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Venue: Goodison Park
Premier League
Sunday 1 September 2019; 2:00pm
Everton
3 2
Wolves
Richarlison 5', 80'
Iwobi 12'
Half Time: 2 - 1 
Saïss 9'
Jiminez 75'
Boly sent off 90'+5
Attendance: 39,374
Fixture 4
Referee: Anthony Taylor

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Match Summary
Match Report
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EVERTON
  Pickford
  Coleman {c}
  Keane
  Mina
  Digne
  Gomes
  Delph booked
  Sigurdsson
  Iwobi (Bernard 76')
  Richarlison
  Kean (Calvert-Lewin 76')
  Subs not used
  Stekelenburg
  Sidibe
  Holgate
  Schneiderlin
  Tosun
  Unavailable
  Gbamin (injured)
  Lössl (injured)
  Besic (loan)
  Dowell (loan)
  Garbutt (loan)
  Hornby (loan)
  Kenny (loan)
  Pennington (loan)
  Ramirez (loan)

WOLVES
  Rui Patricio
  Bennett booked
  Coady
  Boly booked sent off
  Vinagre booked
  Dendoncker
  Neves (Neto 84')
  Traoré
  Saïss (Moutinho 59')
  Cutrone (Jota 68')
  Jiménez booked
  Subs not used
  Ruddy
  Vallejo
  Gibbs-White
  Otto

Match Stats

Possession
59%
41%
Shots
15
8
Shots on target
6
5
Corners
7
7

Premier League Scores
Saturday
Burnley 0-3 Liverpool
Chelsea 2-2 Sheff United
C Palace 1-0 Aston Villa
Leicester 3-1 Bournemouth
Man City 4-0 Brighton
Newcastle 1-1 Watford
Southampton 1-1 Man United
West Ham 2-0 Norwich
Sunday
Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham
Everton 3-2 Wolves


Match Report

Well, that’s more like it! There's no question that had this match ended 2-2 as it looked like it might with 15 minutes to go, Evertonians would've gone into the international break feeling somewhat deflated.

Five points from a possible 12 would've felt like a poor return from the relatively comfortable opening set of fixtures to the new season but seven points and sixth place heading into the first enforced two-week hiatus of the campaign has a much rosier look to it.

Everton may have come into this game on a five-match winning streak and an unbeaten run that stretched all the way back to the defeat to Manchester City back in early February but, in many respects, this proved to be the toughest assignment they had faced since.

No surprise there given how easily Wolves had turned the Blues over at Goodison Park a few days prior to that defeat to the Champions. Despite their Europa League exertions on Thursday, the Midlanders provided as stern a test as feared — albeit in a more direct way than that for which Nuno Espirito Santo’s team are generally renowned — for an Everton team who may have redeemed themselves somewhat in midweek with a cup win at Lincoln city but who were still reeling to a degree from the debacle at Villa Park nine days ago.

Today Marco Silva needed a reaction and a strong performance from some key individuals and in Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andre Gomes and Richarlison in particular, he will have seen three players who responded in pleasingly strong fashion while also getting some telling contributions from another trio making their full Premier League debuts.

Alex Iwobi scored with his second header in the space of four days, Moise Kean played a vital role in the opening goal and Fabian Delph helped coordinate things in the middle with the kind of energy and combativeness that was so sorely lacking in the matches against Crystal Palace and Villa. As such, if he can stay fit, the £8m acquisition from Manchester City could prove to be one of the steals of the summer.

Not that it was all plain sailing, of course. Wolves twice pegged Everton back with goals that were poorly defended, there were times when the Blues’ central midfield was a little too porous and in the first half especially, the visitors were getting behind the fullbacks with worrying ease. But, having twice lost the lead, this was a test of character and resolve that Silva’s boys passed, even in the face of some typically one-sided refereeing from Anthony Taylor.

The biggest headlines deservedly belonged to Richarlison, a player who was perhaps fortunate to keep his place in the team after the opening three matches of the season. His manager — nay, mentor — Silva had enough faith that the young Brazilian might use the platform of the League Cup tie at Sincil Bank to kickstart his season, and so it proved. He scored an emphatic header on Wednesday evening and had the Blues up and running inside five minutes of the kick-off this afternoon.

