating, is likely to haunt them all the way to May.
Three successive wins over Watford, high-flying Bournemouth and Burnley was followed by a fairly comprehensive home loss to West Ham on Saturday, a sequence that illustrates both the inconsistency that has blighted Benitez's men but also their ability to score goals when they can get things right going forward.
They took a shock 2-0 lead at Old Trafford in October that was eventually wiped out by Manchester United and it's those defensive frailties that Everton will be looking to exploit as the Toffees look to make it five home wins in a row.
Silva has been keen to field an unchanged line-up as much as possible in recent weeks but, given that next Monday's match will be the third fixture in eight days, he could look to make a couple of changes to the side that started at Liverpool with an eye on keeping legs fresh ahead of the busy Christmas schedule.
The one change that was the topic of much conversation among Evertonians prior to the derby, that of Ademola Lookman for Theo Walcott, could be forced upon the manager by the latter's ankle knock that forced him out of Sunday's game with an hour gone.
Lookman has impressed every time he has come off the bench in recent weeks and many feel that he has more than earned the chance to prove that he is worthy of a regular place in the starting XI. Silva admitted during his pre-match press conference that the England U21 international has already done enough to warrant his first start, a hint perhaps that it will be forthcoming tomorrow?
While he was often overlooked by Ronald Koeman and than Sam Allardyce after him because of perceived weaknesses to the defensive side of his game, Silva appears to have been working with him to ensure he tracks back and against weaker teams on paper like Newcastle, his attacking qualities should come to the fore.
Should it be Walcott who makes way because of injury, Bernard could keep his spot on the left flank but only if Silva does not opt for a natural striker for this one. Both Cenk Tosun and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been champing at the bit for another start but Richarlison's form in the central striking role, particularly at home, has made it hard for either forward to get a look-in.
It remains to be seen whether Silva will move the Brazilian back out to the left and play one of Tosun or Calvert-Lewin but it is an option.
Elsewhere in the team, it's hard to see many changes being made unless the manager does feel the need to rotate over fitness concerns. Kurt Zouma could come in for Michael Keane to give him a rest, Leighton Baines has been forced to watch from the sidelines while Lucas Digne has been excelling, while Tom Davies hasn't featured in a couple of months but Silva will be wary of making too many disruptive changes unless forced to. Idrissa Gueye could be a doubt after receiving treatment late in Sunday's game. Morgan Schneiderlin is likely to be ruled out through injury.
With Everton's recent form the way it has been, the attacking talent that they possess and Newcastle's problems, this ought to be a game that the Blues win and it would be a big disappointment if they aren't able to. Three points to consolidate their hold on sixth place with one more game at Goodison to come before the daunting trip to Manchester City would be just the tonic after the misery experienced at Anfield.
Kick-off: 7:45pm, Wednesday 5th December, 2018
Referee: Lee Mason
Last Time: Newcastle United 0-1 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gueye, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Lookman, Richarlison
Reader Comments (68)
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1 Posted 04/12/2018 at 20:44:12
But Lookman deserves his chance.
2 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:00:34
3 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:03:01
4 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:08:56
5 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:15:08
Defensively, we are sound and have little to worry about but, while the forward movement is good, the chances we are creating just aren't being gobbled up.
There's always that added pressure to win most of our games at Goodison Park because away wins are pretty scarce for us.
Newcastle and Watford ought to represent 6 points and anything less will be disappointing – especially with Man City and Spurs on the horizon.
6 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:21:06
7 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:25:04
8 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:27:17
9 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:33:19
10 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:36:47
Lack of goals is a big problem and I don't see Richarlison as a main striker so it is vital to bring in a centre-forward in January (Callum Wilson?) if we want to maintain the progress we appear to be making.
11 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:38:14
You are right, it did cost us on Sunday but then again we can say the same for our visits to Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.
Even against Cardiff, Walcott missed a great chance and we got fortunate that afternoon that the rebound fell to Gylfi.
Theres no point blaming bad luck like on Sunday because the chances need scoring and these are glorious chances we have been missing, there comes a point when you start asking whats going on when professional players keep wasting simple opportunities.
We need to get an early goal tomorrow and not get bogged down overplaying around the box.
14 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:54:59
Still very strong, but a little rotation before a busy period is required.
15 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:00:48
Walcott has been nothing short of disappointing in the right wing slot so, if any changes are to made, it has to be Lookman for Walcott.
Like I say before every match, I don't think Newcastle will be an automatic win; we will have to work at it but hopefully spirits (although dented) will be high after the weekend's efforts.
We must learn to capitalise on the chances created, and kill games off earlier than leaving it to the final whistle.
