Everton are back on the road for their fourth game of the Premier League season this afternoon as they travel to west London for their clash against Brentford.
The Toffees remain winless in the top flight so far this season, only picking up their first point of the season last week at home to Nottingham Forest, with Demarai Gray’s late goal salvaging a draw against the Reds of Steve Cooper.
The Bees battled 2-0 against Fulham last week to equalize, only to lose to a late header from Aleksandar Mitrovic, and they will be looking to take out their frustrations on Everton.
Toffees manager Frank Lampard has a lot to think about when it comes to squad selection as injuries have once again surfaced for the 44-year-old.
With that in mind, here are the starting XI we’re planning for the visitors to the Gtech Community Stadium today…
There could be two forced changes for Lampard as he looks to deal with injuries.
In goal, regular keeper Jordan Pickford is expected to retain his place despite a slight mishap for Nottingham Forest’s goal last week, but his marvelous assist for Gray’s equalizer more than made up for it.
The Everton manager will likely retain the same back five, with Vitaliy Mykolenko potentially eligible for a call-up at left-back after being rested for Ruben Vinagre in midweek.
The midfielder could see a change as Tom Davies was sent off in the warm-up for their Carabao Cup clash with Fleetwood Town on Wednesday. Lampard has suggested the 24-year-old will be in the squad but starting may be a step too far today.
We could therefore see Amadou Onana make his first tenure in the Premier League with the Blues alongside Alex Iwobi, because Abdoulaye Doucoure remains on the sidelines.
Will Everton get their first win today at Brentford?
Moreover, with speculation over Anthony Gordon’s future, it remains to be seen whether the Merseyside club will sanction his move to Chelsea before the transfer deadline.
Lampard could take the bold step of benching the 21-year-old, replacing him with £20m summer signing Dwight McNeil.
The winger, who has been described as bragging “talent bagsby journalist Andrew Greaves – would offer a threat with deliveries to Salomon Rondon, who is likely to start tops, but McNeil will be hoping to seize his opportunity after dropping the starting XI against Forest last week.
Gray should be given the chance to continue his fine form on the opposite flank after his two goals over the past week.
Lampard has confirmed Calvert-Lewin is due to return to training next week, and with a move for Neal Maupay imminentEverton’s fortunes in attack could change quickly.
Reports claim the Frenchman may have been saved in time to feature this weekend. If he did, the 26-year-old could be pushed straight into the squad this afternoon. Otherwise, Rondon seems ready to keep his place for a few more days.