Everton had signalled their early intent with their first attack in the fourth minute when Iwobi picked Sigurdsson out with a cross that the Icelander could only head over but the pressing from the front paid dividends a minute later. Kean forced Conor Coady back towards goal whereupon the defender miscued his back-pass to Rui Patricio, the keeper’s attempted clearance struck Kean and fell invitingly into the path of Richarlison who fired a shot that bounced off the ground and looped up into the goal.

It was a lead that would last just four minutes, though. Lucas Digne failed to deal with a high ball down Wolves’ right flank and Adama Traoré took it off him and burst to the byline, out-stripping the Frenchman for pace again as he powered inside before fizzing it low across the face of Jordan Pickford’s goal. Seamus Coleman could only block its path and Romain Saïss prodded home the loose ball to level the match.

Everton were back in front just three minutes later. Coleman’s initial cross was a disappointing one but the hosts regained possession and Richarlison hooked an excellent pass down the line for Sigurdsson. He whipped an equally impressive ball into the middle where Iwobi was on hand to steer a header past the goalkeeper. It was the Nigerian’s second headed goal since joining from Arsenal, more than he managed in more than 100 games for the Gunners.

That restored advantage would have proved as shorter-lived than the first were it not for Pickford. When another cross from the right flew across the Everton penalty area, the England international pulled off a brilliant reflex save at his near post to deny Patrick Cutrone.

In contrast to the last home game against Watford, this was an open, entertaining and often breathless encounter between two attacking sides. Indeed, there was a moment in the 33rd minute when Leander Dendoncker gave the ball away cheaply in midfield and instead of launching an attack, Everton simply turned backwards as if to pause for breath.

Both teams had chances to impact the scoreline for the remainder of the half but after Coleman saw a shot charged down having turned inside his marker, Michael Keane came to the rescue when Yerry Mina failed to deal with a cross by deflecting Cutrone’s effort behind.

Encouragingly, Everton came out of the half-time break still willing to push to extend their lead and Kean was looking increasingly lively and mobile up front. Gomes very clearly had his mojo back at this point after his awful personal showing last time out, Sigurdsson was significantly more effective than he has been at any point thus far this season, and Delph was a driving force in midfield.

Richarlison, having looked subdued and one-dimensional prior to last Wednesday, was terrorising Wolves down their left side – as good in the tackle at times as he was with the ball at his feet – and he drew the first of Willy Boly’s two bookable fouls against him four minutes into the second half.

After the passage of the hour mark, however, the Blues became a little sloppier with their use of the ball and while Digne had started to get the measure of Traoré, shutting down that primary avenue of attack, Wolves still looked dangerous going down the middle, particularly after Joao Moutinho had replaced Cutrone.

Yet, surprisingly, Santo’s men were at their most threatening from set-pieces and, in particular, from throw-ins in the final third. Not since Rory Delap was lobbing balls into opposition boxes like a Howitzer at what used to be known as the Britannia Stadium has the concession of a throw-in put you so much on edge as when Ryan Bennett prepared to launch one into the “mixer”.

Everton had dealt with the threat fairly well up but succumbed meekly in the 75th minute when Boly was allowed to flick Bennett’s throw on to the back post where Raul Jiminéz stole in untracked by Digne to head in the second equaliser of the game.

That could have been another of those pivotal, confidence-draining moments but Everton would be back in front for good when Digne and Richarlison underlined the precious value of quality when they combined beautifully with 10 minutes left.

The Frenchman appeared to be going nowhere, closer to the corner flag than the penalty area but he cracked a superb cross in from the byline that Richarlison met with a towering leap over Boly that he guided past the keeper’s fingertips and inside the far post.

3-2, Goodison was bouncing and Everton went for the jugular before eventually shutting the game down in stoppage time having twice been denied by excellent one-handed stops by Patricio. First, the Portuguese denied Richarlison a hat-trick by diving to his right to push the Brazilian’s curling left-footer away to safety; then partly unsighted by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, he reacted instinctively to palm away Mina’s goalbound header off a corner.

All that was left was for Boly to check Richarlison’s attempted surge down the touchline and earn his marching orders before referee Taylor called time on a victory that felt massive on a number of levels.

