Everton vs Aston Villa

Friday, 21 January, 2022 161comments  |  Jump to last
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Allan looked likely to miss out in central midfield, with Duncan Ferguson admitting in midweek that the Brazilian was doubtful but he could yet be involved

Updated Duncan Ferguson is back in the home dugout as caretaker manager on Saturday as Everton face Aston Villa in a vital Premier League match layered with narratives and sub-plots.

The Scot is hoping for a repeat of the unforgettable afternoon at Goodison Park in December 2019 when he led the Blues to an adrenaline-fuelled 3-1 win over highly-fancied Chelsea that swept away the anxiety that had built up during the final weeks of Marco Silva's tenure.

This time, he will be steps away from two former Liverpool foes in the form of Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister while Lucas Digne, still an Everton player less than 10 days ago, will be lining up for the opposition following his £25m move down the M6.

Without a win in over a month and with just one Premier League victory since late September, the Toffees desperately need to start picking up points and, as he explained in his interview with evertontv on Wednesday, Ferguson will be counting on another raucous Goodison crowd to help push the lads over the line.

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Just as was the case a little over two years ago, Ferguson will be able to call upon a twin strike-force of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison as both players should now be fit enough to start after the Brazilian was only named on the bench by Rafael Benitez at Norwich last Saturday, the Spaniard's ill-fated last game in charge.

This time, however, the interim head coach looks likely to have Yerry Mina in the line-up — the Colombian missed that famous win over Chelsea with a hamstring injury — and though there have been calls for Nathan Patterson to come in for the faltering Seamus Coleman, Ferguson could err on the side of experience and keep the skipper in the line-up.

In the interests of making the Blues as hard to beat as possible, it would not be a surprise to see Ben Godfrey reinstated at left-back in place of raw new signing Vitalii Mykolenko and if that is the case, the question becomes whether to retain Michael Keane, a player visibly low on confidence, or use Mason Holgate, in whom Ferguson has placed his trust before, or Jarrad Branthwaite at centre-half.

The wide positions have been picking themselves these days with Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon in impressive form of late but it's central midfield that has been the biggest issue and it is there where Ferguson will have to make some decisions.

Allan looked likely to miss out after Ferguson rated him doubtful in midweek but he could be fit enough to play but Fabian Delph is ruled out with another long-term injury. With Tom Davies sidelined as he recovers from surgery on a hamstring tendon problem, it leaves just Abdoulaye Doucouré, André Gomes and, at a push, Jean-Philippe Gbamin as an option for a third central midfielder or Andros Townsend playing a more narrow role.

Much will depend on whether the boss feels he needs to play three across the middle and sacrifice one of his wide men or rely on a more attacking but committed display across the side to counter what looks likely to be a Villa trio of Emiliano Buendia, John McGinn and Coutinho.

Gerrard will be without winger Leon Bailey who continues to battle a thigh issue and Marvelous Nakamba who is out until next month with a knee injury while he will have to assess Ezri Konsa who is significant doubt with a hip complaint. Like Everton's Alex Iwobi, Bertrand Traoré, is unavailable because of his involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Villa come into the game on something of a barren run themselves having not won a match since beating Norwich at Carrow Road in mid-December. However, with Coutinho and Digne making their debuts, they demonstrated how difficult they can. be to beat by coming back from 2-0 down grab a draw against Manchester United last weekend.

They will indeed be a difficult proposition but as they proved against Arsenal a month ago, this Everton side has the talent and the ability to respond to the urging of a passionate Goodison crowd to turn in a powerhouse performance and take the points. How much would we give for a repeat of Dunc's first game in temporary charge and lift the clouds following Benitez's departure?

Kick-off: 12:30 pm, Saturday 22 January 2022
Referee: Craig Pawson
VAR: John Brooks
Last Time: Aston Villa 0 - 0 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Holgate, Godfrey, Doucouré, Gomes, Gordon, Gray, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (161)

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Bob Parrington
1 Posted 21/01/2022 at 07:22:34
No Rondon, Yipee!
Nick Page
2 Posted 21/01/2022 at 07:43:54
If that ex RS is playing I’d be looking a put Big Ron reducer on him first thing. Been shite everywhere and those bastards ripped off Barca this time.
I reckon it will be a classic 442, a la Chelsea 2019. But I still think 433 is the way to go. I’d love to leave Keane and Gomes out, forever as it’s like playing with 9 men with them two on the pitch. Whatever we do the strikers need service.
Jim Bennings
3 Posted 21/01/2022 at 07:58:48
If we fail to win either this or the Newcastle game then I will seriously start believing that we will be relegated.

Two monumental tests of the backbone and the character of players that have had an easy ride in recent years hiding behind managers being the scapegoat.

Huge game.

Eddie Dunn
4 Posted 21/01/2022 at 08:03:47
In a meritocracy Keane needs to be dropped, so Holgate or Branthwaite should start. Holgate has sat-out for his mistakes, so time for Keane to be taken out of the firing line, especially with the mobile Watkins about.
Jim Bennings
5 Posted 21/01/2022 at 08:31:19

Keane is weak but Holgate should never be considered a solution.

He's sat out his mistakes because he continues to make them but still thinks he's Cruyff.

Mina and Branthwaite in an ideal world, but ideal world's at Everton don't exist.

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 21/01/2022 at 08:31:24
The politics go away. It's nearly match day and this is a pre-match thread.

Pro-Duncan, not Duncan. Old boys club versus get someone else in. That can be debated elsewhere.

3 points. That's all that matters. Whatever our opinions or views, that's what we all want.

Allen Rodgers
7 Posted 21/01/2022 at 08:33:07
Keane's confidence is shot and he needs to be eased out towards the door marked exit. Not sure if Branthwaite is fit but I hope to see him in the squad.
Tony Hill
8 Posted 21/01/2022 at 08:34:21
The problem as usual will be midfield. Doucoure looks as though he may be playing with an injury and we have precious little beyond him.

A gaping hole in our centre. Been a problem for an awfully long time now. That’s before you get to the gaping hole in the middle of our defence of course.

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:01:39
I suppose I can’t write about Everton without slagging the actor, or that big massive area, where you could put a five-a-side pitch, in between the middle of our defence and midfield, Tony H, but I’m going to take on board what Danny says, because it’s all about getting behind the team tomorrow, so hopefully it’s going to be all about the Aston Villa players, feeling the power of Goodison Pk.

Play compact, play on the front foot, even if we have to defend deep at times, play for yourselves, and go and play for the fans. All basic stuff, but if achieved, then I’m sure the fans will do the rest.

