FA Cup 3rd Round Preview
Ademola Lookman could make his first start for a month after recovering from an unspecified knock
Everton's FA Cup campaign kicks off this afternoon against Lincoln City and in the context of a season that has veered off the rails over the last month, it's a match that has taken on extra importance.
The visitors to Goodison Park may be from the lower reaches of the Football League but the Blues' increasingly fragile confidence, combined with the unpredictability of the cup and the pitfalls of too may personnel changes, means that this will be far from a formality for Marco Silva's side.
Silva badly needs a victory to inject some belief back into a group of players that has won just once in the last seven games but on whom a gruelling festive programme had clearly taken its toll by the time Leicester had left Merseyside with all three points on Tuesday.
The manager will undoubtedly make changes for today's tie but home many and where those changes will come remains to be seen.
At the very least, André Gomes will surely sit out after his tired display against the Foxes which saw him withdrawn after an hour's play of the 1-0 defeat. The Portuguese has started every match since belatedly making his Everton debut after recovering from a hamstring injury and the effects of his first Premier League winter have been unmissable.
He is likely to be replaced by Tom Davies rather than James McCarthy who is medically fit again following his double leg break but lacks match sharpness and strength and probably won't be risked.
Lucas Digne has also been ever-present since being rested for the League Cup defeat to Southampton in September and he, too, could drop back to the bench in favour of Leighton Baines.
Ademola Lookman, meanwhile, is fit again and Silva hinted that he could make his first start since the home draw with Newcastle last month, most likely in place of Theo Walcott who played more minutes over the Christmas period than most and has, in any case, been struggling for form.
In terms of the remainder of the line-up, much will depend on how much faith Silva has in any other replacement players he might field and how bold he dare be with the number of changes he makes given what happened in the Carabao Cup.
This is The Imps' first trip to Goodison since losing to the Toffees over two legs in the second round of the 1993-94 League Cup but they will travel with the confidence that comes from being the clear leaders of League Two.
They have lost just four games all season but regardless of what side Silva puts out, Everton should have too much for them.
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday, 5th January 2019
Last Time: Everton 4 - 2 Lincoln City (Coca Cola Cup 2nd Round, 2nd Leg; no prior FA Cup meeting)
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Kenny, Zouma, Mina, Baines, Gueye, Davies, Sigurdsson, Lookman, Bernard, Tosun
Quotes sourced from Match report page
Reader Comments (56)
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1 Posted 05/01/2019 at 07:40:45
On paper etc etc, well under that piece of paper hides the obvious FA Cup banana skin.
We could find a fish bone and choke on a jelly. (Jello for the yanks)...Everton That.
2 Posted 05/01/2019 at 07:51:08
3 Posted 05/01/2019 at 07:55:22
Regarding this game, and the FA Cup on the whole, we have to give it a run.
Our league position won't turn heads. We're now, thanks to a wonderful (cough-cough) Holiday season, en route to a 10th to 7th place finish.
Please Marco, I understand the need to rotate the players this game after a silly-busy festive season. But if you pull the same shenanigans in the FA Cup as you did the League Cup after this game, I'm going to fly over there and beat you with a blunt object.
4 Posted 05/01/2019 at 08:03:51
As many have pointed out in the past, he has a good record in cup competitions against teams from lower divisions.
If Tosun plays, I can see him lounging about not getting a sniff and getting bullied by their defence. Cue a close 1-0 victory or an upset.
5 Posted 05/01/2019 at 08:12:19
I agree that DCL should start. Hes quicker and stronger than Tosun and has more chance of doing well in this match and becoming a useful player for us in the future. Other than that I think Lyndons team looks good to me. I hope Bernard and Lookman have good games.
6 Posted 05/01/2019 at 08:25:42
Come on Marco no pissing about with this one, it is a must win game for lots of reasons.
7 Posted 05/01/2019 at 08:26:36
8 Posted 05/01/2019 at 08:33:06
Anyone around for a pre match beer?
9 Posted 05/01/2019 at 08:45:44
These are the types of games where most of our players look amazing in (no disrespect to Lincoln at all) but the Premier League is a million miles away from League 2.
If we cant win this one then we have got problems.
10 Posted 05/01/2019 at 08:54:59
Tosun or Calvert-Lewin, the manager needs to decide and stick with them today and for the next 6/7 games. Personally, I'd go with Tosun; two of our shots on target on that dire New Year's Day came from him. Zouma is the most solid centre-half, him and one other. Finally, Walcott has to be dropped now, dire recently.
In a nutshell, best team each week, with one game per week, and gain some consistency. COYB.
