Everton fans head into the 2020-21 Premier League season with a little more optimism than usual.
The Merseyside club have splashed out more than £50 million to bring Allan, James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure to the club this week.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side will now be looking to challenge for the European places this season after a disappointing end to the last campaign which saw them finish 12th.
The Toffees begin their campaign on Sunday away to Tottenham Hotspur, who themselves underachieved last season.
A number of players can be expected to make their debut this weekend and here’s how I see Ancelotti’s side starting the match:
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford put in a number of below par performances last season but doesn’t have much in the way of competition for the number one role at Goodison Park. The England international could certainly do with a better campaign this time around though, now with Dean Henderson competing for the a starting role at Euro 2021.
Defence: Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Lucas Digne
After shipping 56 goals last season it’s come as a surprise that Everton haven’t done much business in the defensive market this summer. 19-year-old Niels Nkounkou has arrived from Marseille but I don’t expect him to be a starter for a while. Michael Keane is coming off a below par season and Mason Holgate isn’t ready to be a regular in a top half Premier League side. They should have their work cut out with Harry Kane and co on Sunday.
Midfield: Allan, Andre Gomes; Richarlison, James Rodriguez, Bernard
Ancelotti has a number of options in central midfield now and I think it’ll be Allan who is handed his debut in the starting lineup, alongside Andre Gomes against Spurs. The Italian boss has worked with the Brazilian at Napoli previously, whilst Abdoulaye Doucoure was only signed on Tuesday. There are a number of options in supporting the striker too, with Richarlison a possibility to lead the line. I have him down on the right wing though, Bernard on the left and James Rodriguez in the number 10. Gylfi Sigurdsson, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott are all in reserve.
Striker: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Another position that is surprising Everton haven’t invested in this summer is the striker’s role. Unless Moise Kean’s attitude has dramatically improved over the summer then Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are going to be competing for the most starts in this role. The latter came good under the former Chelsea boss in the second half of last season.
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