Bob Parrington
10 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:06:09
Keane has been a liability recently and we need a player to stand up and be counted in that position. Enter Branthwaite with the opportunity to make the position his own. Here's hoping!

3 points a MUST from this game!

Christopher Timmins
11 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:08:21
We are going into the game on the back of a 5 point haul from the last 12 games, we will do well to take anything from it. I expect Duncan to run with a 4 - 4 -2 formation with the wide players, Gordon and Gray told to run themselves into the ground and to be replaced around the 70 minute mark. Maybe he might play Holgate or Delph as a like for like replacement for Allan.

It's a huge game and we badly need a lift after the events of the past 3 months.

Robert Leigh
12 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:12:38
It’ll be very interesting to see how we line up, I’ve no doubt Dunc will only pick those ‘up for it’.

I expect it’ll be 4-4-2, and if Delph fit the same lineup as Lyndon has but Gomes out for him.

Steve Brown
13 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:19:36
Duncan will be pumped and so will Goodison.
Nigel Munford
14 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:40:53
Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:46:29
Well said Danny, leave the arguments for later, all that matters for now is getting those three points on Saturday any which way we can.
Tony Everan
16 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:50:25
As has been said, this is all about the three points. The other stuff can be put on hold for 48hrs, it’s all about getting behind Duncan and the team.

With some important players back and fitter too, we can have some more confidence. Duncan will have them fired up, the set up will be simpler and better balanced. Goodison will be at its bear pit best.

Everton 2 Villa 1

Mal van Schaick
17 Posted 21/01/2022 at 09:53:13
Villa have made a couple of shrewd signings, and if Ings is fit, he can be a danger to us, along with Coutinho..

Firstly, please don’t let any goals in, in the first ten minutes. This always sets us back, and we end up chasing the game and making us more vulnerable to counter attacks.

We are the home side, so press hard up the field and control the game.

As some say, this is a must win game, and will give us breathing space away from the bottom three.

I wouldn’t pick Holgate or Gomes, Branthwaite in central defence, and put Godfrey in midfield to strengthen us up.

Peter Mills
18 Posted 21/01/2022 at 10:00:38
I’m looking forward to the match tomorrow. That’s something in itself.
Laurie Hartley
19 Posted 21/01/2022 at 10:13:16
It hard to pick which way he will go. He said “best players in their best positions”.

Very difficult to do with the players available. I don’t think it can be done.
But here is my attempt assuming Allan is out of the equation.

Coleman, Mina, Godfrey, Mykolenko
Doucoure, Gomes, Townsend
Gordon, Richarlison, Gray

Bench: DCL, Branthwaite, Keane, Holgate, Patterson, Delph, Rondon,Begovic.

Dave Williams
20 Posted 21/01/2022 at 10:15:41
Branthwaite must play with Mina and I think Seamus will play a storming game in this atmosphere. I wonder if Dunc will play Gbamin, Doucouré and Gomes in midfield or even try young Onyango? We really are weak in central midfield. They will be very wary of our front three – there really should be plenty of goals in our team.

As Dunc has said an awful lot depends on the atmosphere; get behind the team, even if we go one down... get the win!!

John Raftery
21 Posted 21/01/2022 at 11:11:20
I agree with Danny. People need to set aside the internecine quarrels and support the team tomorrow in the way the interim manager has asked. We need to win. Nothing else matters tomorrow.
Christy Ring
22 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:15:23
Play Gbamin in a 3 man midfield with Doucoure and Gomes if Allan is out, we need a ball winner, we can forget about Delph.
Jay Wood

23 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:17:01
Dunno why people are talking up Villa so much.

In two months they've had one win in eight and that was five games ago away to Norwich in mid December.

A supercharged Goodison stoked by Duncan, we'll do them tomorrow.

Bob Parrington
24 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:27:55
Jay - Right on!
Andrew Keatley
25 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:31:18
Jay (31) - Wrong I’m afraid; Villa have actually won 2 of the last 8 games (they beat Leicester at the beginning of December), and have won 4 of their last 10 Premier League games.

Hopefully you’re bang on the money about your final paragraph though.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:37:17
I’m just going off their last two second half performances against United, Jay, and the way they’ve moved the ball around. I think the way they’ve played in those games, has got them tailor-made for that big gap I don’t stop going on about, but I hope you’re right and Everton should have a few good forward players, finally playing with each other again tomorrow, so it should make for a very interesting and also very exciting game, hopefully.
Jay Wood

27 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:44:07
Andrew, I stand corrected on Villa winning 2 in 8, not 1.

I am correct in saying they have 1 win in their last 6 since 5th December, away to Norwich.

Nothing to big up. Nothing to fear.

Brian Acheson
28 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:49:30
Don't care about the formation, don't care about the tactics, we just need to win - and if Ferguson chins Gerrard at some stage during the 90 minutes, I won't be too upset!
Andrew Ellams
29 Posted 21/01/2022 at 12:58:37
The midfield battle really worries me tomorrow. I'd love to see John McGinn in Everton blue.
Raymond Fox
30 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:13:38
Theres no way you can be confident of a win tomorrow, hope like hell yes, but confident no.
You couldnt make it up could you, Digne in opposition who is certain to cause us problems.
I don't like the look of the game one bit.
John Keating
31 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:23:56
This is a must win game by any means possible

Coleman, Mina, Branthwaite, Godfrey
Gordon, Townsend, Richie, Gray

Dennis Stevens
32 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:26:37
Oh, for a latter day Lee Carsley!
Simon Dalzell
33 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:27:52
Please not Holgate. The calamity Kid spreads nervousness through the whole stadium.
Sam Hoare
34 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:34:35
The team i'd like to see is a very risky one and would assume that Gbamin is capable of a lot better than we have seen from him and is capable of playing the 6 role rather than the 8; which is surely what he was bought for?

Patterson Mina Branthwaite Mykolenko
Allan Gbamin Doucoure
Richarlison DCL Gray

Moving forwards that is the team i'd like to see bedded in; maybe with a better DMC than Gbamin (Davies? A new signing?)

