After opening day defeat to Chelsea, Everton travel to the Midlands to face Aston Villa in their second match of the new season.
The biggest question facing Everton is can the team score any goals after the side drew a blank against Chelsea and with no new forwards having been signed so far this week?
Last weekend the Toffees’ played decently enough overall and created a few half chances but there was no bite in their attack and so it all petered out in the final third.
The Blues’ have certainly strengthened other areas of the team in the past week with defender Conor Coady and midfielder Amadou Onana having both joined since the Chelsea game.
Coady’s arrival was critical after the unbelievable injuries to Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina in last Saturday’s 1-0 loss.
Onana is a very highly rated young talent in the centre of the pitch who will hopefully be a mainstay of Everton’s midfield for many years to come.
However, as far as the attack goes, there are persistent rumours of this forward or that joining on loan in the next few days or weeks but at the time of writing so far none have yet walked through the doors at Finch Farm.
So, we wait for new additions up front and meanwhile wonder how Everton are going to line up at Villa this weekend.
Obviously, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin out, it’s most likely that Salomon Rondon will lead the line for the away team as he has returned from a one-game suspension.
As to who plays off him it’s anyone’s guess. I would imagine probably Anthony Gordon and Dwight McNeil either side, although Frank Lampard may spring a surprise and start Demarai Gray or Dele Alli behind the centre-forward.
Given the injuries to the two other centre-backs, I imagine Coady will come straight into his new team and line up alongside James Tarkowski and I would hope Mason Holgate rather than Micheal Keane who always makes me nervous.
The other question is whether Onana will get a start or of Lampard will stick with the central midfield two of Abdoulaye Doucoure and Alex Iwobi.
Villa like Everton, lost their first game of the season and they have a manager in Steven Gerrard who like Lampard is a former England midfield star who is cutting his teeth in management.
Will the Blues’ get their first win of the new campaign? Without another striker signed I can’t see goals in this team and so maybe a draw is the best to hope for.
While this Toffees’ team looks much stronger in the critical spine of the side after the signings that have been made, without some genuine firepower it’s going to be very hard to win football matches.