James Garner to be axed, Mason Holgate to start: Everton predicted XI v Bournemouth
Sean Dyche will be forced to make a number of personnel and tactical changes to his Everton starting lineup against Bournemouth at Goodison Park on Sunday (28 May).
The Toffees require s win from the crunch clash against the Cherries to stave off relegation to the Championship, with both Leeds United and Leicester City currently both two points behind with a single game remaining.
Dyche has been struck by several injuries in the build-up and is expected to make three changes from the side who nicked a last-gasp draw against Wolves last weekend.
In goal, England number one Jordan Pickford will be a crucial presence and likely to play a key role in keeping out an in-form Bournemouth attack.
James Tarkowski and Yerry Mina are expected to continue their burgeoning partnership at the heart of Everton’s defence, with the latter arriving full of confidence following his 98th-minute goal against Wolves.
However, Dyche faces some tricky selection calls at full-back, with injury expert Ben Dinnery sharing that Nathan Patterson is ruled out of the clash with a hamstring injury, while Vitalii Mykolenko stands a 50% chance due to a thigh injury.
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The Ukrainian is unlikely to be risked considering his recent lack of game time, so Dwight McNeil is likely to continue his spell at left-back, while Mason Holgate is preferred to start at right-back ahead of Michael Keane.
Idrissa Gueye will be crucial to filling in for McNeil when he bombs down the wing in attack, with the former PSG man tasked with shielding the defence and limiting the attacking threat of Philip Billing.
James Garner, who signed from Manchester United in a £15million deal last summer [Sky Sports, 2 September], is the unfortunate player who will be dropped to the bench due to a shuffle in personnel, with Amadou Onana and Abdoulaye Doucoure expected to start in central midfield and provide box-to-box performances.
The Telegraph reported on 23 May that Dominic Calvert-Lewin is set to be sidelined for up to five weeks after suffering a hamstring injury, so Neal Maupay will start at the tip of Everton’s attack and attempt to get in the goals.
On either side of the Frenchman, Alex Iwobi will continue on the right wing, while Demarai Gray comes in on the left flank in an attempt to offer the Toffees a point of difference in the final third.