Everton’s mandatory winter break couldn’t have come at a worse time for the club, with the Toffees having built up some steady momentum with wins against Watford and Crystal Palace.
Now the Blues will need to continue where they left off, as they face Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in succession.
The Gunners are first up this weekend, and with them coming off the back of a 4-0 drubbing of Newcastle, ex-Blue Mikel Arteta will be reluctant to hand Everton their first win at the Emirates.
Despite beating Newcastle convincingly last weekend though, that result was Arsenal’s first win since New Years’ Day, proving that the North London side still have work to do if they wish to qualify for the Europa League.
Ahead of Sunday’s clash at the Emirates, here is the team that we would like to see face Arteta’s side.
GK: Jordan Pickford
Didn’t shower himself in glory for Benteke’s equaliser against Crystal Palace, but Pickford is still the club’s first choice between the sticks.
RB: Djibril Sidibe
Defensively resolute and offensively confident, Sidibe should start over Seamus Coleman for the rest of the season.
CB: Mason Holgate
Was unfortunate not to start in the last game, and should return to the lineup against the Gunners.
CB: Yerry Mina
Holgate’s natural partner, Mina’s position in the team should be in doubt.
LB: Lucas Digne
Another player who seemingly picks himself, Digne will hopefully provide an attacking outlet against Mikel Arteta’s side.
RW: Alex Iwobi
With Theo Walcott in doubt to feature after coming off in the first half against Palace, Iwobi comes into the lineup, playing out of position as Everton’s need to strengthen in this position becomes clearer.
CM: Morgan Schneiderlin
Schneiderlin was arguably Everton’s best players against Crystal Palace, and if we’re going to believe in a meritocracy, the Frenchman deserves to start.
CM: Gylfi Sigurdsson
While Carlo Ancelotti believes that Andre Gomes can come in from the start, that makes me nervous, and I’d rather introduce him gradually.
As such, Sigurdsson starts alongside Schneiderlin.
Having returned to the lineup against Palace, Bernard impressed with the opening goal against the Eagles, while his partnership with Digne improves the Frenchman’s game.
ST: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Everton’s strike-force is largely set in stone at this point, with Calvert-Lewin continuing his impressive goalscoring streak against the Eagles last time out.
The Brazilian scored an amazing solo goal against Palace, and both him and Calvert-Lewin look to be creating a really solid partnership.