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Everton away (EFL Cup) pre match

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I read an interview with Ricardo post Norwich . He was clearly irritated by the result and performances on Saturday but was adamant that too many matches wasn’t an issue and that every team in the league has the same challenges and would want to play every game if asked .If others feel like that it seems unnecessary to seek to solve a problem when none exists unless BR and the team see evidence of declining performances pick your best team with a minimum of changes to keep eg Fuchs and Justin involved in the team mentality 

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29 minutes ago, surrifox said:

I read an interview with Ricardo post Norwich . He was clearly irritated by the result and performances on Saturday but was adamant that too many matches wasn’t an issue and that every team in the league has the same challenges and would want to play every game if asked .If others feel like that it seems unnecessary to seek to solve a problem when none exists unless BR and the team see evidence of declining performances pick your best team with a minimum of changes to keep eg Fuchs and Justin involved in the team mentality 

True the best players in the world can play over 60 matches in a season. What with all the cup competitions, champions league and internationals.

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No player is going to say “I’m tired and I’d love a rest” to a reporter.

 

A cereal box trophy is a cereal box trophy, no matter what your trophy winning history is.  This is a second rate competition and making the CL is the single most important variable in the near-term success of this club.  We’re in no position to be cocky and think we have anything in the bag.

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10 hours ago, vanity said:

COunt me as a fan who would like to see us prioritize the cups over chasing Liverpool, especially w Liverpool crashing out of the cup to Villa and Man City prioritizing CL.

 

Line-up thoughts: hate the idea of us kicking off with 2 DMs plus a defensive wing in MA plus a FB who won't get fwd in Fuchs plus a FB who has little experience at this level in Justin. Love your line-up for closing out a game, it is defensively solid AF, but things get tricky IMO if we have to chase a game with this line-up. Though I admit, I have Puel flashbacks, and I worry a defensive line-up will be a recipe for Everton keeping a clean sheet, and I also have a hard time seeing this line-up executing what Rodgers likes to play. 

 

I'm hopeful we see at least one of Maddison or Tielemans with Praet, as when we have played two DMs like Mendy and Hamza under both Puel and Rodgers, teams have bracketed the one AM we play and limited our ability to get fwd. With a 2 DM line-up, I'd expect Everton to attack Praet and deny him the ball, meaning Mendy and Hamza will have to get the ball fwd quickly, which they aren't good at, and we may well wind up looking just like Puel's bad 2 DM line-ups.

 

I'd probably also like to see Perez or Barnes instead of Marc on the wing with Nacho and Gray (Vardy named just in case), but if we play two AMs, that would overcome Marc's lack of attacking, so Marc starting might work. I'd prob also see about Chilwell playing, he has missed enough games already this season, he has a bit less wear on the tires than Ricardo. Pair him w Justin, I agree. Play one of Maddison/Tiels, if we get ahead 2 goals, bring in Marc and pull one AM for a DM. That will at least give us a shot at scoring some goals and let guys who don't regularly play see a bit of gametime.

 

Actually, I'd love to see us get ahead early and then close with your line-up. That is a terrific defensive line-up, especially as Hamza prefers playing higher up the pitch than Mendy (as opposed to when we have played Mendy and Ndidi together and they are tripping over one another). Also makes substitutions easy, if we have to chase the game we have a good line-up already on the pitch, and if we get ahead we can switch to your defensive line-up (or a variant) very easily. To start though, I'd say we def need at least one experienced FB in Rodgers' system w Chilwell, then one more AM, minimum. I think that gets the job done. 

Great point. You're definitely right about the two defensive mids and forgot that under Puel especially it hindered us massively. Hopefully 65 mins for Maddison/Tielemans is enough to get ahead in the game. 

 

But the club will imo prioritise the league over the cups. If we were sat in mid table then I would be annoyed if we played a weakened team but with the real possibility of champions league and a decent chance of the title, that has to be the priority. 

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27 minutes ago, Deeg67 said:

No player is going to say “I’m tired and I’d love a rest” to a reporter.

 

A cereal box trophy is a cereal box trophy, no matter what your trophy winning history is.  This is a second rate competition and making the CL is the single most important variable in the near-term success of this club.  We’re in no position to be cocky and think we have anything in the bag.

We’re in no position to be cocky and calling the League Cup a cereal box trophy in the same paragraph? Which is it?

Belittling a perfectly good cup that has been around for a very long time and provides a route into Europe is the ultimate in cocky. 

It’s what the “big teams” have done for years, which is ridiculous as they have all bar Arsenal won it in their recent history.

Look at recent finals, who are the teams regularly making this final and winning silverware? This tells you it’s a cup worth winning. 

We at some point may drop back down the ladder, maybe even back to the championship, in 10 years who knows, do you really want a couple of third places finishes as all we had to show for it?

Let’s show the cup the respect it deserves and go and win the thing!

 

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You can make a case for any type of selection here, but for me it’s back to 4-1-4-1 as we’ve looked significantly less fluid and more vulnerable without it. I’d also want Kasper between the sticks - arguably, it’s the position where the gap between first and second choose seems widest in our squad. 

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Five games in fifteen days coming up and they're all hugely important for the context of our season. It would be fantastic if we could be in the SF and still have a 10pt+ lead over 5th place by the end of it. 

 

I'd like us to use our best players with minimal changes over these 5 games in 15 days and then we have Wigan at home in the FA Cup a few days later. I'd happily send the usual first XI on a warm training camp on the 2nd Jan for 5-7 days to recuperate and get some sun on their bones in preparation for Southampton at home on the 11th and take our chances with this line up at home to Wigan.