It represented three well-earned points that lift Everton above three of last season’s top six heading into the international break. More than that, though, in contrast to this fixture last season where the Toffees were played off their own park, it demonstrated just how good Silva’s team can be when they have their best players firing on all cylinders and if they can firm up the back line a bit more.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

Everton kick off their second home game on Sunday with the visit of Wolves to Goodison Park.

With Jean-Philippe Gbamin suffering a long-term thigh injury, Fabian Delph makes his home debut this weekend while upfront, the need for goals is entrusted to Richarlison, Iwobi and Kean. Schneiderlin, Bernard and Calvert-Lewin drop to the bench.

Wolves make five changes from their last Premier League game as they continue to manage Europa League commitments as well, with Ryan Bennett, Ruben Neves, Patrick Cutrone, Ruben Vinagre all coming into the side. Jesus Vallejo, Joao Moutinho, Jonny and Diogo Jota all drop out from the side that beat Torino on Thursday.

Bright sunshine at Goodison Park for an early Sunday Afternoon kick-off thanks to the Europa League. Everton started slowly but showed early intent to get the ball up to Moise Kean playing on the right. But Sloppiness from the Blues allowed Wolves to press and advance.

Smooth movement saw Sigurdsson head over from a very nice position off Iwobi's cross, but no drive or direction on the header. But a crazy mistake at the back and Richarlison took full advantage, Cody at fault with the backpass to Rui Patricio but the perfect start for goal-starved Evertonians.

Wolves pressed well in response but the ball would to stick with Kean and Trare was completely sozzled Coleman and the ball sat nicely for Saiss to knock it in from 2 ye=ards. Terrible defending.

Iwobi was tackled by Bennett and went down but no penalty. But a great hook up t Sigurdsson gives him space for a fantastic cross that was very difficult for Iwobi but he made no mistake, heading into the roof of the net. Simply brilliant from the Blues.

And incredible Wolves move from a corner deserved a goal but was denied by a fantastic save, and he plucked the ensuing corner out of the air well then picking out Richarlison, the ball reaching Coleman and out for a corner. Tremendous start to the game, At the other end, Cutrone got sight of goal but shot well wide.

Richarlison clumsily fouled Boly but hurt himself and stayed down, twisting his ankle and needing lengthy treatment but eventually walking off normally. Everton defended a free-kick and looked to break fast until Delph reversed it back to Mina. Sigurdsson tried a clever ball that cannoned out off a Wolves player. Richarlison went down again but was adjudged to be the offender.

Gomes gave away a trademark soft but dangerous foul, the free-kick swung in well, crossed back in but saved well by Pickford, but very threatening from Wolves, who look like they can score each time they attack. Jimenez then beat Coleman easily and fired at Pickford.

Vinagre beats Coleman like he was standing still and the ballin fell nicely to Coutrone who lashed goalwards but it's deflected for a corner that Everton defend well. Ironic cheers for a call finally given in Richarlison's favor.

A great crosses from Coleman, then from Sigurdsson wins a corner, Mina jumping high but a soft header to Rui Patricio. Another good ball in for Kean to attack but he was blocked. Another Wolves long throw from Bennett ended in a corner for Wolves. after good defending by Digne.

Richarlison delivered a fine cross as it was Everton's turn to attack but nowhere near as threatening as the visitors as Everton slowed things down too much and lost the ball. A great ball forward to Cutrone was picked up well by Pickford. Everton pressed forward again but the ball would not fall for a Blue shirt in the area.

Kean tangled a little with Boly, who was close to a yellow card for his physicality. A tremendous piece of anticipation and skill dispossessed Coutrone in a very dangerous position. Richarlison was scythed down by Vinagre who went in the book. But nothing from the Everton free-kick and another long ball over the back to Jimemenz was saved by the offside flag.

Everton were struggling at times with the strong midfield press from the swarming Wolves player who wanted to deny them any space. Another long Bennett throw, a bad pass to Jimenez and he interfered with Digne taking the throw-in: stupid yellow card.

Keane was called for a nothing foul, hugging Cutrone a little in the middle of the card, and everyone screamed at Anthony Taylor. Traore beat Digne with consummate ease again but Pickford picked out the cross. Cutrone then fouling Keane, and a little bit of needle. A late corner to Wolves was defended away, bringing a very lively half to an end.

