Everton expected 4-2-3-1 v Atalanta: £24m star axed in four changes
By Abigail Withey
Everton are expected to make four changes to their starting line-up to face Atalanta in their Europa League group opener on Thursday night.
Ronald Koeman is likely to play Tom Davies and Muhamed Besic in place of £24million-rated star Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye, who could be axed following the Toffees’ 3-0 defeat to Tottenham at the weekend.
It’s expected that the Dutch manager will want to save summer signing Wayne Rooney for his return to Old Trafford on Saturday which means Under-23s star Ademola Lookman will play on the right wing on Thursday night.
Lookman has displayed continuous impressive performances for the development squad, and his stunning goal during the youth side’s 4-1 win over Spurs will be enough to see him make it back to the first-team.
On the other side, youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be stepping up as Sigurdsson moves into the attacking midfield role down the centre.
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Despite his Europa League experience Davy Klaassen may be absent from the starting XI and will potentially be saved for the Merseyside outfit’s Premier League showdown.
Klaassen captained Ajax to the Europa League final back in May, but his side suffered a 2-0 defeat to Jose Mourinho’s side.
Despite the poor result against Spurs, the back four will likely remain the same with the absence of Phil Jagielka as Koeman may want to rest the skipper ahead of their Manchester United clash.
It’s likely that Koeman will continue with the same 4-2-3-1 formation which was used during the previous weekend but will switch up the team to freshen their prowess for the Europa League.
Sandro Ramirez could remain up front and will be hoping to secure his first goal for the Toffees as he is yet to net his debut goal since joining during the transfer window.
Fellow new recruit Jordan Pickford is in contention to stay in goal despite conceding five goals during the past two games as he displayed an impressive performance during the club’s Europa League qualifiers.
In other Everton news, fans have urged Koeman to promote this attacker after stunning display in Under-23 squad.