However now is probably not the time for risks and so I expect it to be more like:

Coleman Mina Keane Godfrey
Gordon Allan Doucouré Gray
DCL Richarlison

Anthony Dove
35 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:34:49
It’s a we’d really like to win this one game, not a
must win one. Things are not that desperate yet
and Villa are a decent side.
Hopefully we will see a better performance with
the crowd singing from the same song sheet.
There is no game after tomorrow until the Brentford
cup tie and I would be very surprised if there wasn’t
a new manager in place by then. It looks increasingly unlikely that that will be Duncan, and as everyone’s now had their say on who it should or should not be, let’s just hope we get it right this time. Don’t ask me If I have any confidence in that as we have all had our say on that one too.
Allen Rodgers
36 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:42:26
Going by Dunc's presser today he neither wants nor expects to get the job permanently. His words are rather disappointing to me. Of course it could be a double bluff !
Tony McDonald
37 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:52:06
Press conference: Duncan being asked about the importance of understanding what it means to pull on the Everton shirt and how he has stressed it.
Reporter: Do the players understand this ?
Duncan: They do now…

Cracked me up

Steve Brown
38 Posted 21/01/2022 at 13:58:58
"Carlo was a fantastic manager. I learned a lot from the man. He was a great manager, great with the lads, a great man manager so he was a real inspiration to me I've already spoke to Carlo. He called me actually."

Duncan at today's press conference.

Now that is going to leave someone a bit conflicted.

Christy Ring
39 Posted 21/01/2022 at 14:04:10
Duncan pulled no punches, straight from the heart, players letting down the Everton jersey, a change of attitude NOW. He wouldn't be drawn on Benitez, but more or less said he had to go because results were shocking, reading into it, I believe Benitez didn't involve him at all. I can see changes tomorrow, looks like Allan is okay, I'd play Allan, Gbamin and Doucoure in midfield, Delph injured surprise, surprise.
Clive Rogers
40 Posted 21/01/2022 at 14:12:37
That team with Doucoure and Gomes in the centre midfield would get overrun, but there isn’t any obvious alternative. Also Godfrey was one of the better players against Norwich and must stay at centre half.
Will Mabon
41 Posted 21/01/2022 at 14:20:59
I wonder if the Allan doubtful thing is a confuser for Crease Head, since Duncan specifically mentioned it in the interview. Wouldn't have expected him to give anything away.
Stu Darlington
42 Posted 21/01/2022 at 15:03:02
Midfield is the key tomorrow. If we don’t win our personal battles there our shaky defence will be constantly under pressure with balls coming back at them and if that happens God help us.
Rob Halligan
43 Posted 21/01/2022 at 15:12:03
Will # 41. I’ve not seen the presser from Dunc, but having just read on the official website, it says Allan is available. That just leaves Delph and Tom Davies as the only ones not available for tomorrow.

Oh, and Iwobi!!

Andrew Merrick
44 Posted 21/01/2022 at 15:16:54
Good shout Dennis, find us another Lee Carsley, underated player, really tidied up, tracked the ball, read the game well
Chris Locke
45 Posted 21/01/2022 at 15:20:17
Well I’ve just watched Big Dunc’s first press conference. Its the best I’ve seen in along time.
Having a manager with little media training and who you know actually gives a sh1t about Everton really does go a long way.
Roll on Saturday
Andrew Keatley
46 Posted 21/01/2022 at 16:28:07
Sam (34)

I severely doubt this is the game for Gbamin; I'd spend the game in constant fear of Ings, Watkins, Coutinho or any other of the wily Villa forwards picking his pocket every time he got the ball.

I fully expect Ferguson to play Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison together up top, and play direct to them whenever possible. I'd also like to see Doucouré given licence to get up the pitch as often as possible, and be that midfielder arriving late into the box.

Gray and Gordon (or Townsend) to play a bit more centrally, with the full-backs given licence to stay as wide as possible – and Allan (if fit) or Holgate to screen in front of the two centre-backs – as, if memory serves, it was Ferguson who used him there against Man Utd in his previous caretaker period.

In possession, I wouldn't be surprised to see Holgate almost make up a third centre-back, with the other two splitting wide to allow the full-backs to advance. Mina surely has to start, and it's probably pick 'em between Keane, Branthwaite and Godfrey (or Holgate if he's not chosen to play in midfield).

It will be interesting to see what happens at full-back. Ferguson will no doubt feel compelled to pick Coleman, but whether he goes for Mykolenko or Godfrey at left-back could be quite telling.

I'm not expecting anything too complicated, and he might just opt for an old-fashioned blood-and-thunder 4-4-2. Whatever happens, I just hope the players can get the energy and intensity levels right from the start, and set the tempo for the game early.

Brian Harrison
47 Posted 21/01/2022 at 16:37:33
Just seen Duncan's press conference, as well as what the Echo are reporting.

Asked about the sacking of Benitez, Duncan said he wasn't shocked given the run of results; we were on a bad run and the results speak for themselves.

Duncan quite rightly instructed the media to speak to Benitez over the failures and he wanted to draw a line under what had happened. He was also asked would there be a change of formation or personnel? His reply was "Well, given the results we have had, then we have to make changes."

Duncan went on to say that Ancelotti had rang him to wish him well. He also said Carlo was a fantastic manager and he learned a lot from him. He went on to say he was a great tactician and he was also great with the lads, and he got on great with the lads.

He was a real inspiration to Dunc and he had the team flying at one point and it just tailed off at the back end of the season. Obviously that is quite different from what he thought about Benitez, as he never mentioned anything about Benitez.

Jay Harris
48 Posted 21/01/2022 at 16:43:30
Watching the training sessions, it did look like Gbamin was being appreciated a bit more but I think Allan will get the nod alongside Doucouré and Gomes.

Back four is more speculative. Will it be Coleman or young Patterson? Will Mina and Godfrey be the centre-back pairing? Will Mykolenko get the nod?

Up front, it's Gordon, Gray and Calvert-Lewin for me with Townshend also a consideration for either Gomes or Gordon.

As others have said, it's the commitment that counts and the desire to get 3 points.


Simon Dalzell
49 Posted 21/01/2022 at 16:47:24
I've just watched Duncan's press conference. Humble, eloquent and he just 'gets' it.

Let's hope he has the instant effect as last time.

Will Mabon
50 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:15:33
Thanks Rob, 43, just going to watch the press conference now.
Tony Everan
51 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:16:25
I expect Duncan to simplify things and play to our strengths. A 4-3-3.

Patterson Branthwaite Mina Godfrey
Allan Doucouré Gomes
Gray Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

It would be brave to go with Patterson and Branthwaite, but Coleman and Keane have not earned an automatic first choice. Branthwaite did really well against Chelsea, not overawed or out of place despite his young age, so he gets the nod over the all-at-sea Keane.

Patterson has to be blooded soon, Duncan will have been watching him closely in training. Tomorrow is the day for his debut if he's doing well enough at Finch Farm.

Mykolenko looks like he needs a bit of time to adjust; Godfrey has impressed me at left-back and he should start tomorrow.