Soon after the restart, Mean wins a corner that Sigurdsson sends in high and the ball went all round the Wolves are in the air. Sigurdsson ran brilliantly at Wolves but passed behind Kean. Richarlison then takes out Richarlison who fouled him cynically. Nothing from the free-kick as Wolves tried to break, Sigurdsson fouling Cutrone.

Another threatening long throw was eventually dealt with, Pickford collecting the final cross.. Rapid switches in play made it a very high-paced game, with action all over the pitch. Sigurdsson played it too far ahead of Coleman who was held a little by Siass.

Jimenez this time dod not win he battle with Coleman, at the expense of a corner that Mina got his head to, but another long throw, but a foul called. But playing it out from the back was risky at best. Some lively fast play and a lot of turnovers in midfield, Kean getting pressed hard by three defenders each time the ball came to him. Richarlison tried something clever that did not quite work, but was appreciated

Kean got to run into the area but Bennett tackled him very well. Digne's run off the ball was impeded by Bennett. Moutinho came on for Saiss, the pace of the game unrelenting, Everton getting a reasonable free-kick for Sigurdsson to play in a fabulous ball but Kean was not well-positioned and headed it over.

Everton's build-up play was deliberate but not inventive enough and as Wolves broke, Delph was done by Jimenez and reacted with a poor late lunge. Iwobi fought well only to give the ball away.

Delph was done again but the Wolves player breaking took the ball too far, only for Gomes to steal it from him. Richarlison did brilliantly to win a tussle on the right but then passed straight to Boly. Neves catches Siggurdsson's ankle in a lunge but is not booked. Cutrone replaced by Jota.

Digne did better to thwart Traore, both glaring at each other. But the turnovers were nerve-wracking. Boly stamped on Kean's boot, and should have seen a second yellow but wasn't. Another chcne for a ball in from Sigurdsson, right into the danger area, the return in from Digne winning a corner.

From the corner, Mina's shot hits a shin, and then a hand, deemed accidental cos it was a defender's... no penalty. Calvert-Lewin was readied to replace Kean but Iwobi went down injured. Another long throw and it bobbles to Jimenez who heads home with Digne's boot in his face. It had been coming since the 11th minute.

A double change planned before the goal: Bernar and Calvert-Lewin on for Iwobi and Kean, and a really determined attack from the Blues, stunned by giving up that goal.

Richarlison scores again with his head, coming in behind Boly with a fine fine header off a brilliant cross from Digne, a simply brilliant Everton goal to reassert control over this tremendous game.

Richarlison, on a hattrick and full of confidence, jinks inside past Boly (?), and fires a superb shot across Rui Patricio but hs fantastic stretching save denies the Brazillian, and Wolve go up the other end for another fearsome attack from another llong throw and corner.

Some more great attacking play from Everton but the passing wasn't quite accurate enough, but the Blue knew that, in this game, attack was the best form of defence, Sigurdsson with another corner, somehow kept out by Rui Patricio, a perfect header from Mina in a lot of space, going in to his left but brilliantly saved. In the reprise, Mina headed wide.

A coming together off-ball, and the resulting Wolves free-kick was repelled by ta n Everton defence that simply had to hold firm against this fantastic Wolves side, marshalled so well by Nuno Espirito Santo.

It was a fantastic atmosphere as the final minutes played into 5 of added time, 5 minutes for Everton to hold out...

Vinagre fouled Colemen as Everton tried to press forward, Richarlison winning a corner, taken short for Calvert-Lewin to hold up but the ball was eventually lost and a final attack, but Neto crashed into Rcharlison and saw yellow.

Everton pressed again but Bernard lost the ball, the Calvert-Lewin's shot was blocked. Richarlison was then brutally body-check by Boly who git a second yellow and a red, for another cynical foul, the only blot on an excellent battling display from a very impressive Wolves side.

Scorers: Richarlison (5', 80'), Iwobi (12'); Saïss (9'), Jiménez (75')

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne, Gomes, Delph [Y:63'], Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Iwobi (76' Bernard), Kean (76'Calvert-Lewin).
Subs not Used: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Sidibe, Schneiderlin, Tosun.

