August 3, 2021

Iwobi axed, “lightning” ace starts in 2 changes by Ancelotti: Predicted EFC XI v AFC – opinion

3 min read
Carlo Ancelotti will hope to get Everton’s push towards European qualification back into gear when...

Carlo Ancelotti will hope to get Everton’s push towards European qualification back into gear when his side travels to Arsenal on Friday night, looking to snap a run of three straight draws.

The Blues let the win slip away for the second time in three games when they hosted Tottenham Hotspur at Goodson Park last week, following a goalless stalemate at Brighton & Hove Albion and a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.

They are now winless in five Premier League games and travel to Arsenal, where a Toffees side has failed to win in any of their last 26 visits and tasted defeat 22 times in a torrid stretch dating back to 1996.

But Ancelotti has been gifted a quintuple injury boost ahead of travelling to north London with top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin among those set to return. So, with that in mind, here’s a potential line-up Everton could field with two changes from the 2-2 Spurs draw…

Ancelotti has confirmed that 14-goal striker Calvert-Lewin will be available for action at the Emirates Stadium after two games out with an abductor issue, while also welcoming back Yerry Mina (abductor), Andre Gomes (hamstring), Fabian Delph (tendon) and Bernard.

The groups’ return to action leaves Abdoulaye Doucoure (foot) and Jean-Philippe Gbamin (knee) as the only players unavailable for the Blues, who will move a point behind Tottenham and Liverpool with a win over Arsenal.

Calvert-Lewin is likely to be the only returning player to start at the Emirates Stadium as Ancelotti looks to add some extra fire power to his attack, after seeing midfielders score three of Everton’s last six goals over seven Premier League games.

Gylfi Sigurdsson struck a brace in the Toffee’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham, while James Rodriguez found the back of the net against Crystal Palace. Richarlison also scored against Southampton and West Bromwich Albion, while Calvert-Lewin scored at home to Burnley.

Alex Iwobi would be expected to make way for Calvert-Lewin – who Joleon Lescott claims is “lightning fast” – to return and partner Richarlison in Everton’s attack, after proving to be his side’s worst-performing player during his 61 minutes on the field against Spurs.

Mason Holgate also faces the chop after letting Ancelotti down with his involvement in both of Kane’s goals last Friday, having slipped at the crucial moment for the England captain’s first and suffering a mix-up with Michael Keane for the second.

Ancelotti may opt to replace Holgate with Mina now that he has the Colombian back available, but will be expected to favour a central role for Ben Godfrey amid suggestions the Italian tactician fears the ex-FC Barcelona enforcer is too error-prone and erratic.

Godfrey started the Tottenham draw at right-back but would be replaced by Seamus Coleman, who came off the bench for Iwobi last time out with the £20m summer signing from Norwich City slotting in beside Keane to protect Jordan Pickford’s net.

AND in other news, Everton have been told to pay £34.5m for a 23-year-old that Carlo Ancelotti would welcome at Goodison Park

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