Everton return to Goodison after picking up all three points this past weekend versus Brentford, advancing in the Carabao Cup versus Aston Villa.
Everton proved to be a challenge for Aston Villa, beating them 2-1 at Villa Park. Everton absolutely bossed this match, having only 32% possession, they dominated. James Garner would slide into the midfield next to Onana, which would be the key to comfortably controlling this game. Man of the Match James Garner would be the life of the team and really help with transitioning the ball smoothly on the counter. Every player had a fantastic game, mistakes were minimal which allowed Everton to stay in the game as individual mistakes have really held us back this season and seasons prior.
Luton Town met League One team Exeter City. Exeter City would score late after an intense and high-energy match. After scoring in the 83′ off a moment of miscommunication between Tim Krul and a Luton defender, goal scorer Demetri Mitchell would be sent off in the 88′. Luton Town did not capitalize on the benefit of an extra player on the field.
Key player: Everton
After a grand performance versus Aston Villa, Amadou Onana will have a repeat performance and control the midfield during the game. Luton struggle against players who play direct and have the vision to play through balls. Through balls are one of Luton’s weaknesses, so I expect to see many balls played through the backline, breaking them down will take vision and patience. Onana also likes to push out wide from time to time and with Luton usually playing a 3-5-2, it is up to Luton to stay disciplined and keep shape. I suspect James Garner will play next to Onana once again and allow Onana to play up to the level we saw.
Key Player: Luton Town
Marvelous Nakamba, the Luton midfielder, could possibly be the driving force that could propel Luton into a position to control and even change the game. Nakamba is in the 99th percentile in tackles per 90 and has an average of 86% passing completion. These are important stats to look at when Luton could possibly have greater possession of the ball if Everton do decide to sit back and play the counter as they typically do.
Everton do have more quality on their squad so it might be a chance to play more aggressive than usual. Luton on the other hand approach the game similarly to how Sean Dyche would. Kyle Robbins’ article which spoke on how Luton have played and how they have been successful said “Proponents of a compact 3-5-2 system, which morphs into a 5-3-2 out of possession, Luton Town’s play revolves heavily around direct, long balls out of trouble and set piece excellence.”
It will be interesting to see how Sean Dyche approaches this game. Does he keep James Garner next to Onana? Do we play a three back again? The Aston Villa game was a masterclass by Dyche and I do wonder if it was a glimpse as of what’s to come. If Everton do claim all three points, it will have us comfortably mid-table for the time being.