Everton will be a confident bunch when they welcome Middlesbrough to the Goodison Park as they look to solidify their surprise 3rd place position. Although many would point out to their relatively easy run of fixtures in the opening weeks as a reason for their extremely bright start, with a new manager and the addition of a good number of players, the team has settled in surprisingly well. It is the perfect start for Ronald Koeman who would have been eager to set the ball rolling having made the slightly controversial move from Southampton. With a handsome 10 points already in the bag, the Toffees will be buoyant as they look forward to their upcoming fixture.
Middlesbrough made a belated return to the Premier League after 7 years and have given a healthy account of themselves till now. Currently on 5 points from 4 matches, they will be happy if they can nick a point at the Goodison. The likes of Negredo and Ramirez will be key in their quest if they are to avoid returning empty handed.
T40’S PREDICTED EVERTON LINE-UP VS MIDDLESBROUGH (4-2-3-1)
Marten Stekelenburg will take up his usual position between the sticks and will be instrumental in keeping the Boro attackers at bay. Seamus Coleman made his comeback from injury and will again be at right-back. Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka will be the central defensive pair with the reliable Leighton Baines lining up at left-back.
Gareth Barry will look to bring his experience into play to sustain his starting place for the majority of the season while Idrissa Gueye will be his partner at the base of midfield. Gueye has been impressive thus far and a lot more will be expected of him in the coming weeks. Ross Barkley will continue his quest of attaining consistency throughout the season and will know with the form the team is in, he needs to step up a notch and be counted.
Yannick Bolasie already looks an improved player who is capable of adding to the overall team’s gameplay. His signing came a little out of the blue and Koeman will look to transform him into a more lethal player and he certainly has the attributes to become one. Kevin Mirallas will look to get regular game time under his belt and that can only suffice with good performances. He will line up on the opposite flank of Bolasie and Romelu Lukaku will be heading the pack once more, fresh from a devastating 11-minute hat-trick against Sunderland.