Newcastle v Everton: 5 talking points ahead of the game

Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images) /
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Everton (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images) /

Will Frank Lampard stick with wing backs or revert back to a four man Everton defence?

2. Four or five at the back for Everton?

On Saturday Lampard sprung a small formation surprise by playing three centre backs and wing backs. The reason this was somewhat of a surprise is that Lampard never committed to playing the wing back model at Derby or Chelsea.

However, if you look at the players at his disposal at the weekend then you can understand why he switched to this formation. With the midfield decimated by injuries and far more defensive resources it was no surprise that Lampard went with the wing back system.

Defensive numbers are affected for the Newcastle game with the hamstring injury to Godfrey meaning Yerry Mina will definitely start on Tuesday night. The question is will Mason Holgate or Michael Keane make way for a more progressive midfield.

It is very unlikely Newcastle will line up with three centre backs, unlike Brentford on Saturday, in any game as they have not done so all season. Therefore Lampard needs to weigh up whether control or possession is required more.

With more midfield options open, as we discuss in the next part, I think Lampard will switch to a back four for this one. Coleman and Vitaliy Mykolenko should keep the full back positions and then Lampard needs to choose his centre backs.

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Mina had been left on the bench at the weekend but that was probably to protect him after a week of international travel and a match, plus his goal, the first of the Lampard regime, shows how dangerous he is at the other end also.

Holgate also produced a performance that Evertonians had not seen for some time and he also crowned it with a set piece goal. It is a tough call as Keane’s height may be required as Newcastle will have big threats from set pieces and a reminder that Dan Burn scored from a corner for Brighton at Goodison only last month.

With more positive front foot football under Lampard I think this game Everton need to stamp their authority early and therefore a four man defence offers the opportunity to do this, while a wing back five man defence would offer Newcastle too many opportunities to get the ball forward quickly.