Lampard drops £75k-p/w star, Rondon starts in 4 changes: Predicted Everton XI vs Villa - opinion
Toffees boss Frank Lampard will not be feeling too disheartened going into this game despite a 1-0 opening day defeat to Chelsea, as many felt his side impressed despite the result. They will be hoping to turn over a Villa side who lost to newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth.
What will worry the manager is the injuries suffered both before and during their clash at Goodison Park, which will lend to his team selection for Saturday’s early fixture.
Here’s the XI we’re predicting for today’s encounter…
In goal, Jordan Pickford is unlikely to lose his spot after a pretty quiet game against Premier League giants Chelsea.
The back five however will have to be shaken up somewhat after it was revealed that Ben Godfrey suffered a fractured fibula during the game and will be out for around three months.
Yerry Mina also was removed early having sustained an ankle ligament injury which will also see him ruled out for the foreseeable future.
It is likely therefore that Conor Coady will be thrown in for his full debut at the heart of three centre-backs, likely flanked by James Tarkowski and Mason Holgate, who came on for Godfrey last Saturday.
Nathan Patterson and Vitaly Mykolenko are unlikely to lose their spots at wing-back, but Ruben Vinagre did impress from the bench.
There could be another debut in line for Amadou Onana, who was announced as the club’s newest signing on Tuesday despite being in attendance for their loss to Chelsea.
If fit, he would likely replace £75k-per-week midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, who did impress despite conceding the penalty. It is just unlikely that the relentless Alex Iwobi will be dropped anytime soon in the engine room.
The front three would remain largely unchanged, however, with Salomon Rondon having now served his suspension, he will likely start up front as the only recognised striker left after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s freak injury.
Anthony Gordon and Dwight McNeil are expected to retain their places, meaning in total there would be four changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Chelsea last time out.
Predicted Everton XI (3-4-3): Pickford, Tarkowski, Coady, Holgate, Mykolenko, Patterson, Onana, Iwobi, Gordon, McNeil, Rondon