Everton will be hoping for their first win of the season when they travel to face Fleetwood Town in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

The Toffees have just one point to their name after three league matches and are in desperate need of several additions to their side.

A trip to face a League One side who themselves have made an indifferent start to their campaign is perhaps just what the doctor ordered.

The Cod Army have drawn their last three games and sit in 14th place, and they will undoubtedly be hoping for an upset against a Premier League outfit bereft of confidence.


A rotated line-up?

It will be interesting to see what sort of side Frank Lampard puts out for this cup tie.

Injuries to several players means there is little depth in the squad, suggesting at least a handful of key players will start.

Question marks loom over both Dele and Anthony Gordon who are linked with moves to Besiktas and Chelsea respectively and this makes it unlikely either will feature at Highbury.

There are many stars in the under-21s side who will be hoping for a first-team chance, including Lewis Warrington, Stanley Mills, Isaac Price and Reece Welch who all featured in pre-season for the Blues.

Everton’s lack of options upfront could also potentially mean a chance for Tom Cannon, who signed a new three-year deal with the club on Sunday.


One to watch – Dwight McNeil

New signing Dwight McNeil has made an inauspicious start to life at Goodison Park and was particularly criticised after coming on against Nottingham Forest in the Toffees’ last match, although he was deployed in an unfamiliar centre forward role for the majority of his cameo.

The 22-year-old will almost certainly be starting against Fleetwood with both Gordon and Dele not expected to be involved.

Being restored to a wider position, and with the prospect of facing a weaker opposition, McNeil will be licking his lips at the prospect of getting his Everton career up and running.


One to watch – Daniel Batty

Daniel Batty is now a mainstay in the Fleetwood midfield, having joined the club 18 months ago.

An energetic midfielder, formerly of Hull, he has made a strong start to the 2022-23 campaign, weighing in with two of his side’s five goals so far.

The 24-year-old will be hoping to add to this tally against the Toffees.


Final thoughts

The mood in the Everton camp is not a pleasant one at the moment.

The Blues were unimaginative during their 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest, and it is glaringly obvious that reinforcements are needed if they are to have a fighting chance at staying up again this season.

And with just over a week of the transfer window left, a lot of supporters are starting to panic.

A routine win over Fleetwood tonight and subsequent progression to the Carabao Cup third round would by no means eradicate the tension but would certainly help to alleviate it.

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