A bit nasty leaving Gordon and Townsend out, but they can play a big part from the bench. I want the midfield to be a proper midfield three, with licence for Doucouré to support attacks. . Gordon and Townsend will deputise for Gray and Richarlison.

Stephen Brown
52 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:17:17

Is Richarlison not fit?

If he is, surely he's the first name on the team sheet?

Darren Hind
53 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:38:06
I'd go with Lyndon's predicted line up, but won't be surprised to see Keane starting and Holgate filling in for Allan.

I've criticised Allan regularly, but what a pity he isn't available tomorrow. I think Duncan would have moved him higher up the pitch out of harm's way where he could go to war... I also think him and Duncan would be made for each other.

Anthony Dove
54 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:40:36
Whatever happens in the future, Duncan will have to go some to match Tony Parkes of Blackburn who was caretaker manager on six occasions.
Tony McDonald
55 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:43:59
Bill Shankly once said “football is like a piano – you need eight people to carry it and three to play the damn thing!”

I think our three piano players are certainly Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, and Gray. It's the eight carriers who need identifying tomorrow. In reality, cut that down to seven, because Pickford will play.

If Allan and Doucouré are fit, I feel sure Duncan will play them, because otherwise there is no steel in the middle. That's five left. The four-man defence is anybody's guess and, not for the first time is the hot ToffeeWeb topic. Can anyone honestly say that there are players amongst our defenders who are an absolute shoe-horn into the team?

Duncan will show his mettle by sorting the defence out. Four from Mina, Keane, Godfrey, Branthwaite, Holgate, Coleman, Mykolenko, Patterson, Kenny.

Good luck with that, Duncs!

BTW – I know that's only 10. I want a place reserved for Gordon.

Nil satis...

Jeff Armstrong
56 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:46:27
Steve 38,

He basically called him... Carlo Fantastico! 😂

Will Mabon
57 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:53:02
Well, that presser was all very diplomatic, well handled, to the point, no nerves at all. Ferguson is obviously savvy enough about the media and wouldn't be drawn into drama.

"Do you think the players know what it takes to play for this football club?"
"I think they do now".

Tony Everan
58 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:53:30
Darren, Allan is in contention according to the club website this afternoon.

Delph injured again and is out.

Tony Waring
59 Posted 21/01/2022 at 17:55:33
I'm not 100% sure but I think Saturday is Dixie Dean's anniversary. If so, what better to remember it but a good thumping for the Villa?
Dennis Stevens
60 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:00:07
Aye, Tony, WRD would be 115 on Saturday. According to the excellent evertonresults.com, we played Villa once before on the 22nd Jan & drew one all back in 1922. The site also says: "famously, Everton against Villa is the most-played fixture in English League football - this will be our 208th League meeting, home and away, and things are currently very well-balanced – W76 D55 L76!"
Graham Williams
61 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:06:25
The key area is central midfield, and there seem to be several issues.
As mentioned above, Doucoure was looking as if he could be carrying an injury.
Allan is touch and go - he might be the one getting over Covid.
Delph has managed to injure himself again, and might be out for the season.
Davies out - back in March perhaps.
Gomes - I've lost faith in him post-injury. Poor ball-winner, and gave it away too often against Norwich. Could be selected if both Doucoure and Allan are fit.
Gbamin - bit difficult to judge, seen so little of him, but Duncan should've seen enough.
Personally I might be tempted to give Onyango a go. Saw him warming up at Chelsea, and he's got the right physique.
If we don't get 3 points tomorrow, we'll need to go into the market for a midfielder, if FFP requires it for a loan.
And lastly, I see Yerry has got himself fit again, just in time for Columbia's next international.

Jay Harris
62 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:23:53
Stephen #52,
Well pointed out. He would be the first name on the teamsheet for me. That puts Gordon back on the bench then.
Jeff Armstrong
63 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:29:44
Coleman Mina Branthwaite Mykolenko
Gray Allan Doucour Gordon
Richarlison Calvert-Lewin

Subs: Begovic, Patterson, Godfrey, Gomes, Townsend, Dobbin, Onyango, Keane (for when Mina breaks down on 45 minutes)

Steve Shave
64 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:33:03
I like that line-up, Tony (51), but I can't see Coleman getting dropped for this; I think the big man will have him up for this.
Julian Exshaw
65 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:34:28
Will @57, that was the best line of the whole 15 minutes, wasn't it? 'They do now'. Loved it.
Steavey Buckley
66 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:43:58
Coleman should not be playing tomorrow he is a weak point the opposition are aware of. When Everton were defending well last season. they had a back four of Holgate, Mina, Keane and Godfrey.
Jeff Armstrong
67 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:47:56
I think Coleman should play before Patterson because he will be really up for it, especially as skipper.

But if he has a decent game, then no doubt it will be, “Why hasn't he been up for it for the last 2 months?” – which is fair comment about a professional... but it's all about tomorrow, imo.

Joe McMahon
68 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:48:22
Steven Gerrard is certainly no mug; if Coleman starts, he will be very pleased.
Keith Meakin
69 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:49:57
Main thing tomorrow is NO MORE INDIVIDUAL COCK UPS Arhhhh
Jeff Armstrong
70 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:50:18
What will Gerrard think if Patterson starts? He will know his weaknesses.
Stephen Brown
71 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:50:44
Coleman Mina Keane Godfrey
Doucouré Allan
Gray Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

I'm nervous!

Kieran Kinsella
72 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:57:14
Steavey, I agree.

Tomorrow's game is only "important" in the sense that it's Dunc's first game. In of itself, it's not going to save or sink our season.

So if we think middle-of-the-road Aston Villa is a bridge too far for Patterso,n then when do we play him? Against Man City? In a six pointer versus one of our relegation rivals?

Coleman is past it. If Nathan Patterson is not at least equal to him, even allowing for experience, then we should hire back Brands and Rafa and sack them again for signing him, along with Kenwright, who claimed credit for handling the deal.

Will Mabon
73 Posted 21/01/2022 at 18:58:44
"Coleman should not be playing tomorrow, he is a weak point..."

Steavey, how about at left-back?

Julian, it was. I think they might get a reminder in the morning too.

Jeff @ 70 - good point.

Danny O’Neill
74 Posted 21/01/2022 at 19:04:27
I don't usually do the team predictions and Lyndon is never far off, but here's mine. Subject to conflicting stories as to who is and who isn't fit or available:

Patterson, Mina, Godfrey, Mykolenko
Gomes, Allan Doucouré
Gray, Richarlison,

Sadly no Gordon. Could we play him in behind the 3 and in front of Allan or Doucoure if we don't play Gomes?

Result tomorrow. We get a result!

