It’s the last match of the season and Everton need to get a result against Champions-elect Manchester City ar the Etihad Stadium this Sunday afternoon.
Even if Everton win, their fate will depend on the results in other games. So here’s the predicted line-up to face City in a must-win contest.
Does Jordan Pickford have a twin brother? It almost seems he must.
For a good part of the season, supporters were calling for Pickford to be replaced. His handling was so poor, they said, he wasn’t allowed to hold his baby son; in case he dropped him!
Just a few weeks later and Pickford or his identical twin is being hailed as Everton’s main-man between the sticks. Pickford has re-established himself as the Everton and in all likelihood the England No. 1 for the upcoming Euro Championship.
With captain Seamus Coleman out, Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti should turn to Godfrey to fill in for the Irish international. Godfrey has demonstrated his pace in other matches this season with some lung-busting runs.
Ancelotti has tried a number of players on the right side and with Coleman out, Godfrey is the one player in the blue’s squad, who is quick enough to perhaps cause City some trouble and ease the pressure on Lucas Digne on the other flank.
Except for Godfrey, Keane has been Everton’s most consistent defender. He is coming off a solid performance against Wolves.
At his best, Keane is dominant in the air and not afraid to bring the ball out from the back. He’s also pushing again for a place in the England Euro squad.
Mina gives Everton a height advantage in both penalty boxes. At 6-foot-4 the Colombian is definitely a presence and he can make up space quickly with his long strides.
He’s suffered some injuries which have caused him to miss match-time, but unlike some of his countrymen, he hasn’t suffered from fatigue.
Both he and Keane need to chip in with more goals as Everton continues to have trouble scoring.
With James Rodriguez missing again, more pressure to create scoring chances falls in front of Digne’s boots.
He does lead Everton with seven assists and can create havoc with his crosses. He’s been named in the French Euro squad.
An academy-graduate who is steeped in Royal Blue history and lore, and at 22 he’s been in and around the first team for five years.
He does the unglamorous work as he protects the back four and tries to let other players get forward with his sensible and tidy passing.
He made his Premier League debut against City and scored in a 4-0 Everton at Goodison Park. A similar result would be nice, but it’s not expected.
The Brazillian was expected to play a defensive midfielder. But while he is a tough tackler and an annoying presence as a defender; his skillset means he more versatile.
He has a nice feel for a pass and can dribble fairly well, he is Brazilian, after all. He is definitely suited for a playing a little bit higher up the pitch.
He’s one of the few Everton midfielders to have scored this season. He has two goals. He has scored as many as seven in previous league seasons
He’s one of the better box-to-box midfielders playing in the league and is one of the few Evertonians with pace.
With James Rodriguez out Sigurdsson fills this position almost by default.
He’s still Everton’s most expensive signing and to be honest, he hasn’t always lived up to it. He does strike the ball well, especially from dead-ball situations. It was his corner that Richarlison headed in for the only goal in the victory against Wolves.
He also came close to scoring with two shots from just outside the penalty area against Wolves.
It’s been a down year for the Brazilan as his goal tally is down. He did respond with a fine goal against Wolves.
He remains important in Ancelotti’s scheme of things as he is another player with pace. He also puts a shift and isn’t afraid to track back and get stuck in as a defender.
As long he is fit, he will play. He has improved under the tutelage of Duncan Ferguson and Ancelotti. His jumping ability and physical strength make him a problem for central defenders.
He’s starting to earn his place among the pantheon of strikers of Everton. He is another player, who with a good performance could cement a place in the England squad for the upcoming Euros.