 

                  Iheanacho

Albrighton Praet Choudhury Gray

                    Mendy

Fuchs Benkovic Morgan Justin

                     Ward

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34 minutes ago, Aus Fox said:

We’re in no position to be cocky and calling the League Cup a cereal box trophy in the same paragraph? Which is it?

Belittling a perfectly good cup that has been around for a very long time and provides a route into Europe is the ultimate in cocky. 

It’s what the “big teams” have done for years, which is ridiculous as they have all bar Arsenal won it in their recent history.

Look at recent finals, who are the teams regularly making this final and winning silverware? This tells you it’s a cup worth winning. 

We at some point may drop back down the ladder, maybe even back to the championship, in 10 years who knows, do you really want a couple of third places finishes as all we had to show for it?

Let’s show the cup the respect it deserves and go and win the thing!

 

It's not being cocky, it's being sensible and having priorities.  We by no means have the CL locked up, and the CL is infinite numbers of times more important than a competition that's only of consequence if you need it to get to the Europa League.

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Only changes for me is maybe rest Tielemens and Chilwell and start Praet and Fuchs. Play a strong team and do what needs to be done. There is absolutely no reason why we can't win this trophy and finish top 4. It's not a choice between the two.

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1 minute ago, Deeg67 said:

It's not being cocky, it's being sensible and having priorities.  We by no means have the CL locked up, and the CL is infinite numbers of times more important than a competition that's only of consequence if you need it to get to the Europa League.

Why not both? Winning a trophy and finishing in the top 4, would make this a very, very good season.

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1 minute ago, Ollie93 said:

Why not both? Winning a trophy and finishing in the top 4, would make this a very, very good season.

Of course it would.  But starting Vardy, Evans, Ricardo or Ndidi 3 days after one match and 3 days before our biggest match of the season would be insane.

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I can't fathom this game not being massive for any of us.

 

10 QF losses in a row, last 2 years have really hurt me. Gutted I can't be there tonight, as close to full strength (with winter rotation) as possible and get the job done.

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6 minutes ago, Gerard said:

Five games in fifteen days coming up and they're all hugely important for the context of our season. It would be fantastic if we could be in the SF and still have a 10pt+ lead over 5th place by the end of it. 

 

I'd like us to use our best players with minimal changes over these 5 games in 15 days and then we have Wigan at home in the FA Cup a few days later. I'd happily send the usual first XI on a warm training camp on the 2nd Jan for 5-7 days to recuperate and get some sun on their bones in preparation for Southampton at home on the 11th and take our chances with this line up at home to Wigan.

 

                  Iheanacho

Albrighton Praet Choudhury Gray

                    Mendy

Fuchs Benkovic Morgan Justin

                     Ward

We also know for a fact that there will be mass changes for West Ham on the 28th (Rodgers has said as much already) so even if they play today, the majority of the “first XI” will have played Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Thursday-Wednesday from 14 December to 1 January. That’s tough but not totally ridiculous.

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1 minute ago, ttfn said:

We also know for a fact that there will be mass changes for West Ham on the 28th (Rodgers has said as much already) so even if they play today, the majority of the “first XI” will have played Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Thursday-Wednesday from 14 December to 1 January. That’s tough but not totally ridiculous.

 

Just had a look at the Carabao Cup schedule and the SF first leg is w/c 6th Jan so if we got through that's 8 games in the next 25 days which is crazy. 

 

Thankfully we've got Wigan at home in the FA Cup so we can afford to play a total second string XI against them. I'm not saying we'd definitely beat them but all of our second XI would get in their side and if we lost it's not like we've lost in the latter stages, it's a risk well worth taking. 

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The closer we've got to today the stronger the team I'd like to see us go with. Tielemans and Maddison are the ones who have looked a bit leggy recently but can we rest both of them. We need to be careful with Vardy as he has to play against Man City and Liverpool, can't be getting injured tonight or sent off even (if suspensions still cross over competitions). Be tempted to leave them 3 on the bench and go full strength for the rest.

 

 

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I don't think we have really been tested yet regarding scheduling, that will come between the Man City game and New Year. We don't play mid week like the other "big 6" do so no reason why this shouldnt be as close to full strength as possible and then field a similar side against Man City. If this was a mid week Premier League game we wouldn't be resting too many so why do it for the Cup, we want to win it after all.

 

My team would be:

 

Ward - Has played every cup game so far so would be unfair to drop him now

Justin - Performed well every time he has played so he gets another game

Evans - Need to maintain defensive solidity and consistency so he plays

Soyuncu - See Evans

Chilwell - Hes a young, fit lad, no need to rest him

Ndidi - Never seems to tire and will be crucial to winning the ball back and breaking up attacks

Praet - Needs more game time and only played 45 mins at the weekend

Maddison - I would have said Tielemans but he looks exhausted towards the end of games just lately, would sub him on for Maddison after 60 mins

Barnes - Not played a massive amount recetntly due to change in formation so should be raring to go

Perez - See Barnes

Vardy - Conserves energy so well so should have plenty on the tank  

 

Changes from our best XI - 3

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There has to be a middle ground here.  Ihenacho up front with Gray and Perez on the wings, Maddison (looks less tired than Tielemans to me) and Praet in front of Choudhury, Justin-Soyuncu-Morgan-Fuchs at the back.  If it's not clicking go to Barnes and Albrighton (or maybe even Ricardo) on the wings in the second half and put Vardy on with 15 minutes left if you're down a goal.

 

Frankly, I'd be less inclined to make wholesale changes against Wigan.  Should be an easier match but a much more important competition.

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