Rob Halligan
75 Posted 21/01/2022 at 19:10:55
Jeff #70.

So true about Patterson, but Duncan will also know the weaknesses of Digne, who is far more likely to play than Patterson.

Jeff Armstrong
76 Posted 21/01/2022 at 19:18:10
Rob, I think we all know about Digne's weaknesses: cannot stop crosses, so let's put crosses in; gives away silly fouls on the edge of his own box, so let Gray attack him inside on Digne's weaker foot; him going forward, keep him on his right foot – he will turn back and pass inside.
Kim Vivian
77 Posted 21/01/2022 at 19:19:41
I thought that, Jeff, but in the same way we know Digne's. And that's the whole squad, not just the gaffer.

Whoops – just noticed Rob has made the same point, doh...!

David Greenwood
78 Posted 21/01/2022 at 19:30:48
I'd also think that Patterson would be totally fired up to prove a point to Gerrard that he should have had more game time at Rangers.

Tony Hill
79 Posted 21/01/2022 at 20:15:40
Good and touching to see Ancelotti lament the death of Mark Cruise.
Ashley Roberts
80 Posted 21/01/2022 at 20:25:42
I just hope Allan is fit because, without him in midfield, we will just be overrun and it won't matter how well everybody plays.

We are in desperate need of a midfielder before the end of the transfer window. Gomes just does not cut it unless he comes on as a sub with about 20 minutes to go. Maybe Oyango should be given a go??

Without Allan tomorrow, I cannot see anything other than defeat. Duncan is not a miracle worker. We need some reinforcement in midfield and quick.

Soren Moyer
81 Posted 21/01/2022 at 20:28:10
Anything but a win and we'll be in the relegation zone after the Newcastle game,
Andy Crooks
82 Posted 21/01/2022 at 20:34:38
I'll be surprised if Duncan doesn't pick Seamus tomorrow. Seamus will not let him down if he does.
Guy Rogers
83 Posted 21/01/2022 at 20:52:06
@71 Stephen Brown got it right

Coleman Mina Keane Godfrey
Doucouré Allan
Gray Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

Godfrey in beast mode at left-back. Patterson and Onyango come on in the 60th minute for Coleman and Gbamin; Gordon for Richarlison on 75 minutes...

2-0 the Toffees. Let's just hope he doesn't sub the sub again!

Jay Evans
84 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:22:22
I see a couple of posters have named Gbamin in their selections for tomorrow.

I will have an pint of whatever you boys have been drinking.

Soren Moyer
85 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:27:26
The alarm bells should be ringing after the QPR loss! They lost to Sunderland at next round! At home!!!
Mark Ryan
86 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:29:57
If Duncan replaces Coleman tomorrow, he's got what it takes to manage this club. If he leaves him to play, he must be ruled by his heart.

Kenwright would play Coleman. We've seen Seamus embarrass himself for months game after game. He's too fucking slow. His initial speed has gone.

Don't play Seamus – he's past it!

Oliver Molloy
87 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:39:05
So who would you play in Coleman's place, Mark?
Matt Byrne
89 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:39:54
If all fit... Pickford Coleman (capt) Godfrey Mina Branthwaite. A midfield 3 of Allan with Doucouré and Townsend just in front. We need 3 in the centre. Front 3 Gray and Richy either side of DCL.
Jack Convery
90 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:51:06

My team for tomorrow:

Patterson, Mina, Branthwaite (if fit), Godfrey.
Allan (if fit), Doucouré, Onyango,
Gray, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

Mykolenko for Branthwaite, with Godfrey moving to centre-back and Gomes for Allan.


Mark Ryan
91 Posted 21/01/2022 at 21:58:45
Oliver @ 88, Patterson. He can ram it down Gerrards throat as to why he should have played him more when he was managing Rangers. I think Seamus has been so bad that I cannot see why anyone would think he deserves selection. Not Seamus's fault at all. He's been one of my favourite players in a blue shirt but he is simply a liability now. I'd be questioning Dunc if he selects him. Fortune favours the brave Patterson is a brave pick. Seamus is a heart over head pick.
Jerome Shields
92 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:01:57
I expect Everton to rally and win.
Oliver Molloy
93 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:02:42
Coleman at right-back for me, simply because he will be up against our ex left-back, a player he will know well. Of course, Digne will know Coleman well also.

I think we all will know in the first 10 minutes what the story is in this game.

One thing is certain, we need to avoid defeat !

Dave Lynch
94 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:04:55
Just get out there and rip them a new arse blues.
Bill Gall
95 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:06:57
Our problem is we have to win our games on our own as there is no other team in the league as generous as Everton, who you could rely on when you are struggling to give you points. Struggling teams must have looked at the fixture list to see when they played Everton. Now we have to see if this team has any backbone, and if they have, were was it.
Shaun Laycock
96 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:07:46
My team (4-3-3):


Mark Ryan
97 Posted 21/01/2022 at 22:32:05
I'll respect anybody picking Seamus for tomorrow as I love the man but just like a Dad lining up for the fathers race at the junior school, his head tells him he Usain Bolt and he's going to leave them all standing but when the gun goes off and the race actually starts his legs go leaden and his arms start to windmill. No matter what his head tells him tomorrow his legs will fail him once again and I'd personally throw Patterson in.
Shane Corcoran
98 Posted 21/01/2022 at 23:00:14
Mark, not sure it’s Seamus’s legs. He’s just making too many mistakes.

He needs a break regardless. He’s virtually an ever present in a struggling team at 33 which wear anyone out. Throw on the Irish games and I’m surprised he’s been as good as he’s been.

David Pearl
99 Posted 21/01/2022 at 23:48:34
I’d be going with Tony Everans team at 51.
A bit of balls in that team. Dunc has said there will be changes cuz what we’ve seen hasn’t been working. Allan is fit, he’s said so himself. Let’s hope DCL is better.
Jay Harris
100 Posted 22/01/2022 at 00:05:36
Dunc may well surprise us all and play JJK at RB.
Kieran Kinsella
101 Posted 22/01/2022 at 00:57:12
Ferguson has 20 years of dugout view experience as a coach or unfit/injured/suspended bench warmer so he needs to get this right.
Joseph Terrence
102 Posted 22/01/2022 at 01:23:41
It's gotta be a 442 for me.
Coleman Mina Branthwaite Godfrey
Gordon Allan Doucoure Gray
Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
Paul Kernot
103 Posted 22/01/2022 at 01:24:52
Jeff #76. Correct re forcing Digne onto his right & him passing central. I did that my whole time playing at left back as opposed to showing quick wingers the line as I couldn't keep up with them so they often got crosses in. Problem with that tomorrow is, it plays right into our weakest area and, with Coutinho, potentially their strongest.
Mike Gaynes
104 Posted 22/01/2022 at 01:27:54
Amazing how many people are leaving out our best player over the past 3-4 games.

