Everton’s last outing in the league was a 1-0 win over West Ham thanks to a late Romelu Lukaku goal. Roberto Martinez will be hoping his players can bounce back immediately after their 4-1 loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup last weekend.
Midfielder James McCarthy has been an excellent addition to Martinez’s squad following his arrival from Wigan, adding dynamism and bite to the Toffee’s engine room. Indeed, no Everton player has attempted more tackles than his 106 and he remains the only Everton player to have surpassed the 100-mark for attempted challenges according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
It’s easy to see why Everton fans are keen for Gerard Deulofeu to extend his stay at Goodison Park given the impact the youngster has had since arriving from Barcelona. His flair is complemented by an ability to fashion some dangerous end product, showcased by the fact that he still has the best shot accuracy rate of any Everton player this season. He’s worked the ‘keeper with 73.7% of his 19 shots to date.
Ross Barkley has appeared fatigued to some in recent weeks but the young Everton tyro is still capable of turning a game on it’s head with one of his powerful surges from midfield. He ranks fourth on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for dribbles with 59 and will no doubt be looking to test out the Cardiff defence and add to this total this weekend.
Continuing on the thread of Everton youngsters, John Stones has been solidifying himself in Roberto Martinez’s first team plans this season with some excellent displays for one so young. He’s given away a foul on average just once every 156 minutes he’s been on the pitch in the league this season, a sign of mature head on young shoulders.
Everton (from): Howard, Robles, Alcaraz, Baines, Coleman, Distin, Hibbert, Jagielka, Stones, Barkley, Barry, McCarthy, McGeady, Osman, Pienaar, Deulofeu, Gueye, Lukaku, Mirallas, Naismith, Vellios.