11 Posted 05/01/2019 at 09:05:09
12 Posted 05/01/2019 at 09:23:51
Usually against the likes of Rotherham or Sunderland (Cup last year) or teams of that kind of ilk our players look lethal and DCL looks like the next Ronaldo.
14 Posted 05/01/2019 at 09:32:59
The gulf in leagues should be enough for a Premier league team to have some friggin pride about themselves and the club, in reality we should only need a few individuals having an excellent game to make the difference, have them firing on all cylinders and it SHOULD !! Be comprehensive, see Tottenham. Good luck to all Blues (kids starved of glory especially)going the game it will be a lively atmosphere so let's hope we match them on and off the pitch as the FA cup still has the capacity to make memorable days.
15 Posted 05/01/2019 at 09:39:23
Hell will rise today if we lose. No doubt Lincoln will be set up to do a job and my fear is we may get bullied and we may not be able to handle them.
Also fitness wise, it will be interesting to see the tempo, of this game through out.
MS, please pick the strongest team today, no tinkering.
16 Posted 05/01/2019 at 09:51:18
17 Posted 05/01/2019 at 09:51:59
18 Posted 05/01/2019 at 09:54:42
19 Posted 05/01/2019 at 09:58:05
Watched the Tranmere -Spurs game on TV last night and Delle-Alli bossed the midfield, but will any of our lads have the confidence to pull the strings?
This game is a potential banana skin.
High-flying lower league sides are always dangerous and with a vocal support for them, we must not give them a sniff.
We should just outplay them, but I fear we will need an easy start and score first.
If they get lucky and take the lead, imagine the atmosphere at Goodison .
I have little confidence that our assemblage of mercenaries have the spunk for the fight.
Therefore we really have to put out the fire before it starts.
20 Posted 05/01/2019 at 10:07:15
Having watched Watford get a draw at Goodison last month, with a similar approach, albeit with more quality our boys will need to be on their game today.
A good cup run will be great for the club and us supporters, 2-0, coyb.
21 Posted 05/01/2019 at 10:09:14
Not just for obvious reasons, but it will be hilarious watching Jim Bennings try to pretend he is happy when the guy he has singled out for criticism on an almost daily basis, puts paid to the ambitions of a manager he has spent the entire season fawning all over
22 Posted 05/01/2019 at 10:09:46
What is our strongest team? I have absolutely no idea, and I'm not convinced Silva does either.
Also, sometimes your strongest team on paper is not going to give you the best performance on any given day. As we've seen over the Xmas period, many players have struggled with fatigue and are likely to be playing through minor knocks and strains. Gomes has undoubtedly been troubled by fatigue. He has been giving everything, but his tank appears empty.
All teams are forced to rotate through this busy period, but we have been forced to play players who are clearly not at their best because we don't have strength in depth.
Teams such as Spurs, City, Liverpool etc could play their 2nd team for an entire season and be comfortably in the top half of the table. Our 2nd team would get relegated in embarrassing fashion.
When attempting to rotate over the Xmas period we suffered a drop in standards, so instead we played players struggling with fatigue and also suffered a drop in standards.
Other clubs were able to deal with the busy schedule better than us. The difference in standard between our first eleven and second eleven is far too much, and Silva's inexperience at dealing with such a schedule may have been a contributing factor.
I think we will see performances pick up over the coming weeks, with players able to regain their optimum levels of fitness and without the need to rotate.
23 Posted 05/01/2019 at 10:24:11
Hes another one suffering from this apparent fatigue going through the Club
What about the fatigue were suffering from watching this shite?
Ive read some posts supporting this fatigue theory and just wonder how long it takes the professional player with all the support they have to overcome it?
Seems to me theyve had it since the Huddersfield game-if not before
24 Posted 05/01/2019 at 10:28:35
25 Posted 05/01/2019 at 10:39:02
Stek; Coleman, Jagielka, Mina, Baines; Sneids, Davies; Calvert - Lewin, Siggurtson, Lookman; Tosun
Not a bad line-up against a team at Lincoln's level but gawd help him if they don't win !
26 Posted 05/01/2019 at 10:43:58
Grow up mate!
Id love to see DCL score the winner in EVERY game let alone the derby.
He had the perfect chance in the last minute in April against the Shite but was wearing his inflatable slippers as usual.
27 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:04:24
On paper we have the players, but as we all know this is the FA cup and some shocks do happen.
Spurs did their job correctly last night to get into the hat for the 4th round, lets hope we do the same.