I would be absolutely shocked if Dunc's lineup does not include Anthony Gordon.

Derek Knox
105 Posted 22/01/2022 at 03:41:19
Mike G @ 104, good point there, which surprised me too to be honest. The lad is growing in confidence and has started finding goals as well.

I am under no illusions just because there will be a euphoric atmosphere there tomorrow, that this wilĺ be anything but an easy game.

However I do think with Duncan back in temporary charge at least, and the crowd breathing a collective sigh of relief at Rafa's departure, it may just be enough to get all three points.

That is assuming Dunc picks a team resembling our best available, and the ever faithful crowd as usual do their bit, plus a bit extra. Unfortunately won't be there, but hopefully will watch it on the box.


Steve Brown
106 Posted 22/01/2022 at 03:51:50
Sad news about Meatloaf.

Removes one of the top names from Moshiri’s managerial short list

Mark Andersson
107 Posted 22/01/2022 at 04:26:35
Have we ever won a early Staurday kick off...

As long as we don't loose and the players give it %100 then its a start in the right direction..

I predict there will be goals for sure...

Kieran Kinsella
108 Posted 22/01/2022 at 04:53:25
Steve Brown 106

Haha I was going to say the same thing. That said, poor old Meatloaf was a good old entertainer and despite his peculiar style he did make some great songs. But yes he was probably on the list along with Rooney; Cannavaro, The Chuckle Brothers, Big Bird, and Willie Wonka

Jamal Paktongko
109 Posted 22/01/2022 at 05:21:24
This is my line-up:

Patterson Brainwaithe Keane Godfrey
Gray Dacoure Ricchy Gordon

Steve Brown
110 Posted 22/01/2022 at 05:45:34
Kieran, I think Bernie Clifton is making a late surge in the betting.
Ajay Gopal
111 Posted 22/01/2022 at 06:21:28
As many line-ups as the number of posts on this thread! :-) - so here is mine.

I want us to get back our defensive solidity. Too risky to give Patterson his debut in such a high pressure game. He will get his chances. Keane and Coleman deserve to be dropped, they were absolutely shocking against Norwich. Gordon deserves to play.

I would go 4-4-2 with a flat back 4 of Holgate, Mina, Branthwaite, Godfrey.
The width would come from Gray and Gordon, Allan and Doucoure in the middle. DCL and Richarlison up top.

Holgate Mina Branthwaite Godfrey
Gordon Doucoure Allan Gray
Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

SUBS: Kenny, Mykolenko, Keane, Gomes, Gbamin, Townsend, Dobbin, Tosun

Paul Birmingham
112 Posted 22/01/2022 at 06:43:29
Hopefully we won’t see ever again a 2 man midfield, so either a 4-4-2, or 4-4-3.

I d take Tonys@51, line up albeit without Gomes, whom I think will be even more pedestrian than normal against a fast and confident Villa, so i’d start with Gordon or Gray in his place. But will Seamus and Michael Keane start, remains to be seen.

But hopefully Duncan will have the players galvanised for what has been a decent fixture for Everton down the years.

Hopefully a scorching intense bear pit atmosphere at Goodison today, and put Slippy in his place but more importantly get 3 points.

This game is a must win, and could be the starting point of a good run of results, to build up confidence for the rest of this season.

Darryl Ritchie
113 Posted 22/01/2022 at 06:48:26
Dunc managing. Goodison roaring. A squad at near 100% health. That’s a lot of positives.

Add to that a dangerous Villa side with Gerrard and Cuotinho to spice things up a bit.

It should be a good show.

2-1 Everton

Darren Hind
114 Posted 22/01/2022 at 06:54:45
Steve 106

You took the words right out of my mouth.

Andy Crooks

Absolutely. Age has caught up with Seamus and I'm dying to see the new boy in an Everton shirt, but I'd have no worries if Ferguson goes for experience. Seamus will not let us down today.

Steve Griffiths
115 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:05:37
Ajay, pretty much agree with your team. We need to be solid at the back today & with Holgate & Godfrey as full backs that’s as solid as it gets for us & is Reverting back to how Carlos Fantastico set us up last season. One point though, I think Al-Ghasi might make the bench, otherwise what was the point of that loan?
Steve Brown
116 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:22:38
Excited about today's game - we need to give Duncan time whatever the result.

Here is my team for today:

Holgate Mina Branthwaite Godfrey
Allan Doucoure Gordon
Charley DCL Gray.

Think we should give Mykolenko a break and take him out the line-up.

Dave Evans
117 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:24:12
For the sake of my sanity and the health of my family and dog. I really hope we win today. Woke with R.E.M's Fall on Me as an ear worm. Taking it as a good sign. More than ever COYB.
Alex Gray
118 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:27:53
To be honest as much as id love the three points I just want to see a good performance and goodison rocking. Coyb
Danny Baily
119 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:28:00
Massive game today, one of our biggest in years (which is a sad indictment of the state of the club).
Gerry Quinn
120 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:35:18
I open up ToffeeWeb home page this morning and get Iwobi - that depressed me enough to go to any other TW page immediately...3 points a must today - no other result please, Dunc
Christine Foster
121 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:44:07
Back to supporting the team.. at least that can be done with full gusto now that Benitez has departed. Get stuck in Blues, we owe it to ourselves to let the stands tremble and the the dogs of war howl I so wish I was there today.. I Think there may be a few surprises today in team selection. 4-4-2 that can be shifted to 3-5-2 if need be. I don't think Dunc will mess about.. all in from the off. Rock the roof off blues!
Gary Willock
122 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:46:20
Playing Holgate, Mina, Branthwaite and Godfrey in a back 4 should be a pretty solid platform, but it’ll limit our threat from out wide, and for me is too defensive against a team only a handful of points above us (even if they did hammer Rafa.)

Also interesting to see most lineups writing off Patterson, with Ajay not even giving him a place on the bench. Gordon in a central 3 is also a strange one.

For me:

Patterson Mina Godfrey Mykolenko
Doucoure Allan Gomes
Grey DCL Richie

Bench: Begovic, Coleman, Branthwaite, Townsend , Gbamin, Onyango, Gordon, Simms, Dobbin

Mike Gaynes
123 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:48:36
Ajay and Steve... Holgate at right back? Ahead of three other first-team players who are actually right backs by trade?

Oy vey.

Stephen Brown
124 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:51:45
This is the most nervous and excited I’ve felt about a game in ages.