16 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:09:26
I'm afraid I like Walcott. He's got pace and a bit of nous. For me Bernard has gone off the boil a little and maybe he should be rested if Walcott is fit to play.
If we play half as good as we did against Liverpool, we should win this. But I'm not taking anything for granted. I think that predicting 3-0 or 3-1 is just tempting fate.
Both Newcastle and Watford will be up for it against us and neither game will be easy. But I feel confident all the same. And I think we have every chance of taking 6 points from these games.
17 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:11:36
Hope I'm wrong but I can see us having a bad reaction from the derby...
18 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:15:53
As regards Newcastle I don't think we can ever take anything for granted. We now appear to have a team with style and ability. Unfortunately we are prone to regularly miss chances and until we solve the long standing problem of striker this will continue.
19 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:42:09
The only reaction after Sunday's robbery I expect is the players going out to do a number on the first team they play. If that hasn't got their determination to the highest level, then nothing will.
20 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:43:36
Newcastle have had an extra day's rest so it may be a tougher match than many expect.
21 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:44:44
Coleman Zouma Mina Digne
Lookman Sigurdsson Bernard
22 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:49:33
Bernard more than Walcott still fluffs easy lines too often for me, but on Sunday we saw a couple of positive things from him:
1) There were numerous first-time touches and lay-offs when tightly marked which opened up space for the recipient of Bernard's pass. Still not totally in sync with the rest of the team, but when it is, there will be some serious interplay between the likes of Bernard, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Richarlison and the overlapping Digne in particular that will pull teams all over the place.
2) He completed near as damn it a full 90 minutes, rather than being subbed after the 60-70 minute mark. He didn't look to blowing for tugs either, so his stamina and match fitness is close to the required levels.
The Derby game was the first of 3 games in 8 days (thankfully, all without leaving the city). We have 4 more games in 18 days after Watford. Silva will have to rotate.
The way he talked in today's presser – 'I am 100% thinking of Lookman as a starter' – when asked the question, hints strongly Ademola could be in the line-up from the off tomorrow.
Other than that, I don't expect too many changes from recent weeks.
23 Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:15:54
That is the only change I'd make, although Calvert Lewin should come on early in the second half, especially if not enough chances are being created or taken. The test of whether we really are a good team now is the ability to bounce back after a setback.
I hope everyone gives it full voice under the floodlights for an evening match, when Goodison is at its best and most intimidating.
I want 4-0 – Lookman hat-trick please; especially as there won't be any demonic interference with the ball this time out.
24 Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:18:11
Richarlison as a striker has been dropping deep last couple games then picking it up and running at the opposition backline, hallmarks of a winger.
Bernard and Walcott, although improved against the Red Shite, can get dropped for the Lincoln match for the much awaited Lookman.
25 Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:19:20
26 Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:38:53
Once again, I can't wait for the games to come around. I can see lookman starting tomorrow but not sure there will be any other changes. I agree though that Zouma could possibly come in for Keane but I'd be surprised at this or any other changes.
Let's hope for 6 points from the next 2 games so we can head into the Man City game with confidence and momentum... and also so we can keep looking up.
I see Mourinho has written us off as being able to finish above them. The usual 6 will remain the same, he said.
27 Posted 05/12/2018 at 00:20:39
The derby was on at an unwatchable time for me and I can't subject myself to watching the re-run. Reading above, Jay @ 22 suggests that Bernard and Walcott were better than they have been. Either one of them could be rested based on form before the derby.
Walcott's pace seems to guarantee him one golden opportunity per game. His finishing has been really poor though and I don't think he's offering enough in other departments.
Bernard has quality but just seems a little careless at times. I'm still upbeat about him. He's going to be a good player and sitting out a game won't do him any harm.
People are crying out for Lookman but I'm still undecided. He really hasn't shown enough, but that is largely down to him not having the opportunities.
I think my only slight gripe with Silva is that he leaves his subs way too late. We have an abundance of wingers trying to find form. Whether wining or losing, swapping one winger for another is not a terribly risky move. I'd like him to take the opportunity to get some more minutes into players.
28 Posted 04/12/2018 at 00:33:44
I'm surprised that he has not been tapped up by one of the elite teams.
Hope we bounce back against Newcastle. Lookman needs to take his chance if selected.
29 Posted 05/12/2018 at 04:53:05
These are 3 lads who are used to playing together and will give it 100%.
Keep Bernard and Gueye on the bench just in case we need them later on.
I would also like to see a quick and determined start to knock the stuffing out of The Barcodes.
30 Posted 05/12/2018 at 06:19:05
Those would be the two changes I make.
It is going to be frustrating. Cardiff, Palace and Huddersfield were all stubborn opponents and I expect the same from the Geordies.
