Everton face historic clash at Molinuex with two games to go
Well it has now almost come down to the wire as Everton face arguably the single most important Premier League game in this club’s history when they play Wolves on Saturday.
In this penultimate match of the campaign the Toffees have a chance to secure their top flight status if they win and other results go the right way.
Defeat would potentially be terminal. So, Everton really need the three points and if Leeds United and Leicester City lose and heavily, essentially they will more or less be over the line.
Thirty-five points will in all probability be enough to guarantee Premier League football will be played at Goodison Park in it’s next and last season, given the fact all the other relegation candidates have difficult fixtures left.
Manager Sean Dyche has given his pre-match presser and confirmed that he is still without left-back Vitalii Mykolenko who has joined captain Seamus Coleman and Ben Godfrey out injured.
That leaves him with only Nathan Patterson as a recognised full-back so it could force a tactical switch possibly to a three-man defence or play Dwight McNeil at left-back.
In midfield Dyche might decide to bring Amadou Onana back into the side or stick with James Garner. I would be tempted to stay with the former Manchester United youth product as he has performed well in the last two games.
More significantly though on the injury front, Dyche sounded an optimistic note about the fitness of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The ever-so fragile centre-forward came off at half-time in last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City with what was said to be a thigh strain.
Evertonians have been keeping their fingers crossed since Sunday that he will be ok to play at Molinuex and the manager seemed to indicate that was very possible.
Assuming he does make it through training over the next few days and is available, then Dyche will perhaps still have a decision to make.
Does he start the striker or leave him on the bench to bring on if Everton are chasing the game?
The reason I say this is because if he gets hurt again then there is virtually no chance he will be available to face Bournemouth in what might still be a decisive game.
On balance, if he’s fit I would say start with him and if the Blues are able to get a one or two lead perhaps then take him off to try and ensure there is no further problems before Bournemouth.
What more is there to say other than surely nothing less than a win is really necessary.
A draw, athough it woudn’t be a total disaster of course and thirty-three points could keep Everton up, would mean it could be all or nothing on the final day of the season and that is not scenario I want to see again.
Last season the Toffees did win their second-to-last match to fend off relegation after coming behind to beat Crystal Palace on that famous night at the Grand Old Lady.
Can this team do it again on Saturday?