We need to win this and really hope we do for Duncan!


Dave Long
125 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:53:22
Whoever plays, youse at GP give em full backing we need 3 points..losing this is unthinkable.

Will be roaring them on with my long suffering family from me couch here in Tokyo!

Colin Glassar
126 Posted 22/01/2022 at 07:57:19
I’m not sure about the final result but I do want to see a better performance and an improved attitude from our players.

The collapses against Villa, Watford, rs, Brighton, Norwich etc… are unacceptable. Better defending, improved passing and a bit of gumption are all required in bucketloads today.

Sam Hoare
127 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:05:24
Andrew@46, oh yeah there’s almost zero chance that Gbamin would start and from what we’ve seen I wouldn’t play him myself. But I would like to see us playing 433 with a proper, athletic DMC sitting in the anchor role to let Allan and Doucoure roam. Gbamin is the closest, fit player we have to that. Essentially I’m wishing he was as good as we hoped he would be though it looks unlikely he’ll ever get to that level.
Tony Smith
128 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:07:26
Looking forward to hearing a good old Goodison roar today and non stop support for the team and interim manager who will no doubt be high on adrenalin throughout the day. I really hope Digne gets roundly booed, non of this clapping an ex player who let's face it scampered at the first opportunity to a lesser club when we really couldnt afford to lose him or the bad press it garnered. We only got in another LB when he told us he wanted away.
Steve Brown
129 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:10:51
Mike, the base for any team trying to recover is solidify the defence first.

Seamus is in woeful form at the minute and has an serious error in him every game, Kenny isn’t good enough and it would be a tough ask to throw Patterson in when we are 5 points off relegation. We have seen this with Mykolenko already.

Rob Dolby
130 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:27:31
451 for me today.

Although Allan has not been great he will be a big miss as we don't have anyone else like him in the squad. I would still try for Longstaff in the window.

5 in the midfield for me today with Gordon playing inside of gray on the right and Richy playing wide left.

Mykolenko misses out until he gets used to the pace of the game. Feel sorry for him as he is nowhere near ready but been thrown in because of the ex managers gobshite behaviour.

I wouldn't be surprised if onyango got a start in the centre. Think Duncan likes the lad.

My fear is we play 442 and lose the midfield again. Rondon can't get anywhere near the 11 surely?

We are all looking for a reaction today. Losing has become a habit over the last few months. We need to get some momentum going the other way. We need 11 men on the pitch today.

Villa looked decent last week but not great. Gerrard has them working hard for each other. We have to match that before trying to play.

Coleman Mina Keane Godfrey
Gray Gordon Gomes Doucoure Richy


Danny O’Neill
131 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:36:13
It's a good point about Allan Rob. We could apply the same to a lot of the players, Pickford, Gray and Gordon aside.

New leaf, start again (again) and all that. Hopefully with the toxic atmosphere temporarily lifted the players, whoever is picked, will express themselves.

The result is important, but I just want to see a reaction and performance. Get that and the result will follow.

Danny Baily
132 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:37:37
Rob, no chance we'll be in for Longstaff now Rafa has gone. Why would we?
Andrew Clare
133 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:52:04
Come on Everton! Make this a great day for all Evertonians around the world.Let's get our great club back on track.
Colin Malone
134 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:55:09
Hope Allan is back today. Missed him badly against Norwich. He's no spring chicken, so lets go and get that Bissouma. Offer him top dollar because he's worth it.
Steve Shave
135 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:55:51
I am very excited about this game today, I have structured my whole day around it, I am trepidatious also. If we lose with a poor performance it will be very deflating. Can't see it though, I think the crowd will be right behind them (imagine that, supporters actually willing their team on for 90 mins can heavily influence a positive performance, who'd have thunk it?). I think we need to be cautious about expecting a Chelsea result, different game, different time, different team.

I am right behind my boyhood ideal Big Dunc, I am as nervous for him as I am for a positive result. I am unsure if he actually wants the job permanently or not, if not then I have swung to having Wayne in with him and Lee Carsley. I would be concerned for Dunc's mental health and stress levels were he to take it permanently, he would put an awful lot on himself to get it right.

Rob Dolby - really interested that you mentioned Onyango, I have the same weird little hunch he might actually start him. How do you know Dunc rates him, or are you reading between the lines? Much depends on Allan's availability. We HAVE to loan in a CM for the remainder of the season as it is, he can't be sold until at least the summer. I like Allan and if he plays today we will see him at his snarling best. I would love Onyango to get a game behind Allan and Doucoure, it's probably too soon but we are hardly overrun with options, I say that as one of the few remaining optimists on here about Gomes.

So 433 for me today, any calls above for Holgate to be played over 3 RBs is insane in my opinion. I think I would play Coleman for this one but let him know any further repeats of recent weeks will likely event I him being dropped for Patterson. I would also go for Yerry and Keane with Godfrey LB, Mykolenko needs time. 433 means Gordon would drop to the bench which is harsh I know but Gray and Richy must play.

Michael Connelly
136 Posted 22/01/2022 at 08:57:23
4-5-1 for me turning into a 4-3-3. Gray, Doucoure, Townsend, Allan, Richarlison in midfield. Calvert-Lewin in front. Mina probably the only guaranteed starter in defense. Argument for playing Patterson at right-back, Godfrey at left-back, with Mina in the middle. Toss of a coin between Keane and Holgate, who are as error-prone as each other. Holgate is quicker; Keane a better goal threat (at either end!)
Eddie Dunn
137 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:02:25
It will be cathartic to hear the crowd roar in one united entity. The evil spirit will be exorcised and we can get behind our team.

Whoever Duncan sends out it will be a relief to see that monkey off our backs.

A win would be great but we need our strikers to hit form. Time for Calvert-Lewin to get at it – he needs a bit of that Ferguson aggro.

The team selection will be interesting.

George McKane
138 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:15:32
Woke up this morning feeling fine
No Benitez on my mind
Looking out from my Windows
Moel Famau across the way
The City slightly lit by pale blue
Illuminated with streaks of Naples Yellow
The River still and placid
Turner, Sisley, Signac, Monet and Whistler
All Blue Boys
The upstairs side window
I can see the white roof of The Palace
Excitement bursts through my whole body
“I can hear music
I can hear music
The sound of the city baby seems to disappear
I can hear music
Sweet sweet music”
I will be leaving in a moment
Picking up a friend
On to The Dark House
All our birthdays and Christmas together
Before the game
Blue adrenalin and blue blood
Running bubbling flowing
Team talk
“Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun do, do, do
Here comes the sun
And I say it's all right”
Nothing but Blue Cosmic Grooves
No Neggo’s
Posso’s All The Way
Your friend - - George
Jay Wood

139 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:23:05
Tony Smith @ 128. This:

'I really hope Digne gets roundly booed, none of this clapping an ex-player who let's face it scampered at the first opportunity'.

