After opening day defeat to Fulham last Saturday, Everton travel to the Midlands to take on Aston Villa this Sunday afternoon.
Last weekend’s 1-0 loss to the Cottagers was a truly frustrating way to start the new Premier League campaign.
Everton were much the better side and managed nineteen shots including nine on target and yet failed to score a single goal.
This has become a constant theme over the last twelve months or so and one that has undermined all other attempts to turn this team’s fortunes around.
New transfer rumours pop up every day with the latest indicating that the Blues have lodged a bid for Southampton striker Che Adams.
As usual this may or may not be true but the Toffees need players now who can contribute goals as soon as possible.
At the moment though Everton are reliant on a player in Neal Maupay who has managed only one goal since he joined last summer or an injury-prone centre-forward, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, that cannot be replied upon to stay fit for long enough.
The only other alternative is 19-year-old signing who as yet seems a long way off from being able to contribute goals anytime soon. Youssef Chermiti talented as he may be, cannot do a job now.
Hopefully, for all his frailty Calvert-Lewin will start on Sunday afternoon. Although whether Arnaut Danjuma will play alongside him remains to be seen after his recent fitness problems.
Once again, it really is remarkable to see all these endless injuries.
But there are other problems for manager Sean Dyche to address too, most of all at full-back as well as in midfield.
Nathan Patterson struggled badly against Fulham last weekend. However, with Seamus Coleman still out injured there is little alternative to the young Scot.
I would anyway back Patterson as I think he is a good young player who needs time to grow into the role.
The issue is that the Toffees don’t really have time for players to learn and develop. He also needs better support and protection from midfield than he got last Saturday.
One possible alternative is to give James Garner a chance to replicate the form he showed filling in at right-back as he did for England in this summer’s Under-21s European championships. I’m not sure that Dyche will do that though.
At left-back Ashley Young performed well against Fulham and linked up effectively with Alex Iwobi on the left hand side. That partnership presumably will continue.
In the centre of defence I still want to see Jarrad Branthwaite start but I’m sure Dyche will continue with Micheal Keane alongside James Tarkowski.
In the middle of the pitch, other than the ageless Idrissa Gueye who was his usual solid self, the Blues midfield wasn’t quite as consistently effective as it could and should have been.
Amadou Onana produced another one of his frustratingly erratic performances. At times he was dynamic and influential and on other occasions he made basic errors.
It is hard to know what to make of the tall Belgian international. There is a talented and dominant modern midfield player in there, but too often he still seems to lack concentration or the ability to consistently put it all together.
I have to say if a really big bid did come in for him I would be tempted to take it despite the fact that I generally don’t like seeing the club selling young players too early or cheaply.
As for Everton’s opponents Villa, they suffered a 5-1 reverse at Newcastle United last weekend so they will be determined to bounce back at home on Sunday.
I would take a point this weekend, although obviously three is preferable. Then at least the Toffees can get on track and generate a bit of momentum early on in the season, which they need to do.