Tom Davies could start again in midfield regardless of whether or not Idrissa Gueye is passed fit after his display at Huddersfield
Everton are back at Goodison Park after three straight away games to welcome Wolves as they look to build on the win at Huddersfield.
The hard-fought victory at the John Smith's Stadium was a welcome sign that the Blues can get back on an even keel following hugely disappointing performances against Southampton and in the FA Cup against Millwall.
However, Marco Silva will have to deal with the fallout of the 1-0 win over the Terriers in the form of Lucas Digne's suspension following his red card and a rib injury to Leighton Baines that forced the veteran off in the second half and is likely to sideline him this weekend.
Baines's movement was clearly restricted after he pulled up challenging for the ball with Jason Puncheon and it would be a surprise if he were passed fit when he assessed before the game.
If he isn't, it would leave the manager without a fit natural left back and, with both Yerry Mina and Phil Jagielka injured and Mason Holgate out on loan, unable even to field three centre halves instead.
As he did against Huddersfield, Jonjoe Kenny is the obvious candidate to deputise at left back with Seamus Coleman in his customary position on the opposite side.
In midfield, Idrissa Gueye will also undergo a late fitness test on the minor groin problem that kept him out of Tuesday's win. The Senegal midfielder saw a deadline-day move to Paris St Germain fail to come to fruition and there will inevitably be question marks over how he will react given his rumoured disappointment.
Then there is the question of whether Tom Davies deserves to lose his place again after his impressive display against Huddersfield.
Up front, Silva is likely to keep things unchanged, with Cenk Tosun and Bernard also putting in an energetic display at the John Smith's.
True to their pre-season billing, high-spending Wolves emerged from the first half of the campaign as genuine contenders for that seventh placed, best-of-the-rest mantle that Blues fans hoped would be the bare minimum of our club's aspirations.
Nuno Espirito Santo's outfit come into the weekend sitting in seventh, two points better off than Everton and on a three-match unbeaten run in all competitions that included a thrilling 4-3 win over Leicester two weeks ago and a comprehensive 3-0 win over West Ham last time out. They also beat Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup after finishing 2018 with a 3-1 win over Tottenham at Wembley.
As such, they will travel to Goodison Park with plenty of confidence, knowing that, their meetings with the top two in the League this season aside, they usually score goals and Silva will know that his defence can't be as open as it was against Southampton a fortnight ago or as weak defending dead balls as they were at Millwall.
If the Portuguese is able to use the platform of Tuesday's win to get his team back to something approaching their form prior to the Anfield derby then there's a case for being confident of what would be a rare instance of Everton recording back-to-back Premier League wins, something they have managed just once all season.
In many ways, this could be a good measure of the Blues' response to their recent adversity — a potentially open game against a talented but beatable team where they can get the ball down and play in the way that we know they can but have proved singularly unable to over the past couple of months.
That's also what makes any kind of result feasible — another disappointing defeat, an entertaining but frustrating repeat of the opening day 2-2 draw at Molineux or a confide narrow defeat to a tight home win another confidence-inspiring home win. It's hard to know which Everton might turn up…
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday, 2 February, 2019
Referee: Lee Mason
Last Time: Everton 2 - 1 Wolves (19 November, 2011)
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Kenny, Gomes, Davies, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Richarlison, Tosun
Reader Comments (44)
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1 Posted 02/02/2019 at 07:35:06
Id like to see DCL start though given they play three at the back as hell keep them occupied much more than Tosun.
Would also put Walcott back in to run behind said back 3, leave Bernard on the bench.
Coleman Zouma Keane Kenny
Gomes Davies Sigurdsson
Richarlison DCL Walcott
Steak, Galloway (has to be on the bench given no other CB/LB), McCarthy, Gana, Bernard, Lookman, Tosun
2 Posted 02/02/2019 at 07:40:04
3 Posted 02/02/2019 at 07:43:29
Wolves are pretty strong all over the park but especially in the middle where Neves is a talent bound for the top and Moutinho has arguably been the signing of the season for just £5m.
Alot could depend on which Gomes turns up and how well his midfield partner (no idea whether that should be Gueye or Davies) plays.
Would really like to see some more end product from Bernard. I think he's a cracking player but there's no doubt if you play that far forward you need to be weighing in with more goals and assists. Felipe Anderson has 9 goals and 2 assists by contrast.
4 Posted 02/02/2019 at 07:48:12
If anything gives Tosun the nod or at least Richarlison who scores more often than any of them.
Starting Calvert-Lewin the lad cant offer anything yet, his impact is as a sub when teams are tiring.
This will be a really tough game without a doubt and a loss today we can basically wave goodbye to 7th.
5 Posted 02/02/2019 at 07:56:38
As has happened so many time this season, you think a win wiĺl trigger a run of games, only to find the opposite happens.
