Barry axed in 4-2-3-1: Everton best possible XI to face Manchester City
By Emma Sanders
Bryan Oviedo and Gareth Barry should be axed for Everton’s showdown against Manchester City this weekend.
Ronald Koeman’s side have only conceded five goals in their opening seven league games this season and will be boosted by the return of Leighton Baines.
Oviedo was exploited in the defeat against Bournemouth and struggled slightly in the recent 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace so Baines should replace him at left-back.
Maarten Stekelenburg was criticised for his performance against France but is still the best goalkeeper to guard the Everton net.
Seamus Coleman returns from international duty after scoring his first ever goal for his country and will be expected to continue his bright form as part of the Blues’ strongest line-up.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams are an experienced pair and they’ve started to build a strong partnership at centre-back and should definitely start against Manchester City.
Former Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye has been a breath of fresh air since joining for £7.1 million in the summer and will provide industrious cover for his back four.
Alongside Gueye, Tom Cleverley should line-up in midfield as the former Manchester United man offers a better engine than his senior, Gareth Barry.
The experienced midfielder has been a valuable player for Everton but could be exploited by the pace of City’s midfielders and Cleverley’s youth will give him a slight edge.
Yannick Bolasie should definitely keep his place after impressing so far since joining from Newcastle United and he’ll be a threat for the Toffees.
He’s been inconsistent in the past, but Kevin Mirallas has talent and can be a dangerous outlet when in top form so he’ll offer an outlet as part of an attacking trio.
Ross Barkley should remain at the centre of that trio and although he’s struggled to make an impact this season, being substituted against Sunderland before being criticised by his manager, he’s got real quality on the ball and will always look to make things happen.
One of the Premier League’s leading goalscorers, Romelu Lukaku remains Everton’s greatest threat and will be looking to add to his tally of five league goals already this season.
In other Everton news, Koeman is given a huge boost as three senior players return ahead of Manchester City clash.