Carabao Cup Preview
Gulfi Sigurdsson is rated as "touch-and-go" to overcome illness in time to play
Everton host Leicester City this evening with a place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals on the line in what could, if reports are true, be Duncan Ferguson's last match in temporary charge.
Speculation remains rife that Carlo Ancelotti will be announced as the club's next permanent manager later this week and that he could be in the dugout when Everton kick off against Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday￼.
Having overseen a stunning 3-1 victory over Chelsea and a hugely creditable draw at Manchester United at the weekend, however, Ferguson would be the supporters' overwhelming choice to lead the team for what is arguably the biggest match of the season so far.
￼A victory over the high-flying Foxes would put the Blues into the last four of a competition that they have never won and which lost another of the so-called “big six” last night when Aston Villa thrashed Liverpool's youngsters 5-0 at Villa Park￼.
That should ensure another boisterous atmosphere at Goodison Park and Ferguson will no doubt need the help of the 12th man as he deals with Everton's continuing injury crisis, particularly in midfield.
The Scot has described Gylfi Sigurðsson's chances of making the game as touch and go because of the illness which kept him out of the trip to Old Trafford and the same bug makes Djibril Sidibè a doubt as well￼.
Lucas Digne is ruled out with a groin problem as is Fabian Delph who continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. Morgan Schneiderlin and Theo Walcott are also sidelined because of injuries of their own.
￼Those selection problems could restrict Ferguson's options and lead to the continued partnership of Tom Davies and Mason Holgate in the centre of midfield￼.
The rest of the side will, in all likelihood, remain unchanged from the one that started against Man Utd.￼
This will be only the third time that these two teams have met in cup competition. The first was a Zenith Data Systems cup tie at Filbert Street in 1991 and the last meeting was in January 2017 when Ronald Koeman's Everton lost at home to the reigning Premier League champions — the score was 2-1 on both occasions.
With Leicester riding high in second place in the league, it's possible that Brendan Rodgers could make changes to his usual starting XI as he did in the last round against Burton Albion. That evening, Hamza Choudhury, Dennis Praet, Wes Morgan and Kelechi Iheanacho were four of nine changes to the Foxes side that had walloped Southampton 9-0 a few days earlier.
The strength of opposition posed by the Blues and the fact that it is a quarter-final might ordinarily prompt Rodgers to be less experimental but he will also have one eye on Saturday's huge clash with third-place Manchester City.
Should he go with a full strength side, it will be a big test for Everton but by no means an impossible one, as the Blues demonstrated at the King Power Stadium three weeks ago when an injury-time goal was needed to hand Leicester a cruel victory on the day￼.
Kick-off: 7:45pm, Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Last Time: Everton 1 - 2 Leicester City (FA Cup, January 2017)
Predicted Lineup: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Baines, Davies, Holgate, Bernard, Iwobi, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (76)
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1 Posted 18/12/2019 at 07:24:50
2 Posted 18/12/2019 at 07:50:10
A win today could really change the complexion of things. The new year coming, with a new exciting manager and a semi-final could set us up for a really positive second half of the season.
3 Posted 18/12/2019 at 07:59:46
League status is paramount with Arsenal at home coming up, and that is a winnable game with their current form.
Knowing Dunc's passion, he'll want a full-strength team to go for the win, but he should bear in mind the Arsenal game in team selection. Conundrum?
4 Posted 18/12/2019 at 08:07:12
5 Posted 18/12/2019 at 08:08:40
I'm not worried about relegation at all. Let's go all out and win tonight. I'll be gutted if we lose.
6 Posted 18/12/2019 at 08:19:21
As Lyndon says they will have one eye on Saturday's clash with Man City, so hopefully they haven't prioritised the Carabao Cup. Goodison will indeed be rocking – especially with all the events that have happened recently.
7 Posted 18/12/2019 at 08:24:35
If we can keep it tight and we get a good old fashioned Goodison night time atmosphere going with a dogs of war attitude on the pitch, then we have a chance.
8 Posted 18/12/2019 at 08:33:21
Leicester's a tough tough game & I would argue tougher to play them at home with their speed on the break (Vardy always scores against us). I would love us to sneak through but not at the expense of further decimation of the squad going into the next week – particularly if facing the Arteta manager bounce on Saturday – let's see how Dunc sees it.
9 Posted 18/12/2019 at 08:33:25
Ancelotti is a big name and has a great record to be sure, but to be fair it's hardly without issue – he's had more clubs than Rory Mcilroy and tends to be moved on within 2 years.