Patience will be needed; concentration at the back and no early goal conceded please.
The team has improved defensively since Mina has arrived but goals have dried up.
I think we will need another squeaky 1-0 which I would be happy with.
31 Posted 05/12/2018 at 06:35:03
Also, never drop Gomes cos we'd be screwed without him. Davies and Schneiderlin would take us back to last season's joke team. If Gomes gets injured, we're screwed.
32 Posted 05/12/2018 at 07:14:06
33 Posted 05/12/2018 at 08:31:27
For home games where we're the favourites, I'd also try to find a way to get Richarlison back on the left and an out-and-out striker in the starting XI. My preference would be Calvert-Lewin in for Bernard but I think this is unlikely.
The 'back 7', so to speak, should be kept the same, which is unfortunate for Zouma, but he'll get games at some point.
34 Posted 05/12/2018 at 08:33:24
35 Posted 05/12/2018 at 08:34:26
I have been saying the same about Callum Wilson for a few years now and I'm surprised he hasn't been snapped up by a bigger club, probably because he hasn't got an exotic sounding name from leagues abroad.
Even when Bournemouth first came up three years ago he got a hat-trick at the Boleyn Ground when they won 4-2 at West Ham but the lad was cruelly robbed of the season with a horrible injury.
I think whoever gets Wilson is getting a guarantee of double figures in goals along with mobile movement and pace; I'd really love him here.
36 Posted 05/12/2018 at 08:50:46
Anyone with a spare ticket going cheap! Text me on 07879551102 if so!
Thanks in advance.
37 Posted 05/12/2018 at 09:12:15
To be fair, since the Chelsea game, Walcott has been holding his calf in each match so he's probably not been 100 percent.
I'm all for giving Lookman game time though I think he's worthy of the next few games as a starter.
38 Posted 05/12/2018 at 09:21:35
Lookman in because he deserves it, and to keep Walcott interested and looking over his shoulder, and Zouma in to give him a game, and to rest Keane, who is becoming very important for us, and showing great form.
39 Posted 05/12/2018 at 10:32:12
There are plenty tickets left currently on StubHub for around £25. Just scroll up until you find adult tickets.
40 Posted 05/12/2018 at 11:28:22
41 Posted 05/12/2018 at 11:53:32
42 Posted 05/12/2018 at 12:01:24
The statistic you quote is effectively meaningless. Anyone who's watched him can see he has pace, technique, nous and can produce big moments in games. Anyone who knows football will know that the more he plays the better he'll get. Also, playing him allows our most important forward, Richarlison, to play a more familiar role which we know he can be extremely dangerous from.
So the two questions are: ‘Do you want Richarlison up front or on the left?' and ‘Who would you select out of Calvert-Lewin and Tosun?' It's not exactly unreasonable that someone might answer those two questions in a way that ends with Calvert-Lewin in the side.
43 Posted 05/12/2018 at 12:45:10
Check Calvert-Lewin's goals to minutes on the pitch ratio to a contemporary of his, a current England international, and a player many on TW campaign for us to sign, Marcus Rashford.
You may be pleasantly surprised.
You may not be surprised that, like Calvert-Lewin, t'net is awash with United supporters dissing Rashford as not up to it and Championship level at best.
We are too quick to judge and dismiss young players so readily.
44 Posted 05/12/2018 at 12:47:22
The only point I wanted to make which I think is important is Walcott's record against the Toon. I think he has scored 7 in 16 appearances, his highest number against one club. They may be his lucky side; most players have one.
45 Posted 05/12/2018 at 12:53:22
I would definitely play Calvert-Lewin in the centre-forward position. How will we ever know what he can do if we do not give him game time playing with the new found confidence and skill we have. He scores goals regularly playing for England when surrounded with quality; so I say give the lad a chance.
I would also like to see Tom given some game time again. Maybe not from the start but let's give him at least 30 minutes. For me, we have to keep the defensive 4 the same.
We have numerous games in quick succession and while we have been playing really well we still do not know the best 11 set up. We are almost there but we all know that there are a couple of permutations Silva has not tried yet.
46 Posted 05/12/2018 at 12:54:54
I need two; I am in the doghouse because I forgot to get two for my son and me. It's okay if you are looking for a single seat... but two together? No chance.
47 Posted 05/12/2018 at 13:00:14
You use Premier League stats only. Try including cup competitions, where he has played more up front.
At his age, his career stats are on par with Kane and Shearer, and superior to Drogba.
He does need to push on this season though.
48 Posted 05/12/2018 at 13:02:27
I'm just looking forward to the day we don't have to have this debate and get some quality in up front.