Although Wolves have not exactly been a model of consistency themselves. So will it be 'Dances with Wolves' or 'The Untouchables'?
6 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:03:18
But you just never know with Everton.
Up the Blues.
7 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:04:59
8 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:05:11
Tosuns similarly gutsy performance could be just what the Goodison crowd needs to get excited.
Id, as Lyndon suggested, keep them in.
Wolves are on a run of excellent form, and I dont feel massively confident (yet again).
Just really hope we can do it.
Tosun to score. Solid performances from Zouma, Keane and Pickford and a glorious victory for the Toffees!
9 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:20:08
Last game, Davies seemed to play ahead of Sigurdsson which is something I havent seen before. He started the game like a house on fire but Im still not sure about him.
I wouldnt say ‘no to Gomes being benched this week. He needs a rest.
Bernard, Lookman, happy with either - just keep Walcott off the pitch.
Really hope Baines is fit enough to start. Very unlucky for the lad if not.
10 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:21:32
Not going today, I chose to give my ticket away to one of my sons mates, but waking up to a cold and frosty morning, the first thing on my mind is football, or more importantly a game that might just be worth watching, so lets hope everyone gets a very good game of footy today.
11 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:22:18
Games like this will give us a clue, its an extremely balanced game Everton are 6/4 to win, Wolves are 2/1 .the game earlier in the season was a draw. Maybe the better manager can make the difference today with team formation/sysytem/subs and tactics. It is going to be an interesting day and I think it is an important day for Marco if he wants to cement his position .
For the most part against Hudderfield it was more of the same from us, disjointed, loose with posession, unable to control the game and unable to create chances. The difference was that the opposition was as poor as it gets in the league. Wolves are better, we will need a better performance.
Some positives were the strength and committed play of Zouma, sign him up !
Tom Davies and his best game for us for ages, was a livewire and adds energy to our largely pedestrian midfield . His energy and desire gives us something we are missing, I am desperate to see Tom build on that performance. We need that type of player. He needs to produce that week in week out .
Finally Cenk, like Tom he was up for the game and the challenge on Tuesday . He had fire in his eyes and worked his socks off . If he finds consistency , his luck will turn and he will get goals. I hope Marco recognises that and picks him today .
JJk Zouma Keane Baines
Bernard Gomes, Davies, Sigurdsson, Richarlison,
12 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:24:05
"a loss today we can basically wave goodbye to 7th."
Why?! If we lost today they would be 5 points ahead of us with 13 games to play. Hardly uncatchable! I'm not saying that I think we'll get 7th necessarily but no result today would render it impossible. All of these midtable teams win some and lose some, all our capable of going on a good run or a bad run.
Too many on here make every match a must win and then end up with their knickers in a twist.
13 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:34:57
14 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:40:31
15 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:41:04
16 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:41:19
17 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:44:44
Tough game today. I think a three man midfield is way to go, wide front players can also come back when need to. Agree that Davies should keep place ( he has to be in 3 man midfield though) and Tosun too- hell score a few goals given service.
Our back four will need to be on it today and do much better defending the set pieces. Jimenez is in great form but I hope Keane & Zouma can keep him quiet.
Whatever happens we need to be patient with Marco and this team.
18 Posted 02/02/2019 at 08:48:38
19 Posted 02/02/2019 at 09:09:49
Looking forward to this one Wolves aren't a bad unit. Fancy us to knick it with some nervy moments.
20 Posted 02/02/2019 at 09:22:34
Alastair@17, if we wouldnt have had such a bad dip since the Liverpool game, we might have still been in the running for 4th place, which shows you how badly the wheels came off.
Reading T/W, loads want Silva gone, and loads still willing to give him a chance, and although Ive still got massive reservations because of “our openness” its not easy playing a season without a proper centre-forward, so Im hoping Silva, can still be the man, and can get us playing the type of football we crave, instead of what were witnessing right now.
21 Posted 02/02/2019 at 09:38:46
He took a stance over Gueye and can put more pressure on the Board and backroom management if he wins today.
22 Posted 02/02/2019 at 10:09:01
They seem a decent side so hopefully this is a good battle.
You have to be concerned about us defensively - the are better than Huddersfield.
23 Posted 02/02/2019 at 10:14:33
A score draw, perhaps repeat of the Molineux game, 2-2.
24 Posted 02/02/2019 at 10:15:50
25 Posted 02/02/2019 at 10:24:50
26 Posted 02/02/2019 at 10:56:53
Of course we have other problems, the midfield leaves the defense exposed far too often, this is where the game will be won and lost today. Wolves are a good counter attacking team, Silva has to employ his tactics to stop them, if he knows how, we will find out a bit more about our manager today.
27 Posted 02/02/2019 at 10:58:28
Which Everton team turns up today, is an indication of the way it is. Its a rare chance for us to get x2 b2b victories, which in this season is a milestone for this team, as it doesnt happen often.
