Everton prediction: Predicted Everton line-up to face Brighton
Realistically, Carlo Ancelotti’s tenure at Everton couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. With the injuries facing the Toffees, the fact that he bagged six points in the first two matches, and a narrow defeat to champions Manchester City, was an outstanding achievement considering the position they were in under Marco Silva.
Given the players still missing in the centre of midfield, their tactical approach against Manchester City to sit deep and play on the counter proved to be suicidal. But against a side like Brighton, Everton will have the edge in both pace and physique. Under Graham Potter, Brighton have performed well and have even come away with points against the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Here is how Everton can line up against the Seagulls.
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti
1. Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford is currently England’s number one goalkeeper, and it’s difficult to pin Everton’s recent slump on the young shot-stopper.
Ancelotti’s 4-4-2 style requires a goalkeeper who is calm in possession and one who is primed to spring lighting attacks with precise accuracy, meaning Pickford’s recent endeavours with Gareth Southgate’s England side will have served him well as preparation for life under the Italian.
2. Djibril Sidibé (RB)
If one had the pleasure of watching Ancelotti’s Napoli side during his first season in charge, it would be noted what a huge role the full-backs play in his attacking system. With that in mind, Djibril Sidibé will slot nicely into Carlo’s back four, overlapping down the right flank with bags of pace and energy.
3. Michael Keane (CB)
Michael Keane proved to be one of the sturdiest defenders in the Premier League during his stint in the Burnley backline but question marks have arisen over the 26-year-old’s true capabilities since his big-money move to the Toffees.
Keane has dropped down the pecking order with England, given his weaknesses with the ball at his feet, and Ancelotti will be expecting his side to play out from the back. Luckily for Keane, there aren’t too many great options waiting to pinch his place.
4. Yerry Mina (CB)
As mentioned before, the Toffees aren’t blessed with a crop of talented central defenders, so it’s unlikely that Mina will be warming the bench any time soon. Ancelotti does love a big strapping defender, so Mina ticks plenty of boxes for the Italian.
5. Lucas Digne (LB)
Probably the best defender in the entire squad, Lucas Digne won’t be losing any sleep over being a potential casualty of the new Ancelotti era. He offers so much to Everton’s overall game that it is impossible to leave him out.
6. Alex Iwobi (RM)
The new boss loves speed and Alex Iwobi certainly has that in abundance. The young forward can also play in an advanced central role but given Ancelotti’s 4-4-2 persuasion, it’s unlikely that Iwobi will be given the chance to shine in that position. The Toffees spent a lot of money on the former Arsenal man, however, meaning he must be given time to prove himself.
7. Gylfi Sigurdsson (CM)
It’s no secret that Gylfi Sigurdsson likes to play in a more attacking role but as mentioned above, that isn’t going to happen. Ancelotti does like creativity in his central hub, however, and just like Fabian Ruiz at Napoli, Sigurdsson could provide that little spark and guile that is needed in the middle of the park.
8. Fabian Delph (CM)
With the wingers unlikely to add much to the defensive side of Everton’s defensive, the responsibility may lie at the feet of Fabian Delph to do the running of three or four men. Luckily for Ancelotti, Delph can do just that. The former Manchester City man may not be the youngest player in the side but he can certainly put a shift in and he is a model professional.
9. Richarlison (LM)
The Ancelotti 4-4-2 often becomes a 4-2-4 in-game, with the wide midfielders being freed from the shackles of defensive responsibility. Richarlison has always impressed more in a wider position and the Brazilian would be given the freedom to cut in and cause problems throughout the match. The 22-year-old scored against City and will look to add to his tally against Brighton.
10. Moise Kean (ST)
This could be the ultimate time for Moise Kean. Ancelotti was coaching in Italy when Kean shot to fame. The ex-Juventus man has bags of talent and under the right manager in the right conditions, Kean could fulfil his potential as one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
11. Cenk Tosun (ST)
Tosun could line up alongside the young Italian and provide the muscle and graft required in this system. The Turkish international has been a real flop since arriving in England but has the opportunity to prove himself when Calvert-Lewin gets a much-deserved rest.