Fleetwood Town will be hosting Everton in the third round of the Carabao Cup or as it has always been known as the League Cup. The cup tie will take place at the Highbury stadium and is kicking off at 8:45pm tonight.
It is expected that Carlo Ancelotti will be making wholesale changes from the team that demolished West Brom 5-2 at the weekend. All their star attacking players performed exceptionally well against The Baggies as Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick, James Rodriguez scored a belter, assisted one and Richarlison assisted two. So, the likelihood is that these players along the rest of that starting eleven will be given a rest for this mid-week game.
Last week’s line-up in the League Cup game against Salford City is may potentially be what the team will look like as many of them players will still be needing to gain match fitness due to the short pre-season that took place.
The one problem that Everton do have is a shortage of centre-backs as injuries to Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite have left just Michael Keane and Yerry Mina as their only fit senior central defenders. Whether Ancelotti wants to risk overplaying the pair this early on in such a long campaign remains to be seen but it would be a risk. Academy players may be the solution with Australian Con Ouzoundis and Welshman Ryan Astley having both impressed for the under 23’s in the past couple of years.
We might not see midfielder Tom Davies and if we do it could very well be his last appearance for the team as Southampton are supposedly interested in signing the scouser. Having signed Allan and Doucoure Davies has fallen down the pecking order so may want to leave to pursue more first team football.
Anthony Gordon is expected to start after questioning manager Carlo Ancleotti as to why he was left out of the matchday squad for both Premier League games so far this season. Ancelotti said that: “I love that he asked the question because this means that he is really interested in doing a proper job.” So, Gordon should get the chance to impress tonight.
The current Fleetwood Town are the fourth incarnation of the club that was formed in 1997 meaning that when Everton last won a trophy this Fleetwood Town did not exist. So, ironically tonight Fleetwood have the chance to further delay Everton’s wait for a trophy whilst also trying to progress to the fourth round of this tournament for the first time.
Joey Barton’s Fleetwood side knocked out Wigan Athletic in the first round 3-2 and then Port Vale 2-1 in the second round. A chance of an upset would be great for Fleetwood Town. Barton said:
“The league for us will always be the priority, but to give a great account of ourselves live on TV against one of the best coaches in the world, and an Everton side that are on the up, then it will be an exciting occasion.”
The scouse manager against the scouse team for a mid-week cup tie that could go straight to penalties after 90 minutes.
A major upset or another stride to some silverware for Everton, we shall see.