Did you not follow the news for the last two months of Benitez's reign?

I'll wager good money that the Goodison faithful will do the polar opposite of what you hope for and give Lucas a very warm reception as he was denied a proper send-off by the vindictive, self-sabotaging Benitez.

The crowd will use Digne as a vehicle to express their anger against Rafa-the-ex-gaffa and a display of sympathy for Lucas is my prediction.

Dave Abrahams
140 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:24:12
George (138),

No negative thoughts is the only way to go, George, let's just get behind the team and roar them on to a vital win. I don't care how they do it – deservingly or the Jammy bastards way – as long as those 3 points are added to our total.

Bobby Mallon
141 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:28:55
Predicted line-up is so poor. This should be:

Pickford, Kenny, Mina, Branthwaite, Godfrey, Townsend, Doucouré, Gray, Gordon, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

I also want to see Simms, Dobbin, Mykolenko, Whitaker, and Onyango on the bench. This is a new start. No Rondon, no Delph... and only 1 goalkeeper, for fuck's sake!

We need to get on the front foot from the off. Coleman has been flogged this season and Kenny will be up for this game.

I am shocked by Lyndon's predicted line up. The same old same in my view some players don't deserve another chance. COYB

Danny O’Neill
142 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:29:58
Let's do this, Everton. George's vibes are already travelling to the Goodison Park home changing room.
John Zapa
143 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:34:24
Rumour is that Rondon will not be in the squad.
Derek Thomas
144 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:38:19
Will lightning strike twice? Do we have a Plan B? more to the point – do we have a Plan A?

I'm thinking Bridge, George.

Steve Shave
145 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:48:03
Surely that's just wishful thinking, John? No way we would just drop him from the squad altogether, they will be trying to build his confidence not destroy it. I can see us giving him away for free in the summer though.
Brian Harrison
146 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:49:43
Just on Allan's fitness, a fan posted a picture of him and Allan outside a school in Crosby where both their lads attend, and he said Allan has trained for the last 2 days. Doesn't mean he will start but at worst he will be on the bench, but I think Duncan would prefer it if he could start.

I don't care what side Duncan puts out, you know we will have a go from minute 1 to minute 90, no sitting back and letting the opposition control the game and the tempo.

Geoff Lambert
147 Posted 22/01/2022 at 09:53:35
If we can't win this one we have got no chance, got to feel a bit sorry for Dunc the messiah if we loose this one on the massive wave of euphoria. NSNO COYB.
Si Cooper
148 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:02:53
I'm of a mind with Michael Connelly. Get as many seasoned mobile attackers on and involved from the start as we can field. Young Gordon's not done much wrong but the youngsters tend to be inconsistent if you are too reliant on them and I don't think Richarlison, Andros or Demarai have really let us down yet this season.

Why is Patterson at right back of particular concern against Gerrard? If Creasehead is any good at the coaching / managing thing, then he will be well aware of the weaknesses of all of our players. What he will never have seen is how Patterson links up with whoever gets the right-wing or central-midfield slot.

It would be nice to say Duncan's got a few games' grace to get up and running – sadly, we need positive performances and good results asap.

Denis Hignett
149 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:17:44
Play Townsend in the middle. He can tackle and get forward and maybe score one of his specials.

Danny Ings loves playing against the Blues. Don't give him any space.

Rob Dolby
150 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:26:34
Danny 132.

Longstaff is a decent up-and-down centre-midfielder that isn't afraid of graft. Keeping him fit is the only issue.

He would be on an almost free transfer and we would be weakening one of our relegation rivals by bringing him here.

Bissouma is a £40M player. We won't be signing anyone like that whilst FFP is hanging over us.

Anyhow I have digressed from the main thread.

SSS then get ready for the game.

No massive black cloud today – only blue skies.


Darren Hind
151 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:27:14
Bookies make Villa clear favourites. If you fancy a Blues win, a tenner will get you nineteen.

I think the odds-makers have got this just about right, Villa have lost four since the start of December, but three of those defeats were against Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea; they have beaten Leicester and Norwich (remember them?) and fought back from being two down against Man Utd.

Gerrard has brought a feelgood factor to Villa Park. They will fancy their chances today, But Rafa out and Big Dunc in will add a feeling even gooder factor to the Old Lady today. The odds makers have not taken that into consideration.

Lump on!

Andy Crooks
152 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:35:24
What a day ahead. What a chance for our team to walk out to z cars and be heroes.
Tony Hill
153 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:41:45
A draw will do. Boring, I know.
Alan J Thompson
154 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:45:20
I suppose that to play more than two in midfield then one of Gray or Gordon has to be omitted even if you play wing halves (full-backs pushed forward rather than wingers playing back) and a back three.

Whichever, do we include another defensive midfielder or somebody at least as mobile as Doucouré at his best albeit I would like somebody we don't seem to have who is capable of doing both.

Raymond Fox
155 Posted 22/01/2022 at 10:47:28
I've no idea who Duncan will pick, but he should know the players well by now, with the exception of the new signings.

As Darren says, Villa are favs, they have shortened since yesterday.

I have to say I am full of trepidation about the game, you have to be a super optimist to fancy us to beat anyone just now.

It will be just like Everton if Digne comes and plays a blinder.

Brent Stephens
156 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:00:44
Go into the game positive, on the front foot from the start, for fuck's sake.
Brian Williams
157 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:06:14
Saddle anyone?
Richard Nelson
158 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:08:19
Oh, the tension... hope for the best, prepare for the worst...!
Tony Abrahams
159 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:12:50
Brian @157, haven't you heard that Big Duncan has put 5 ton behind the bar, in both The Brick and The Winslow? That's what my son has just told me anyway… What a guy!
Derek Knox
160 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:17:52
Tony @ 159, had to read that again, mate. I thought why would Dunc put 5 Ton of Bricks behind the Bar in the Wilmslow?

Good gesture, but what about the lads in The Royal Oak and the Dark House? :-)

Brian Williams
161 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:18:22
Baaastards, no wonder this place is empty!

Thought that was a windup Tony but a fellas just turned up here who said the same and said both those pubs are chocca!!

James Marshall
162 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:18:57
I've just listened to Darren for the first time, and had a tenner on Calvert-Lewin to score first and Everton win – I don't care what happens today as long as Calvert-Lewin scores first and we win.

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