By Dominic Toner
Mark Lawrenson believes that Everton should have fielded a stronger team in their defeat to Norwich.
The Toffees were knocked out of the EFL Cup third-round by the Championship side with a 2-0 defeat on Tuesday and manager Ronald Koeman made six changes to his starting line up.
Everton have been in fantastic league form this season and currently sit second in the table with 13 points, following an unbeaten start in their opening five matches.
Koeman’s side face Bournemouth on Saturday in the Premier League and Eddie Howe’s team were also dumped out of the cup mid-week by Preston.
Former Liverpool player, turned BBC pundit believes that both sides should have made more of an effort for the cup match.
“Both of these teams are out of the EFL Cup after making lots of changes against Championship teams in midweek, which I think is something of a missed opportunity,” Lawrenson wrote in his BBC prediction feature. “Neither of them are in Europe so why not have a go at it? I don’t get it.
“Everton have started well in the league, Bournemouth much less so, but in both scenarios I don’t see the harm of trying to have a good cup run, building some momentum and going for some silverware.”
Everton’s conquerers Norwich have been handed a tie against Leeds in the last 16 of the competition and have a great chance to progress.
The Toffees have not enjoyed much success in domestic cup competitions recent years and have never won the League Cup.
They last made a domestic final in the 2008-09 season and they were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea, despite Louis Saha opening the scoring after just 25 seconds.
First-team regulars Romelu Lukkau, Yannick Bolasie and Gareth Barry are set to be restored to the starting XI against Bournemouth as they look to continue their league form.
In other Everton news, a report details that everyone at the club is bemused by the treatment of their forward.