Wolves: Rui Patricio, Bennett [Y:59'], Coady, Boly [Y:49';YR:90+5'], Traore, Dendoncker, Neves (84' Pedro Neto [Y:90+4']), Saiss, (59' Joao Moutinho) Ruben Vinagre [Y:39'], Jimenez [Y:44'], Cutrone (68' Jota).
Subs not Used: Vallejo, Gibbs-White, Jonny, Ruddy.

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: Anthony Taylor

Michael Kenrick

Everton edge thriller

"Everton edge past Lincoln in thriller" screamed the headline on BBC Sport on Wednesday evening but of course that wasn't quite true. A good game it was, but winning by two clear goals is not exactly what I would calling "edging" or indeed a "thriller". We discussed the Lincoln City game and how great it was to see our players standing up for each other in the pub before the game, Ste joining us a little later on looking a bit worse for wear following a night in Manchester yesterday evening.

In good time, we were into Goodison Park, even with time to spare to catch a bit of the Old Firm on one of the screens, before taking our seats for the sirens.

Now this game against Wolverhampton Wanderers was one more akin to a “thriller”, especially with the way the game begun with three goals within the first 12 minutes in what was a pulsating start to the game. A clumsy mix-up between Conor Coady and Rui Patricio opened the door for Richarlison who made no mistake, pouncing on the loose ball and slamming it into the empty net first time after only 5 minutes.

The joy was short-lived when Adam Traore got past Lucas Digne on the byline a little too easily before squaring the ball across the box which Coleman couldn’t quite clear and the ball was presented to Romain Saiss who made no mistake in levelling the scores.

That was on 9 minutes. Just 3 minutes later, however, we were ahead again this time when an exquisite ball in on the bounce from Gylfi Sigurdsson was well headed home by the lively Alex Iwobi and Everton had a 2-1 lead. A crazy 12 minutes, two teams giving it their all and a pumped-up atmosphere meant you knew there was a lot more to come in this game.

It looked as though Wolves were going to provide it too, not least when Patrick Cutrone’s effort at goal was somehow repelled by Jordan Pickford to preserve our lead. Raul Jimenez, who tormented us at Goodison Park last season, also twice came close in what were comparatively easier saves for Jordan Pickford.

Thankfully, the game finally settled down a bit for the remainder of the half but the tempo and verve was still there, just Everton had finally got a grip on the midfield with Fabian Delph and Andre Gomes both doing well in the middle. We got to the break with the lead preserved.

The second half began with Everton carrying on where they left off – a bit more robust than they had been in the opening 25 minutes in what was an often cagey game but played in good spirits and, contrary to popular belief around me, well officiated by Anthony Taylor. We seemed to be happy enough for Wolves to have the ball with Delph and Gomes continuing to scrap to good effect. Iwobi and particularly Richarlison worked the counter-attack from the flanks. Gylfi Sigurdsson put the hard yards in between midfield and attack, with Moise Kean ready to pounce on whatever came his way.

Though there is merit in the thinking that maybe we should have gone on the front foot a bit more, Wolves are a dangerous and scrappy team and we had to be wary of their threat. Things began to go a bit wrong when Iwobi began to tire. He did a few loose touches and made a few poor decisions and when Richarlison did ever so well to get back and block a cross for a Wolves throw-in, Iwobi went down for treatment as Everton readied their substitutes. It’s situations like this where Everton will need to wise up. It seemed they switched off a bit while play had stopped and perhaps weren’t as prepared as they should have been for the long throw. In it came from Ryan Bennett, Willy Boly flicked on at the near post and Jiminez bundled home at the back, getting himself hurt in the process. Wolves level, deservedly so some may have argued.

What impressed me with both the team and the crowd is that nobody appeared especially fazed. The players walked back clapping and encouraging each other. The crowd roared the lads on. When Wolves scored against us last season, it really felt like such a downer when this happened; now, however, the crowd seem more with the team.

The substitutions were made, no surprises – Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bernard for the flat out new lads Moise Kean and Alex Iwobi. Both the substitutes contributed well, but it was two of our existing gems who combined for our winning goal. Lucas Digne, who, Wolves first goal aside, had been exceptional throughout, put in an incredible ball which was well attacked by Richarlison who guided his header brilliantly into the corner of the net. At first glance, I thought Patricio made a bit of a meal of it but from the replay you could see how well placed the header was.

