For a game against one of England’s elite, Sunday’s fixture hasn’t received anywhere near the hype that the games against Manchester United or Manchester City did. Maybe that means the hype comes from actually playing well in the fixtures beforehand, which Mr Silva’s men certainly haven’t.
Regardless, Sunday has turned into somewhat of a must-win game if we wish to really keep mounting our challenge on the top six, where now Wolves have overtaken us. Horrible results recently have marred what has so far been a very refreshing season.
But to keep the season rolling well and proper, we need a quality Christmas period. That starts with a result on Sunday, first and foremost.
As Marco said, this will be a real gauge of where exactly this team is at, at this early a stage in Silva’s era. We have been putting in respectable-to-good performances against the top sides, but one must eventually translate into three points.
Let’s let that be this Sunday.
What a nice Christmas present that would be.
GK - Jordan Pickford
Facing plenty of his England teammates, Jordan may well need to have a big game to see us through this one.
RB - Jonjoe Kenny
Jonjoe Kenny, like he did last season, deserves a chance in the first team once again. We can’t keep persisting with a defensively elusive Right-back in Coleman in a league where there are so many dynamic wingers with managers insisting they target that weaker side.
CB - Kurt Zouma
Kurt Zouma was the best of Everton’s three central defenders in a poor display against City, so he retains his place.
Sometimes it really just is that simple.
CB - Michael Keane
Michael Keane retains his place over Yerry Mina, not because of Mina’s mistake wholly, but more so because Michael has developed into the leader de facto of our back four in organising their line and shape, and it all seems to be a bit of a mess without him.
Not that Yerry’s mistake helped his cause, mind.
LB - Lucas Digne
Maybe there will be some room for Leighton Baines over the Christmas period.
Not now though.
CM - Idrissa Gana Gueye
With rumours of a sudden exit to PSG, we may not be seeing much more of Gana.
Of course it’s silly season, which spawns silly rumours, but who knows?
CM - André Gomes
We will also need to enjoy what we have left of André, assuming that Barcelona continue their hardball stance on a permanent transfer.
Mr Brands has made it very clear that he will not pay over his perceived odds for a player, which clearly isn’t compatible with our approach.
Whatever will be, will be. But let’s all hope that André follows us into our 52,000 seater stadium.
AM - Gylfi Sigurdsson
Gylfi has endured about a rough a patch as the rest of the team recently, and that needs to change. He is the creative focal point of the team, and when he isn’t clicking, neither are we.
RW - Ademola Lookman
While our winger corps is deep in quality, it also seems to be incredibly inconsistent. There is a lot of choppoing and changing, sprinkled with poor performances from at least one side of the tandem.
Lookman, I suppose, has been the least patchy, so he gets his big start.
LW - Richarlison
However, the shining light of the front three has always been Richarlison. He is proving to be Marco Silva’s biggest star very quickly.
He is the one Mr Silva wants to build the team around, and rightly so.
However, like Lukaku before him, he must start putting in pefroamnces against the bigger teams
ST - Dominic Calvert-Lewin
DCL probably put in the most complete Striker’s performance of the season last week against City. While he may not be the permanent man up top, he has certainly earned his chance to prove that he can be.