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Friday, February 23, 2024

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FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Wolves vs Everton – ‘I want to keep it fresh’

Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton will be travelling to Wolves for an early kick-off on Sunday. Wolves have had one more day rest than Everton and according to Ancelotti that will be ‘important’. Having played on Thursday against Southampton the Italian has said that he wants ‘to keep it fresh and do some changes for the game’.

The reason for the changes will not just be because there is a need for fresh legs but because there is a need for improvement. It was another poor showing against Southampton from Everton and they could have easily lost. They were dominated for large parts of the game which was emphasised by the fact that Southampton had 61% possession. Chasing after the ball constantly at your own ground just simply is not good enough for Everton.

It is fair to say the midfield had another day to forget as Andre Gomes was subbed off with an injury in the first half. Tom Davies was ineffective all game like he has been in lots of the matches since the restart as the promising player that came onto the scene a few years ago seems to have disappeared. Also, Alex Iwobi was dragged off at half-time with his average position being a second right-back in the first half. To say them three were poor would be an understatement.

The one shining light from the four in midfield was yet again youngster Anthony Gordon. He is continuing to show promise and the trust is been put in him as Gordon was on several set pieces in the game. Ancelotti was praising him in his press conference saying that ‘the fact I put him on the pitch means he’s an important player for us’. Gordon must feel on top of the world with such comments.

Whether the 19-year-old starts or not remains to be seen but with so little options for Everton it would not be a surprise to see Gordon in the starting eleven as every bit of experience for him will be vital. Andre Gomes is a doubt to start in midfield as ‘he had a knock on his ankle’ therefore meaning he will be assessed over the weekend and it may be a well needed rest for him as he as not looked up to speed at all since the restart. However, his leg breaking injury earlier on in the season will certainly be a reason for that.

Mason Holgate will also be assessed the day before the game as he is still recovering from the knock that kept him out of the Southampton game. Theo Walcott may not be involved and also Fabian Delph will not be in the squad however Ancelotti is ‘sure he will be able to come back before the end of the season’. So there is some positive team news before the Wolves game.

Wolves will be assessing Pedro Neto and key man Adama Traore before the game on Sunday as they both have knocks. Everton will be hoping Traore will be missing as he has impressed massively throughout the season and can kill your defence with one sprint. He has nine assists so far but only four goals in the league so Wolves may miss one of their main creative forces.

Everton and Wolves’ form has stagnated in the last couple of games. Everton were abysmal against Spurs and were not much better against Southampton but some quality from Lucas Digne and Richarlison bailed them out. Wolves have lost their last two games against European rivals Arsenal and Sheffield United without scoring a goal.

Therefore, both sides will be wanting and needing to turn a corner. Everton’s European chances are so very slim so their motivation may be at a minimum whereas Wolves still have a small chance of getting into the top four. The game may show these two sides true desire and will to win, if they have any left in their tanks that is.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: In Conversation with – Sarah Halpin

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