28 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:05:55
29 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:06:48
30 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:07:50
Kenny Keane Mina Baines
Lookman Tosun Richarlison
Stek, Keane, Dowell, DCL, Mccarthy, Davies, Niasse
31 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:08:35
He has made 63 appearances since his first game in 2016 and is 22 in March. He is running out of time and chances.
32 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:09:06
33 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:18:11
We need to play a full strength team in our best formation, no messing around. Anything else will be a second big strike against Silva for me (the first was the selection of a back 3 vs Man City). At the start of the season, Silva pointed to injuries and the inability to pick a settled team as a reason for inconsistency. Now he is choosing not only to be inconsistent in team selection, but he is also changing the formation regularly. This makes it very difficult for the players. A managers job is to give his players the best chance of success, and his decisions are not doing that at the moment.
Finally, we need to be prepared to be more direct. This may apply less today, but Premier League teams press, and we need to be able to make them think twice about that. At the moment, opponents pressing is better than our passing, but we dont seem willing to make them have to adapt.
34 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:32:43
From world beaters to panel beaters in the blink of an eye.
35 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:38:12
36 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:46:18
I'm usually one of those who can't understand middling teams (let's face it) resting players for cup games - their only chance of any success. But in our case I think it makes sense.
Assuming they're all fit, I'd go:
DCL - needs a goal and has been rested
And if they can't beat Lincoln then we know we have some serious depth issues to go with our first XI problems.
37 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:49:17
38 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:55:36
Robles, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Funes Mori, McCarthy, Barry, Lennon, Barkley, Cleverley, Lukaku
Subs: Howard, Stones, Koné, Niasse, Besic, Deulofeu, Osman
Of that side; 11 have been sold, 1 has retired, 1 is out on loan, 4 are peripheral squad member, with only 1 current first team regular - Coleman. We've also sacked 3 managers since then and spent over £300,000,000 on players.
A decent FA Cup run is long overdue!
39 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:59:37
I wouldnt put anyone on the bench as an act of public humiliation.
40 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:02:30
41 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:05:13
However we should beat Lincoln, should on paper, but that's the beauty of the FA Cup, you never can tell.
I think we need to keep Ric and Gomes fresh so I'd rest them and it's a great opportunity to see if Mina can be the commanding centre back he should be against lesser opposition and for Lookman to start wide left. I think this is where he played for Liepzig and can be most effective.
I'd keep the rest pretty much the same from the weekend if all fit. Dowell has been loaned out so I hope he and the other loanees are able to play plenty of football including the FA Cup.
42 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:08:18
While we have beaten lower league opposition in recent seasons, those teams such as Sunderland, Rotherham, Yeovil and Dagenham & Redbridge, were all struggling for form in their leagues. Lincoln are the best team in their league and come to Goodison Park with the confidence which comes from winning.
43 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:14:20
Could it be that their lads although earning a fraction of our wasters just want to play footy?
44 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:28:04
I think Tosun should get a start. He looked relatively lively when he came on against Leicester and did more in those 20 minutes than DCL did in the whole match.
I don't think we'll have any problems today. 3-0
45 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:46:28
Confidence-boosting win, or bile-inducing struggle? Gonna be an interesting afternoon.
46 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:52:10
Its currently 0-0 in Mason Holgate (right back) vs Callum Connelly (centre mid)
47 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:55:06
48 Posted 05/01/2019 at 13:11:36
49 Posted 05/01/2019 at 13:18:15
50 Posted 05/01/2019 at 13:18:28
We havent won a fa cup tie, for over two seasons, but we really need a run in the competition this season, more than ever.
51 Posted 05/01/2019 at 13:19:12
Id go for:
Coleman, Zouma, Mina, Baines
Davies, Gana, McCarthy
Lookman, DCL, Bernard.
Tosun on for DCL at half time if DCL isnt working and Gomes on last 30 for McCarthy as he tires.
52 Posted 05/01/2019 at 13:25:31
Mr G. call the samaritans -press option 3- dedicated to EFC :)
53 Posted 05/01/2019 at 13:27:24
I would have met you Dave @8, but I can't get away from my house until about 2:15 mate, so I just hope you enjoy your day.
55 Posted 05/01/2019 at 13:35:52
I hope Silva picks a very strong team, we don't play again until next Sunday, when Solanke could make his debut for Bournemouth.
56 Posted 05/01/2019 at 13:48:19
I've told her I'll go anywhere as long as it's before this crap season ends. Like Colin, I've had enough.
57 Posted 05/01/2019 at 13:52:17
Enjoy the game!
58 Posted 05/01/2019 at 15:21:52
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