Hopefully the squad left will play for their professional pride and give all for Everton in the remaining games.
Should be a good atmosphere and we know some of the Wolves players, have a good dig. Hopefully not today and JP has done his homework.
Im expecting a few goals, and may be its the ale from last night, but I sense the best of 5 goals today.
As long as we win..🍀🍺
28 Posted 02/02/2019 at 10:59:46
Thanks, Kenwright, and Barrett-‘dodgy CV'-Baxendale!
29 Posted 02/02/2019 at 11:06:48
Wolves will not show any fear playing us and I doubt they'll defend like Leicester did...
30 Posted 02/02/2019 at 11:15:58
31 Posted 02/02/2019 at 11:26:00
I would love it if Baines was fit for this game, as he showed against Huddersfield he is still a very good left back. Seems if Baines doesnt make it then it will be Kenny in at left back, not easy to switch to playing on the other flank. Also Wolves tend to bring on Traore a real pace merchant who usually plays on their right, so might be another problem for young Kenny to handle.
I think Gueye will be left out to get over his disappointment at not getting his move to PSG. So looks like Tom Davies will partner Gomes, and as Marco Silva said Gomes is not really a defensive midfield player but we don't have a lot of options at present but to play him there.
Up front is where the real problem lies apart from Richarlison who has 11 goals in 20 games which is a very good return. Bernard despite starting many games is still to open his account in the league, and neither Tosun or DCL have many goals between them. The same lack of goals is also a factor for Lookman and Walcott. So to have 2 out of any of your front 3 not scoring would be a major problem for any team. Then also add that apart from Sigurdsson we don't have many goals from midfield increases the problem.
Strange because for the first 10 league games we created a lot of chances and the main criticism was of not being clinical in front of goal. Now we don't seem to create many chances and I don't understand what has changed, obviously the lack of confidence since the Derby game has become so apparent.
So lets hope today we play with the confidence we had at the start of the season and get back to winning ways before our tough encounter with City on Wednesday.
32 Posted 02/02/2019 at 11:29:53
The most likely result is a draw for me. We have the advantage of it being a home game, but performance-wise this season they probably shade it so its very difficult to come up with a favourite.
I'll have everything crossed, its sure to be a nail-biter but conversely, as others have said, you never know with Everton – so I hope I'm pleasantly suprised.
33 Posted 02/02/2019 at 11:32:17
I think we will win and I'm going to stick my neck on the line here and say we will see a (rare) solid performance with us winning with a bit to spare.
34 Posted 02/02/2019 at 12:04:08
35 Posted 02/02/2019 at 12:20:41
It is a matter of fate y'see.
36 Posted 02/02/2019 at 12:32:13
They'll defend deep and play for set-pieces. We'll be unable to break them down and will concede from corners or free-kicks. Kind of like a Silva Groundhog Day.
The "give him time" brigade will repeat their mantra, whilst the rest of us realists will point at the truly awful stats Silva has in this country and puzzle at what his proponents see in this charlatan of a coach.
37 Posted 02/02/2019 at 12:38:06
We cant afford to lose both of these home games in the next four days and Id put my
Mortgage on City beating us knowing one more slip up closes the curtain on their league hopes.
Today is bigger for Silva than it is for the actual club.
As people say, we probably are finishing between 8th and 12th, anything in that zone Moshiri wont be pleased with regardless but for Marco Silva he desperately needs to start hoping these players can get him a run of positive results.
We have seen first hand that Everton managers dont last long anymore.
38 Posted 02/02/2019 at 13:26:53
He is not a hold-up, battering-ram, header-of-crosses type of player in the Alan Shearer mold, but a finisher. I'm not saying he is world class, (you don't get that for £27M), but the guy can find the net when chances are made for him.
Marco Silva needs to find a way to feed our strikers, not try to tiki-taka through a congested midfield or playing cross-field passes to our striker who is now out on the wing hoping he has support arriving through the middle.
39 Posted 02/02/2019 at 13:36:08
Problem being they have runners that manage to find time and space, we have Richarlison who is often doubled up on so I'm hoping Lookman is brought back in ahead of Bernard.
Davies deserves to keep his place he got forward well last game but he may be asked to help out the full backs a bit more today. Left back could be a problem area for us.
40 Posted 02/02/2019 at 13:38:20
I don't think Gana or Baines should be risked if not fully fit. Subs should be interesting:-
41 Posted 02/02/2019 at 14:02:19
Bernard is influential for 45 minutes but fades, so would bring Lookman on at half time.
42 Posted 02/02/2019 at 14:02:37
43 Posted 02/02/2019 at 14:10:35
44 Posted 02/02/2019 at 14:22:36
Wolves are playing well and we need a big improvement to match them.
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