There was still 10 minutes to play but, as Dan said on the way home, you felt that Wolves equaliser was about all they could muster as they were pretty drained by then following a solid effort, and perhaps a touch of tiredness from the Europa League on Thursday. They tried to attack to get back level again, but at this stage of the game it allowed more opportunity to Everton and but for a couple of top saves from Patricio, denying both Richarlison and Yerry Mina, we could have “edged” our second game of the week 4-2.

The game was well and truly up for Wolves in stoppage time when Willy Boly was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence when he chopped down Richarlison. Cheers met the full-time whistle. She’s Electric by Oasis boomed out over the tannoy as Everton were applauded off the field following a job well done against a good team. A great game. A “thriller” you could say, and certainly a great advert for the Premier League, as Dan said.

An important three points going into the international break and with Sheffield United at home coming up next we have a great opportunity to build on our current position of 6th. On that game, if anybody knows of a spare ticket going for the Sheffield United game at around face value, preferably in the Lower Gwladys though not essential, could you let me know on the comments? My Father-in-Law will be over from Germany and wants to catch the game, and the tickets on StubHub are currently very expensive.

Much obliged.

Player ratings:

Pickford: Let’s not speak to soon, and I sincerely hope I’m still saying this at the end of the season but I think he’s come on leaps and bounds. Last season was tough for him with the derby, the mistakes against Newcastle United and getting in a ruck in Sunderland, and he’s taken a lot of stick. This season however, he’s looking very focused. He’s making great saves. He’s distributing brilliantly. When he first arrived from Sunderland we’d heard a lot of his great left foot and I was looking forward to seeing it. He has tried to distribute but doesn’t seem to have found his range until now. He’s really looking the part. Well done Jordan. Keep it up. 8

Digne: He loses a mark for letting Traore get past him too easily for Wolves’ first goal. But otherwise he was outstanding. A real class act and a great assist. 8

Mina: I don’t know who exactly was at fault for Wolves’ second equaliser but I feel it’s on the centre-backs to keep everyone focused in them situations. Either way, I thought Yerry played well, though he does seem to have the odd lapse of concentration, but otherwise good. 7

Keane: The pick of the two centre backs for me. Had a good game at the back. 7

Coleman: Also did well. Fresh competition from Djibril Sidibe will hopefully help him up his game. 7

Delph: I was a bit surprised Fabian started the game instead of Morgan Schneiderlin and, though he had a few dicey moments, he really looks the part. It’s hard to believe that was his first game at Goodison Park as he looked right at home. I like the look of that pair (he and Andre Gomes). Not a bad Goodison bow at all. 7

Gomes: Did a lot of, perhaps unnoticed, defensive work which I assume were his instructions. When we had to step it up however in the final 15 minutes, my did Andre rise to it with a sterling finish to the game for which Wolves had no answer. Well done, Andre. 8

Iwobi: I like the look of Alex. He’s very busy and productive, not least for our second goal. Has also settled very quickly, though did tire with 15 minutes to go. Once he gets up to speed he could be a real asset for us. 7

Richarlison: Not just for his two well-taken goals, but more for his all-round outstanding effort and contribution with the ball throughout, but Richarlison is my man of the match. His performances have been pretty poor in the opening few games, but he has heart and keeps on going. I was made up for him when he scored late at Lincoln City on Wednesday as I thought that may be the boost he needed to kick on, but didn’t expect a performance like that from the Brazilian. Well done Richarlison. 9

Sigurdsson: Didn’t get on the ball an awful lot, but did put in a delicious ball for Iwobi’s goal, and worked tirelessly throughout. A great effort from our Icelander. 7

Kean: I like Moise, he’s plucky. He fancies his chances and makes things happen. It’s apparent that we’ll have to be patient with him, but as with young players, you have to give them the games to learn. Given a dozen games or so, he’ll be awesome, I reckon. 5

Calvert-Lewin (for Kean): Got stuck in and made it difficult for the Wolves defenders. 6

Bernard (for Iwobi): An impressive cameo from Bernard. 7

Paul Traill

Match Preview

Boosted by a job successfully done in the second round of the Carabao Cup, Everton return to Premier League action on Sunday with the visit of Wolves to Goodison Park.

