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 term, having only picked up their first point of the season last week at home to Nottingham Forest, with Demarai Gray’s late goal salvaging a draw against Steve Cooper’s Reds.
The Bees battled back from 2-0 down against Fulham last week to draw level, only to lose to a late Aleksandar Mitrovic header, and they will be looking to take out their frustrations on Everton.
Toffees manager Frank Lampard has plenty to think about with regards to team selection, as injuries have once again reared their ugly head for the 44-year-old.
With that in mind, here’s the starting XI that we’re predicting today for the visitors to the Gtech Community Stadium…
There could be two enforced changes for Lampard as he looks to contend with injuries.
In goal, usual shot-stopper Jordan Pickford is set to keep his place despite a slight mishap for Nottingham Forest’s goal last week, but his wonderful assist for Gray’s equaliser more than made up for it.
The Everton manager will likely maintain the same back five, with Vitaliy Mykolenko potentially earning a recall at left wing-back after being rested for Ruben Vinagre in midweek.
The midfield could see one change as Tom Davies was forced off in the warm-up of their Carabao Cup clash with Fleetwood Town on Wednesday. Lampard suggested that the 24-year-old will be in the squad, but to start may be a step too far today.
We could therefore see Amadou Onana make his first Premier League start for the Blues alongside Alex Iwobi, as Abdoulaye Doucoure remains sidelined.
Will Everton claim their first victory today at Brentford?
Also, with speculation rife as to the future of Anthony Gordon, it remains to be seen whether the Merseyside club will sanction his mooted move to Chelsea before the transfer deadline.
Lampard could make the bold decision to bench the 21-year-old, replacing him with £20m summer signing Dwight McNeil.
The winger, who has been described as boasting “bags of talent” by journalist Andrew Greaves – would offer a threat with deliveries into Salomon Rondon, who will likely start up top, but McNeil will be hoping to take his opportunity after dropping out of the starting XI against Forest last week.
Gray should be given the chance to continue his fine form on the opposite flank following his two goals over the past week.
Lampard did confirm that Calvert-Lewin was to return to training next week, and with a move for Neal Maupay imminent, Everton’s fortunes in attack could be changing quickly.
Reports claim that the Frenchman may have been registered in time to feature this weekend. If he has, then the 26-year-old could be thrust straight into the team this afternoon. If not, Rondon looks set to keep his place for another few days.