What's more his success has been achieved at established top clubs, there's no real evidence of him succeeding with a 'project' as we are. This is not to mention the cost involved (of him – £5m a year at least, plus a no doubted massive transfer budget in January).
After 4 ultimately failed and hugely expensive managerial projects, 3 foreigners, I really feel we should be trying something different right now, and re-establishing some grit, character and heart (in the way Moyes did when he first came) seems tight to me.
Ferguson has brought some pride and fight back to the club that's been missing for years and got immediate results against clubs we traditionally struggle against. Maybe it cant continue but why not give him till January at least to see? He's also not a financial risk and would happily step aside when needed for the best interests of the club – he basically offers the board a total free hit at something different... why the hell we wouldn't make the most of that I don't understand.
10 Posted 18/12/2019 at 08:40:55
We tried, and failed, with Unsy. This is not a time for sentimental claptrap.
11 Posted 18/12/2019 at 08:47:41
We must land Ancelotti now. It's within our grasp.
Are you one of the 400 odd who have 'voted' no to Ancelotti?
12 Posted 18/12/2019 at 09:12:49
A few losses and they'd be back to that view.
Let's just enjoy it for what it is. A boost. For our pride and for Duncan's coaching experience. I think he's shown us a bit of what we were missing and hopefully demonstrated to the board and incoming coach that it is both important and possible to connect with the fans.
Hope he gets a raucous Goodison and steps aside knowing he did a great job.
And then maybe one day...
Edit: Can we bring him back for the Anfield match?
13 Posted 18/12/2019 at 09:13:32
Leicester City are going to know they are in a game this evening. Good Luck, Duncan, send the Liverpool failure back home.
14 Posted 18/12/2019 at 09:19:56
15 Posted 18/12/2019 at 09:20:18
We are so near silverware that we need to approach this as the biggest game of the season so far. Let others play their kids — we need a trophy.
16 Posted 18/12/2019 at 09:25:08
I also think that the board have seen the connection between the fans and Duncan, and will have said to Ancelotti that they want him to be involved in the new set-up. Also, Ancelotti is a very shrewd man so why wouldn't he want to utilize someone who has a great rapport with the fans?
17 Posted 18/12/2019 at 09:48:20
18 Posted 18/12/2019 at 09:48:35
19 Posted 18/12/2019 at 10:04:39
If the football reverts to more of the sleep-inducing continental stuff previous managers like Silva have used too, this would be a big mistake. I also think that the players could go back to their bad old ways under a manager who they don't fear, respect or get a good telling off from like Big Dunc. We have seen just what an effect Dunc's more direct style of leadership has had – I can't see Ancelotti recreating that.
Why risk upsetting the momentum we are building now and potentially drop back into a relegation scrap? For me, people are just seeing a big name and automatically assuming it will work out, without really thinking if he is right for us. Has he ever been in a relegation fight without a squad of world-class players to call on, for example?
20 Posted 18/12/2019 at 10:21:55
All have missed games recently with injury or illness. I expect Mina, Coleman and Davies to be available for selection. Surely, Sigurdsson and Sidibe are now recovered. Maybe Schneiderlin and Walcott can shake off their calf strains. Delph appears to be constantly injured. Digne looks more long term, but Baines can cover and Sidibie can also play left back.
Anyone else have any up-to-date info?
21 Posted 18/12/2019 at 10:34:37
22 Posted 18/12/2019 at 10:38:19
It will be an achievement to beat Leicester with basically no midfielders but I'm backing us.
23 Posted 18/12/2019 at 10:44:18
There seems to be a pattern here.
24 Posted 18/12/2019 at 10:46:36
Cups are won through character, grit and granite.
We do not have the players on the squad roster to play like Barcelona or Man City so dont even worry about pretty football.
We have a bunch of players that outside maybe two or three technically very gifted lads, the majority should just be encouraged to keep things simple within their boundaries and keep up working hard.
Huge game and I expect we will need to defend quite deep almost like an away game with Vardys pace, he always seems to hurt us and I cant remember a season thats passed without him scoring against us at least once.
25 Posted 18/12/2019 at 10:57:19
We could be playing Villa in the semis, with players coming back from injury, a new signing or two, a world class manager. Also I firmly believe will be a big threat and have a great chance whoever we face in the semis.
26 Posted 18/12/2019 at 11:16:01
Would Sidibe come in for Baines or Coleman? Note he is very comfortable at left back.
Would Gylfi come in and knock Holgate back to centre-back or down to the bench?
27 Posted 18/12/2019 at 11:16:21
28 Posted 18/12/2019 at 11:23:17
I'm worried that it has to be decided tonight because our penalty record is woeful.
