DCL might be fit as Everton face Manchester City on New Year’s Eve

Everton (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /

Following Monday’s dreadful defeat at Goodison Park against Wolves, Everton travel the 50 odd miles along the motorway to take on Manchester City this Saturday.

Playing the defending Premier League champions at the Etihad Stadium is obviously just about the last thing Everton would want at the moment.

The Toffees’ threw away a great chance to claim a vital three points on Boxing Day and instead ending up losing, despite taking the lead against what at the time, was the bottom team in the league.

You really couldn’t make it up and only the Blues’ seem so consistently capable of finding a way to lose a game like that, one they really had to win.

Personally, I have lost what little hope I had a few months ago that something substantial could be made of this season.

After all, the last four games have seen Everton lose them all while conceding a combined eleven goals and scoring just two. Dreadful stuff.

It is disasterous form and certainly does not give you any hope this team can claim anything from the weekend’s trip to East Manchester.

To be honest, it appears likely that relegation looms large at the end of this campaign, without a massive improvement in form and the arrival of some desperately needed attacking flair in the upcoming transfer window.

Does anyone really believe all that will happen? It will take a miracle to turn this situation around and where Everton as a football club go from here is very difficult to say.

Some at least of the fanbase, are losing faith that Frank Lampard is the man to finally turn this ever sinking ship around.

Lampard’s comments about those supporters and their reaction to Monday’s defeat, certainly doesn’t help the situation and his position seems increasingly precarious as football is a results business in the end.

Next week the transfer window opens again and the club simply must get it right with the signings they make in January. I have to say though that given who is still in charge of this club, even that seems unlikely.

Turning to Saturday’s match then at the champions, what team will the manager pick and how will he set up his side to try and stem the likely tide of relentless City attacks?

Conor Coady will presumably come back into the central defence after bring unavailable against his parent club on Boxing Day.

This is especially likely with Yerry Mina having to go off against Wolves having of course only just returned to the side!

Will Lampard be tempted to revert to three centre-backs in an effort to hold City’s lethal forwards in check as Ben Godfrey is also fit again?

Perhaps, given how desperate the situation is for Everton at the moment, Lampard could well consider a very defensive approach is the only sound one he can employ.

But, trying to sit back and absorb pressure from City doesn’t often work. You have to try and make a match of it. The problem is this team simply doesn’t have the players to do that.

Up front he might have centre-forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin back and fit once more although that’s far from certain. However, he’s not going to be at his sharpest having been out again just before the World Cup. So many ifs, but’s and maybe’s as always.

The England international’s endless injuries have become a particularly tiresome issue (among so many others) and he has again hardly featured for the Toffees’ this season.

I don’t think that it will matter what side Lampard picks or how he sets them up on Saturday, with form and confidence so low, I cannot see anything other than another heavy defeat for the Blues’ to round out a truly miserable 2022.