Everton quickly turn their attention from league to cup football tomorrow night. They head down south for their Second Round Capital One Cup game against Championship side Reading.
Similar to the Blues, Reading have had a decent start to the season. They currently sit in a Play-Off position and have lost only 1 game in 9 in all competitions. Although a Championship side they still have players that can cause us problems.
Nick Blackman is their leading goalscorer with 6 goals this term. The 25-year-old is 6’2 and will try to bully the Everton defenders with his physical presence. He’s not just big, he also has a tendency to drift into wide areas and attempt to cut in on his strong left foot. Another player to keep an eye on is Oliver Norwood. The Central Midfielder, has very good passing ability, strong tackling and long distance shooting.
It will be interesting to see what team Martinez goes with tomorrow night. The first time in a while we have a number of different attacking options. I think Roberto will rest Howard, Barry, Barkley and Kone, with Joel, Gibson, Lennon and Deulofeu all potentially being involved.
In his presser today also suggested that Leandro Rodriguez will be included in the squad. I can’t see him starting but depending on the way the game goes, he may get 20 to 25 minutes from the bench.
We need to have a better start in this round than we did at Barnsley. We can’t be chasing the game and need to start on the front foot and put Reading under pressure early on. The Reading crowd will be up for the game and it will be important to keep them quiet.
Lukaku needs to step up tomorrow and make up for his poor showing against Swansea. His finishing was great against Barnsley and hoping he will get a goal or two to get his confidence soaring again.
We should have too much quality for Reading, but this is a cup game and our record in this competition is horrendous to say the least.
Probable line up: Joel, Browning, Jagielka, Stones, Galloway, McCarthy, Gibson, Naismith, Lennon, Deulofeu, Lukaku.
Prediction: Reading 1 Everton 3
Come on you Blues!