29 Posted 18/12/2019 at 11:26:08
1. We should be going all out to win the next game, whatever it is. Momentum is massive.
2: I want us to win the cup
3: We aren't getting relegated, not while Norwich, Southampton and Watford are playing the way they are.
4: I think we are at the point whereby the only changes we could make are up front, so it almost moot.
30 Posted 18/12/2019 at 11:26:54
17+12+19 = 48 the year of my birth. 1+7 +1+2+1+9 = 21 = the age I got married. 66 years of supporting EFC removes 2x 6es from the devil's number. Forget the devil's number I think the numerologist would go with me! Ha ha! 3 - 1 to Everton
31 Posted 18/12/2019 at 11:28:14
A fully fit Sidibe is the better option at right-back and I would rather have a more natural midfielder in Sigurdsson in the middle than Holgate.
I think Mason should retain his centre-back spot with Mina and Keane benched, but it looked to me that Mina had a bit of a niggle too so it may be Keane & Holgate as centre-backs. We need that extra yard of pace that Mason has got, a tackle or challenge on Vardy from Mason because of his pace could make all the difference.
I think the injury/recovery situation will be being closely monitored today to make the best decisions.
32 Posted 18/12/2019 at 11:32:18
Remember the home game against Newcastle – they were flying, aesthetically pleasing with exotic football, the neutrals' favourite, 2nd in the league. We ground out the win with a scrappy Waggy goal from a corner. That'll do tonight thanks.
33 Posted 18/12/2019 at 11:36:02
Hoping too that Leicester don't field their strongest eleven, we will have a game on our hands, but the 12th man may just carry this one over.
I wonder if Ancelotti will be there tonight? Some reports saying that he has hired a suite overlooking the Mersey, but that has not been confirmed as yet.
34 Posted 18/12/2019 at 11:49:09
Digne definitely out.
Sigurdsson and Sidibe close, but not certain.
Delph recovering well, but today is likely too early.
Davies carrying a knock, but playing through it.
Quite a number of regular U23 players didn't play v Wolves on Monday. No surprise if some of those make at least the bench tonight.
35 Posted 18/12/2019 at 12:05:12
If they play with a combination of the spirit against Chelsea and the determination against Man Utd, they can definitely get something out of this game.
36 Posted 18/12/2019 at 12:18:58
Good luck, COYB.
37 Posted 18/12/2019 at 13:19:46
The Arsenal game is extremely important and Ferguson should definitely be in charge for it regardless whether Ancelotti signs before the game. Even if Ancelotti signs before Burnley big Dunc should be given a major say in it. Give Ancelotti a bit of time to weigh up players in training and a couple of games before he takes full control.
Great chance for us to progress tonight and I suspect Leicester City might rest a couple, hopefully Vardy, with the Man City game coming up
38 Posted 18/12/2019 at 13:20:32
39 Posted 18/12/2019 at 13:20:37
"Mason has really matured. He's a real leader. A go-to guy for the players in the dressing room."
AND what he says about Seamus Coleman, and all the players really.
"Seamus Coleman is an incredible human being. We all look to Seamus Coleman for leadership. I look to Seamus Coleman for inspiration. Seamus Coleman wants me to be a better Evertonian."
And people were outraged by his treatment of Kean on Sunday and alleged poor man management?
If these videos are anything to go by, he is the exact opposite. He is talking them up and giving them spades of confidence.
40 Posted 18/12/2019 at 13:24:27
41 Posted 18/12/2019 at 13:25:55
42 Posted 18/12/2019 at 13:26:45
It is also on beIN Sports 13HD, so if I can't get the ESPN, I can fall back on that!
43 Posted 18/12/2019 at 13:43:45
The tactics employed will be to break down Leicester's setting up shop and then bottle them up in the second half. I have more confidence in Duncan than I would have had in Silva, in achieving this objective.
Leicester will find a lot more crosses coming in on them, and a lot of attacking pressure on their central defence, than the last game.
44 Posted 18/12/2019 at 13:53:43
45 Posted 18/12/2019 at 13:57:02
Unfortunately it'll be a stream for me once again, as the Manc sides take the preference on my cable channel, really Colchester...
Luckily, this'll be more of the past as we progress with Carlo.
46 Posted 18/12/2019 at 13:58:28
I hope he plays Holgate in midfield again tonight, he really showed his presence there against Man Utd. Delph will hardly be back. If he is, he'll be gone again shortly.
48 Posted 18/12/2019 at 15:21:08
The last time I tried to get over for a December game I spent 5 hours sitting in a fogbound airport and didnt make it. At least weve made it onto the plane today though its blowing a gale here.
