Everton are undergoing a dreadful league run under Rafael Benitez as they have slipped down to 15th in the Premier League standings ahead of travelling to Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon to lock horns with bottom-placed Norwich City. The Toffees have an array of key injury absentees across the pitch but must find a way to clinch all three points in order to climb up the ladder before it gets too late.
The Goodison Park fixture finished 2-0 in favour of the Merseysiders. Andros Townsend and Abdoulaye Doucoure scored in either half, however, the contest on the road would be far more complicated, given the Canaries’ battle for a resurgence under the tutelage of Dean Smith.
Predicted 5-4-1 Everton Lineup To Face Norwich City
Jordan Pickford is having a difficult time between the sticks but is expected to return to action after being rested against Hull City during last weekend’s FA Cup outing.
Yerry Mina and Jarrad Branthwaite have returned to training recovering from their respective calf and thigh strains, but the weekend trip might come too soon for them. Ben Godfrey, Mason Holgate and Michael Keane are available though and the gaffer should rely on his senior centre-backs to avoid more frailty in the defensive third. Skipper Seamus Coleman must operate from the right, whereas left fullback Vitaliy Mykolenko is set for his Premier League debut since completing his winter move from FC Dynamo Kyiv as the replacement for Lucas Digne. The Frenchman has joined Aston Villa after a fallout with Benitez.
Tom Davies is out for a while with a thigh injury that required surgical intervention. Alex Iwobi has joined the Nigeria camp for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, also the availability of veteran Fabian Delph remains uncertain due to illness.
Having said that, Everton have a stable midfield and the manager should opt for Allan and Doucoure in the centre of the pitch. Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Andre Gomes might remain as the understudy to the preferred duo, however, the wider roles must be occupied by the high-flying Demarai Gray and in-form Anthony Gordon. The experience of Townsend would be utilized at a later stage.
Despite taking part in sessions with his teammates at Finch Farm, Richarlison should not be rushed as he has missed a lot of football already so far this term. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is available again overcoming a minor knock and is expected to spearhead the attack ahead of Salomón Rondón.