Alex Iwobi starts for Everton, as the striker makes his debut against QPR.
Everton manager Rafa Benitez could do without Everton’s injury woes this week.
The Blues have no new issues as they prepare to face QPR, but players will need to relax tonight as they prepare to face Norwich at the weekend.
As a result, the age-old issue resurfaces: how strong should you keep the side to ensure progress?
Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate, Jarrad Branthwaite, Tom Davies, Andre Gomes, and Anthony Gordon should all have opportunities to shine.
In an ideal scenario, Everton would be able to rest their whole starting lineup from the weekend, but that isn’t going to be possible given their present injury woes.
Regardless, the Blues should be able to win this game with their talent.
QPR will make changes for their Championship match against West Bromwich Albion on Friday night.
Everton will be forced to do so, not because they face Norwich on Saturday, but because they already have a glut of injured or unavailable players.
Three at the back offers Mason Holgate, Jarrad Branthwaite, and Ben Godfrey much-needed minutes while also allowing Jonjoe Kenny and Anthony Gordon to play wide and potentially provide ammo for Salomon Rondon.
In the centre, Tom Davies and Andre Gomes will be crucial if Jean-Philippe Gbamin is still sidelined, while Alex Iwobi can push up and support Rondon in the same way he did against Huddersfield in the previous round.
Rafa Benitez is in a Catch 22 situation this evening.
On the one hand, Everton’s already overworked squad requires rest ahead of a crucial Premier League match against Norwich City.
Queens Park Rangers, on the other hand, will not be taken lightly. They are currently sixth in the Championship table, six points behind the leaders.
But who can Benitez turn to in the real world?
Jonjoe Kenny, Jarrad Branthwaite, and Tom Davies will all start, but Andre Gomes, Alex Iwobi, and Anthony Gordon will need to offer a spark in the final third to catch their manager’s attention.
After returning from injury and making his Everton debut in a back-to-basics 4-4-2, Ellis Simms is also rewarded for his loan time at Blackpool last season.