Looking forward to a bearpit Goodison under lights. Its been a while. Leicester are likely to make changes and with City coming up they might not fancy it. On the face of it, things are on the turn for Everton. Lets keep that going tonight.
49 Posted 18/12/2019 at 15:26:42
Leicester have a really strong MF and plenty of pace throughout the team with finishing Utd can only dream about.
We have to limit space between the lines and not let Chilwell, Maddison or Tielemans get on the ball too much.
This will be difficult given our paucity in MF but I would like to see Beni or Adeniran given some time if only to sit as rearguard.
Anthony Gordon to come on and get the winner.
In both Duncs games we have got an early lead, lets hope we get the same tonight because I cant see us keeping Leicester out for 90 minutes.
Everton to win by the odd goal.
50 Posted 18/12/2019 at 15:32:02
51 Posted 18/12/2019 at 15:35:24
52 Posted 18/12/2019 at 16:21:25
53 Posted 18/12/2019 at 16:29:08
Despite the 2 most recent results it has been a miserable season so far and with RS seemingly playing with the hand of God guiding them it has been even more miserable.
Whilst I don't give any credence to the Mickey Mouse cup It would be nice to see Big Dunc. steer us through to the semi-final today.
It would also be nice to see all the injured players return soon.
The Foxes snatched the game from us the other week so it would be nice to get some revenge although I am right behind them in the Prem.
54 Posted 18/12/2019 at 16:31:33
99.9999999999 % of the time. NOT this time. People are right to feel outraged about THIS, hopefully isolated incident.
55 Posted 18/12/2019 at 16:34:33
56 Posted 18/12/2019 at 16:42:46
Nah, they're not.
57 Posted 18/12/2019 at 16:52:11
58 Posted 18/12/2019 at 17:00:35
59 Posted 18/12/2019 at 17:08:15
A Meat Loaf moment.
'You took the words right out of my mouth.'
60 Posted 18/12/2019 at 17:19:46
61 Posted 18/12/2019 at 17:23:04
"I will be sitting on a rock while continuously glancing around for stray dogs, hyenas and wolves."
Watching the game with RS supporters, David?
62 Posted 18/12/2019 at 17:27:42
Its the closest place l have a connection away from my mobile home in the Negev desert. No idea why Im here but had a feeling wed start to win some games after l left.
63 Posted 18/12/2019 at 17:35:13
Hoping for a good night and Colchester in the semi-finals. Also if Dunc has to give another player the hook after bringing them on. Then far from being outraged I will again applaud the man. He is not the first manager to use that tactic and he won't be the last.
He has shown pride, passion and fight for the club and it is only right the players do the same on the pitch.
If Moise Kean has not got the message that the game is about effort and application, then it will be a worry.
Just look at Balotelli, a man with massive talent but an attitude that stunk so badly, that even skunks held their noses.
64 Posted 18/12/2019 at 17:49:15
65 Posted 18/12/2019 at 17:51:42
66 Posted 18/12/2019 at 17:56:44
Its a game Id love to be at & hats off to Big Dunc for steadying the ship. Id say Silva would have give Man U a “walk over” last week when presented with the squad available. Fingers crossed 🤞🏻
67 Posted 18/12/2019 at 17:58:58
69 Posted 18/12/2019 at 18:11:01
70 Posted 18/12/2019 at 18:15:24
Koeman tried that a couple times in vain. Didnt he bring of James Macca against Leicester after 22 minutes? Cant remember who else.
71 Posted 18/12/2019 at 18:16:27
72 Posted 18/12/2019 at 18:22:07
73 Posted 18/12/2019 at 18:29:21
74 Posted 18/12/2019 at 18:36:38
75 Posted 18/12/2019 at 18:40:21
Guess you won't have access to the Match then, unless the goats have IPTV or a decent link. Give my regards to Billy and Nanny! 💙😋
76 Posted 18/12/2019 at 18:49:20
It's £9 a pint here. Nice girl at the bar, loving the accent... obviously. 20 years younger than me... but that's not illegal! I've fed the goats, all 69 of them, so l'm due a goal.
Derek, sorry l've not received any message. It's hit and miss Wi-Fi. I either have to go the coffee bar which shuts at 8:30 or sit literally on a rock while keeping a look-out for critters. The goats were attacked last week. 5 dead. Either a wolf or a hyena.
77 Posted 18/12/2019 at 18:50:56
78 Posted 18/12/2019 at 18:57:10
Nice to see Gordon and Adeniran on the bench. Expected for me given our injuries and how many regular U23s were rested v Wolves on Monday.
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