Everton face Liverpool on Monday night and ahead of the game, the Toffees has received a major blow as Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a major doubt for the derby. On the other hand, Demarai Gray will be available for selection after missing the game against Arsenal.
In Dyche’s first game as Everton boss, when the lineup came out, there was a surprise omission. Gray was left out of the team as Alex Iwobi and Dwight McNeil were deployed on the flanks. Gray has been terrific for Everton in recent times, posing real threat when marauding forward. Although, his passing in the final third has let him down, when he has ball at his feet, he can make defenders dance to his tunes.
Leaving him out was strange but possibly understandable because Gray doesn’t offer the same physical presence that Iwobi or McNeil can on the flanks. Prior to the Arsenal game, the Englishman had started all but one of last 20 fixtures and not seeing him in the starting lineup was an indication that Dyche would prefer hard workers as Gray had averaged just 9.8 km per 90 minutes.
However, it was later revealed by Dyche that the former Leicester City man missed out because of a minor injury. With the Liverpool derby up next, Dyche will have to make a decision over his wide men as Gray, McNeil and Iwobi are all fit and raring to go.
Dyche could call Demarai Gray off the bench against Liverpool
The combination of McNeil and Iwobi worked wonders as two hardworking wingers oocupied the flanks and supported the attack while also tracking back and carrying out their defensive duties.
McNeil’s performance was surely captivating and even more noteworthy as the former Burnley man had struggled since his £20 million move to Goodison Park. On the left flank, Iwobi also impressed and showcased his fine work ethic.
Dyche could continue deploying Iwobi and McNeil on the flanks which might see Gray once again miss out and watch from the bench. However, Gray is a livewire that has the capability to fire up the game when required.
Dyche does have the privilege to call him off the bench and let him do his thing. If the 51 year old boss decides to start Gray, Iwobi could play in the middle but that jeopardizes Abdoulaye Doucoure’s role. The Malian was fantastic against the Gunners and should keep his place in the team.
On his day, Gray has the ability to affect the course of a match and is a dangerous weapon in Dyche’s system.
Will Demarai Gray start against Liverpool?