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FA Cup 3rd round: Everton vs Rotherham United; “It is an important competition; we want to start well”

Everton begin their FA Cup journey at Goodison Park on Saturday at lunchtime.

All supporters will be looking forward to this as it is the chance to end the run without a trophy and with Carlo Ancelotti in charge there will be even more incentive to get a winner’s medal.

The Italian knows how much a trophy will mean to the fans and will want this as much as any other trophy he has won.

After taking the League Cup seriously Ancelotti will take this famous old competition seriously too. 

In his press conference he said: “I think it’s important. The defeat against West Ham is gone. It is an important competition; we want to start well in this competition.”

Their opposition for the third round have not been doing too well though, so they should start well.

Rotherham United currently sit in 23rd place with only 16 points so on paper Everton are strong favourites but this is the FA Cup, and it is capable of the biggest shocks.

It would be a massive surprise though and with the gulf in quality Ancelotti confirmed that he is resting a select number of players.

Richarlison, Jordan Pickford and Dominic Calvert-Lewin will all be rested for the tie whilst Jonjoe Kenny, Fabian Delph, Allan and Jean-Phillipe Gbamin will all be unavailable.

One player not in that list is Lucas Digne, who is finally back and ready to play after a lengthy injury lay-off.

Ancelotti was full of praise for the medical staff for the getting the French international back available so early saying: “The medical staff and he did a fantastic job. 

“We know that Digne is a top professional, the surgery was good, the rehab was really good. It was unbelievable to see Digne so early in training.”

Whether he starts or not we will have to wait and see.

One player that has been confirmed to start is out of favour striker Cenk Tosun.

It may be Tosun’s last appearance for Everton and the Turkish international spoke out about his future recently.

He said: “I will make a decision in a period of 2-3 weeks. Will I stay here and fight the form, or whether I will be hired to a club, score my goals again and go to EURO 2020.

“It will be clear in a few weeks.”

So, he will be looking to prove a point on the FA Cup which may be a advantage for Everton as Calvert-Lewin gets a well earnt rest.

Some other players who have not had a lot of minutes may get a look in as well.

Youngsters Niels Nkounkou and Jarrad Branthwaite might get some much-needed game time with Ancelotti confirming the latter could be available for a loan in January in his press conference.

With Pickford being rested one would assume that Robin Olsen will come in like in many games this season but Joel Virginia might get the chance to impress like he did in the League Cup game against Salford City.

Another youngster who has not had any sort of opportunity this season is huge talent Ellis Simms, Everton supporters are eager to see what the 20 year-old can do but he might have to come off the  bench unless he starts alongside Cenk Tosun.

Last season Everton did not get past the famous 3rd round of the FA Cup this time it should be much easier with a cup run that would give the whole team great momentum whilst fans watch on from home in the third lockdown.

Round three in lockdown three, poetry.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: FA Cup: Aston Villa vs Liverpool; Time for payback

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