Everton are into the draw for the Carabao Cup third round after what was a largely comfortable win over Championship side Rotherham United.
In addition to the changes enforced by the injury to Michael Keane and Richarlison's suspension, Marco Silva made six other alterations to the team that started at Bournemouth, with Jonjoe Kenny and Lucas Digne coming into the fullback positions, Kieran Dowell and Sandro Ramirez the wide men, and Oumar Niasse and Dominic Calvert-Lewin starting up front.
Sandro remains the subject of speculation linking him with a return to La Lige on loan, with some reports suggesting he could be off to Real Sociedad, but he got another opportunity to prove his worth in the team.
Tom Davies was the designated holding midfielder in Idrissa Gueye's absence through injury and the young midfielder was given the honour of captaining the side for the first time by Silva.
There was no place in the squad for Ademola Lookman, however, with the official line being he has a groin problem while Bernard, a player who it was assumed would also make his home debut, apparently had a muscle strain. Idrissa Gueye, meanwhile, had a knee strain and wasn't in the squad.
In front of the highest attendance for a League Cup second round tie at Goodison Park for 50 years, Everton started in nervy fashion at the back but a nice move involving Digne and Niasse almost generated a first opening for the home side in the early minutes.
Gylfi Sigurdsson forced the first save from Price in the Rotherham goal midway through the first half but though the 'keeper spilled it, he was able to save again as Calvert-Lewin slid in.
Everton did score a few minutes later, however, to settle the nerves. Sandro took on his man and fired the ball across the box, Sigurdsson stuck out a leg and diverted it past the 'keeper to make it 1-0.
Rotherham came very close to equalising almost immediately but the ball ricocheted off Zouma and bounced wide of Stekelenburg's goal.
Back at the other end, Sandro cut in from the left flank and tried one from distance that Price again spilled but it eluded Sigurdsson in front of goal.
The Blues continued to look a little ragged at times at the back and Sean Raggett should have equalised but spurned a great chance but Everton responded with Davies side-footing a shot that Price got behind to deny the midfielder six minutes before the break.
Niasse had the final effort of the first half when he connected with Kenny's cross but the Senegalese striker could only put his volley into the stand behind the goal.
Everton were the stronger team in the early stages of the second half and when a Sigurdsson free kick just past the hour mark bounced to Digne, the Frenchman swung a cross to the back post where Calvert-Lewin nodded home to double the advantage.
Niasse should have made it three not long afterwards but he headed Sandro's cross over from six yards out.
Rotherham rallied late in the game and went disturbingly close to making the game interesting before Stekelenburg was forced into a save with five minutes to go.
And from the resulting corner, a glancing header was sailed in by Will Vaulks to make it 2-1.
The Rotherham comeback was snuffed out immediately at the other end, however, when Calvert-Lewin cut back on his right foot and curled a beauty over Price and inside the far post to restore Everton's two-goal advantage.
Everton: Stekelenburg, Kenny, Holgate, Zouma, Digne [Y], Sigurdsson (66' Walcott), Davies, Dowell, Ramirez (86' Schneiderlin), Niasse (73' Tosun), Calvert-Lewin. Subs not Used: Virginia, Baines, Coleman, Pennington.Attendance: 31,972
Everton set out on one of the roads to Wembley this evening when Rotherham come to town in the second round of the League Cup.
With the exception of two trips to the semi-finals in the last 10 years, once under David Moyes and once under Roberto Martinez, Everton's performance in the League Cup has been pretty miserable in the Premier League era.
All too often it has been a case of successive managers seemingly not prioritising high enough one of the three main domestic trophies, with countless defeats blamed on squad rotation and weakened teams. And where progress was fleetingly made, as was the case against Chelsea in 2008 and Manchester City in 2016, the Blues often came up against the harsh realities of the infamous glass ceiling — one caused by an imbalance in resources or Everton's inferiority complex — between themselves and what has now coalesced into the cabal of “big six” clubs.
With Everton's painful trophy drought stretching into its 24th year, the clamour for the club to throw everything at trying to win this infernal tournament that has vexed them ever since it was introduced in 1960, has grown. There is a demand now among supporters that the club take seriously any opportunity to land a piece of silverware this season and with new manager Marco Silva showing signs of progress since assuming the helm, there is a feeling that the Blues are well placed to do so this season.
Were their opponents in the second round anything other than a Championship side (and assuming he will be putting something close to his strongest foot forward) Silva might have been tempted into making more changes to his starting line-up than have already been forced upon him by injury and suspension.
Phil Jagielka serves the final game of his three-match ban while Richarlison starts his. Michael Keane, meanwhile, is ruled out with the skull fracture he sustained at Bournemouth on Saturday, leaving Silva with just two of his first-team centre-halves available.
By default, Mason Holgate and Kurt Zouma should start and while Yerry Mina remains around three weeks away, it's their opportunity to stake a strong claim to be in the first-choice pairing going forward. Matthew Pennington will likely come into the squad as cover but hopefully only on the bench. Lucas Digne will surely get his first start at left back.
In midfield, Morgan Schneiderlin is unlikely to be risked, which gives Tom Davies another game to show what he can do while most Evertonian eyes will be on Bernard who is also expected to make his full debut following his 10-minute cameo at the weekend.
The Brazilian is an obvious replacement for his compatriot Richarlison wide on the left but there is also the question of Ademola Lookman over whom there have been questions regarding his fitness and his Goodison Park future. This would ordinarily be an ideal fixture for the winger to strut his stuff and he may get to, either from the bench or the starting XI, perhaps in place of Theo Walcott.
Up front, both Oumar Niasse and Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be hoping for an opportunity to start but will have to wait for the manager's decision.
It's an old cliché that whatever team a Premier League club with European aspirations puts out should be able to beat one from the Football League but cup football is often not as straightforward.
The motivation generated by the chance for a lower-division club to claim a scalp combined with that afore-mentioned propensity for the top-flight managers to mix up their starting XI can be a recipe for surprises as Everton have found to their cost plenty of times in the cup.
Everton should have too much for Rotherham, though, in what will be the first meeting between these sides since they met in this competition 26 years ago, and the game will hopefully provide a springboard for the Goodison careers of Bernard and Zouma that also vaults the Blues into the next round.
Kick-off: 7:45pm, Wednesday 29 August, 2018
Last Time: Everton 3 - 0 Rotherham United (League Cup, Oct 7, 1992)
Predicted Line-up: Stekelenburg, Coleman, Holgate, Zouma, Digne, Gueye, Davies, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Bernard, Niasse