Everton look to the Carabao Cup again this evening to lift them out of their Premier League doldrums as Watford come to Goodison Park.
A place in quarter-finals beckons for the Blues if they can regroup following Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Brighton and overcome the Hornets for the second time this season.
Marco Silva oversaw his first win of the 2019-20 season when Watford made the trip to L4 in August thanks to Bernard’s solitary goal and the Portuguese will be hoping for similar this time around.
Of course, the Brazilian won’t be in the line-up because of the ligament injury he sustained at the Amex Stadium and that will force one change at least on the manager who has made a habit of mixing things up for the League Cup.
His options in defence will be limited if Yerry Mina isn’t able to shake off a knee complaint as Silva will again be left with just two senior centre-halves but there are choices to be made elsewhere in the side if he does want to deviate from the side that started at Brighton.
Gylfi Sigurdsson could come back into the team to replace Bernard and that would pave the way of Dominic Calvert-Lewin to start up front while Richarlison moves back out wide and it’s possible that Silva will reinstate Seamus Coleman after the skipper sat out on Saturday.
Watford, meanwhile, have some injury concerns as they adjust to life with Quique Sánchez Flores back in the hotseat. Jose Holebas is available again after serving a one-match suspension and Etienne Capoue could return after resuming training, but Femenia is a doubt after missed the goalless draw with Bournemouth because of illness, and Danny Welbeck is ruled out for at least the next two or three months.
Once again, there is talk that the outcome of this match could have significant ramifications for Silva if it’s not a favourable one for Everton. As such, it’s one he knows he must win to keep alive the hopes of reaching Wembley and once again ease the pressure on his shoulders.
“Our goal and our ambition in the competition is clear and this is not the moment for us to hide,” he said “We want to reach the end of the competition, the final.
“What I expect from our team is the same desire we showed in the last two [cup] games we won. If we can do the same performance that we did against West Ham, we will be really close to winning the game.”
Kick-off: 7:45pm, Tuesday 29 October, 2019
Last Time: Everton 2 – 1 Watford (LC 2nd Rnd, 1st Leg, September 1991)
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Gomes, Delph, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin