Everton fans will be delighted that their beloved team in blue will finally be back in action after having to endure the ecstatic title celebrations from all around the City that they live in. So, it will be something for the Everton supporters to turn their focus to and it is a massive game for Ancelotti’s Blues as they come up against third place Leicester City.
Ancelotti revealed in his press conference game that it will only be Yerry Mina who will be fit enough to return out of the injured players. Meaning that Sidibe, Walcott and Delph will all yet again not be available for the game against old foe Brendan Rodgers. Sidibe and Walcott will both be back in training by Friday and Monday, respectively. Delph’s return date is unknown.
So the big tall six foot five Colombian centre back will be back but he may not fit straight back in due to the form of Michael Keane and Mason Holgate who have hugely contributed to two consecutive clean sheets since the restart. Also, Michael Keane obviously headed in the winner against Norwich City so Ancelotti has a decision on his hands, but the Italian will know that it would make more sense to ease him back in.
After winning against Norwich, albeit not in the most stylish way, it would make sense for Ancelotti to stick with his winning formula however one certain substitution that he made against The Canaries made a real impact and will certainly give him food for thought. That substitution was Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Icelandic international was subbed on for the ineffective Tom Davies and took control of the game alongside Andre Gomes in the 4-4-2 formation.
It may leave Everton a little exposed however if they do start with them in the middle as both do like to get forward and make a difference in attacking areas. It could be a risk that Ancelotti may be willing to take to get that edge over Leicester City. Everton failed to really have a massive influence in attacking areas against Norwich as Richarlison had a poor game and Calvert-Lewin had very few chances so if Sigurdsson is in from the start he could possibly produce more chances for the two front men.
Ancelotti stated that Leicester are a ‘Difficult team’ and rightly so as they do sit in third. However, since the restart Leicester have struggled and potentially might drop out the top four. Two league games, one goal, one point. One FA Cup game also saw Chelsea knock them out after an awful performance. Everton should fancy their chances and be wanting to make a statement as they will be dreaming of being in the position of Leicester next season.
Carlo Magnifico certainly believes that Everton can get to Leicester’s position stating he has ‘confidence for the future’ as ‘we have a young squad with a lot of players that can improve their quality and confidence’. Evertonians will be made up that he is already thinking long term as Ancelotti is showing that he 100% invested into this project.
The form since Ancelotti has come in has shown huge amounts of potential for the future so with these seven matches left the fixture list looks good for Everton. It may be stupid to suggest but Ancelotti will be eyeing up an unbeaten end to the campaign which could catapult a strong start to the next campaign with the new signings having joined.
A win against Leicester will give Everton fans a big lift and will also give them such hope for the next few weeks. A good few weeks may turn into a exceptional few years.
Written by Elliot Thompson