The Blues recovered after conceding a goal to Lincoln City on the Imps' first attack on Wednesday evening to take a 2-1 lead and then go on to win 4-2 after Bruno Andrade had threatened to send the tie to penalties with an excellent 70th-minute volley.

That went some way to lifting the gloom following the 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa that left Marco Silva's team with a record of just four points from a possible nine and the Portuguese will be hoping to improve that ratio with a win this weekend over his compatriot Nuno Espirito Santo.

Sandwiched between the awful FA Cup defeat to Millwall and the away defeat to Watford, this fixture last season came at the nadir so far of Silva's Everton reign and it wasn't so much the fact that it was the second of five defeats in six matches — the solitary win in that sequence came at Huddersfield, the club that would finish bottom with just 16 points — so much as that Wolves played the Toffees off the park in a 3-1 victory.

Everton couldn't live with Diogo Jota's penetrative running or the string-pulling of Joao Moutinho in midfield and they were still struggling to deal with set-pieces but while they have markedly improved their defending of dead-ball situations since then, most of Wolves's chief threats will be there again.

Silva appeared to be under no illusions about the opposition's strengths during his pre-match press conference yesterday or the need for his players to be careful in possession, something they patently were not when the teams last met at the start of February.

“They're a very strong team, a solid team, very good on the counter-attack,” Silva said of Wolves. “They will wait for the right moment to counter-attack and cause problems for us on set-pieces as well.

“Of course, for us to play in our way, the way we like to play, we have to be in a good balance and prepare well our attacking moments but be prepared not to lose the ball because in that moment they are very strong.”

If the home win over Watford a fortnight ago was something of a grind, the Villa defeat threw up even more questions over Everton's lack of potency in attack but the victory at Lincoln justified Evertonian hopes that many of the answers lay with at least three of the new signings, two of whom only made it onto the pitch as substitutes at Villa Park and all of whom started the game at Sincil Bank in midweek.

Moise Kean showed some good movement and trickery and was unfortunate not to open his account when he rattled the post in the first half of the game while Alex Iwobi provided a consistent threat in the final third before bagging his first goal in royal blue. Then there was Fabian Delph who played with encouraging authority until he tired and was withdrawn in the second half.

As usual, Silva wasn't giving much away in his presser but he admitted that he was pleased with the contribution of the new arrivals who featured on the night, the fourth of which was French international Djibril Sidibé.

“We gave them their first starts for Everton — not just them but Sidibé also — and I liked what I saw, to be honest,” Silva said.

“It's up to me to give them more minutes when I can and to start them if that's what I decide now that they are coming to the same [fitness] levels as their team-mates.”

You would think that, fitness permitting, both Delph and Iwobi have to start on Sunday, such was their impact at Lincoln. While it would be particularly harsh on Bernard to make way given how hard he worked in the opening three games and that he is the scorer of the Blues' only League goal so far, one would assume that Silva won't be dropping either Richarlison or Gylfi Sigurdsson after their goalscoring exploits in the cup.

The most predictable change is Iwobi for the diminutive Brazilian out on the left, with Kean probably arguably the better choice to lead the line over Dominic Calvert-Lewin. DCL's hard running and pressing from the front, however, are valuable assets that might swing the decision his way. In central midfield, you would expect Gomes to start which would, by default, see Morgan Schneiderlin drop back to the bench.

Despite having been involved in Europa League qualifying action since late July, Wolves come into the game with an almost completely clean bill of health. Leander Dendoncker will undergo a late fitness test on a leg injury but is expected to be fit.

Ruben Neves, Matt Doherty and Ryan Bennett all sat out Wolves's win over Torino on Thursday and will be comparatively fresh but the Midlanders have, nonetheless, exhibited some of the effects of playing midweek European football and are still looking for their first Premier League win of the season.

Everton will look to capitalise on that and use the experience of last season's meeting in this fixture to record what would be their sixth successive home win stretching back to mid-March.

Kick-off: 2pm, Sunday 1 September, 2019
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Last Time: Everton 1 - 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gomes, Delph, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

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