49 Posted 05/12/2018 at 13:10:56
I think it is August the last time Walcott scored and Bernard is still to break his duck, so if neither of the wide players are scoring it puts immense pressure on Richarlison and Sigurdsson.
I know a few posters have mentioned him but in the summer I would like us to get Wilson from Bournemouth, he has pace and strength and scores goals on a regular basis. I would also love Wilfrid Zaha and obviously make Gomes permanent.
50 Posted 05/12/2018 at 13:17:19
Hoping for 3-0, if we handle any corners or free kicks, we'll win.
51 Posted 05/12/2018 at 13:25:46
52 Posted 05/12/2018 at 13:58:21
53 Posted 05/12/2018 at 14:56:27
Everton, season after season for years, have faced this type of situation and have failed. Everton are still in transition and have made good progress in the back and midfield, but there are still questions in forward play in the final third and the need for centre-forward. The wings are on the way to being sorted, though not quite there yet. The right-back position is for future consideration.
I will be looking with interest at the next two games, more hopeful of consistency than before, but I would expect two wins to be banked by Everton to capitalise on the progress made.
54 Posted 05/12/2018 at 15:17:53
For years, we always seem to hit a poor run of results in December and the festive period, so hopefully this year will prove the launch pad to a successful 2019.
At the end of the day we are making steady progress but, since beating Southampton on August 18th, we have won just 5 matches against Cardiff, Palace, Fulham, Brighton and ten-man Leicester so we haven't really beaten anyone of great standing yet to get too cocky.
Get through this month and let's see where we are at.
55 Posted 05/12/2018 at 15:33:51
A sixth place team beating the teams below them home and away gains 84 points. Focusing in on the teams you should beat is the key to a successful season.
We're doing that, in the main, this season. We must continue to do so moving forward, starting today. It will help heal some wounds inflicted Sunday and will keep us moving in the right direction.
Thusfar we've dropped points to:
Wolves – outplayed them, silly red / never a red on Richarlison;
Bournemouth – that one hurt;
West Ham – worst game of the year by a mile. We were awful;
Man Utd – should have gotten a point. Disappointing result, decent application by the team in that game;
From there, we've taken care of business. No more draws against bottom 10 sides, please. Three points.
I think the silver lining to the Sunday-shite cloud is our boys realize they belong at the top. With that confidence, I'm looking to Marco to keep the players focused and put to the sword any and all teams below us. Starting tonight.
Big "bounce back" game. Right the ship and all's well. Lose, and it could be a bit of a tailspin.
56 Posted 05/12/2018 at 15:41:43
57 Posted 05/12/2018 at 15:43:28
58 Posted 05/12/2018 at 15:58:01
59 Posted 05/12/2018 at 16:05:57
Curiously, our seven home fixtures thus far have all been against teams in the bottom 10 of the league. The next two home fixtures bumps that to 9 against lower-half teams.
Not surprising, then, that our home record reads a healthy W 5 D 1 L 1.
By contrast, other than the opening day fixture at Wolves (who have only recently dropped out of the top half with a dreadful run of 1 point in their last 5 games), all our seven away fixtures to date have been against teams in the top half, four of them against the usual suspects expected to challenge for a top-four spot.
Not surprisingly given that data, our away form is a poor W 1 D 3 L 3. With City our next away game, that is unlikely to improve very soon.
Now there are different ways to look at this.
1) Wwe have got the bulk of our more difficult away fixtures out of the way early and so in the remaining away fixtures against lower-half teams we can expect a long-overdue improvement on our away record, if the team continues the improvement it has shown to date.
2) The majority of our remaining home games will be against teams that (hopefully) we will be competing with for a European places this season. Again, we can be big beneficiaries of this if the team continues its improvement.
We certainly cannot afford any regression or slip-ups and need to capitalize on the next two fixtures with the Barcodes and Watford, as others have mentioned.
60 Posted 05/12/2018 at 16:41:43
61 Posted 05/12/2018 at 16:49:04
62 Posted 05/12/2018 at 17:00:32
63 Posted 05/12/2018 at 17:16:12
64 Posted 05/12/2018 at 17:24:29
65 Posted 05/12/2018 at 18:09:00
66 Posted 05/12/2018 at 18:16:25
Really? Do you actually believe this group of players believe in themselves against the top four? If so, with a couple of well-documented additions, we should have a great second half of the season. Bring it on!
[Been here before... so I'll say no more.]
67 Posted 05/12/2018 at 18:19:36
68 Posted 05/12/2018 at 18:25:44
69 Posted 05/12/2018 at 18:40:38
70 Posted 05/12/2018 at 18:41:13
The rest of your post made a lot of sense too.
Idrissa Gueye - important to us now as let's Gomes do his great stuff. Hope he is fine.
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