STAR PREVIEW Weds: Fleetwood Town v Everton

It’s early days but this has been a dream start to the season for Everton and they can keep their momentum with a win over Fleetwood Town in the Carabao Cup tonight.

Fleetwood Town v Everton
Carabao Cup Third Round
19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD

(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
First meeting between sides

Carlo Ancelotti’s men ended last season in rather limp style but they’ve attacked this campaign with renewed focus, starting their Premier League season in great fashion with deserved wins against Tottenham and West Brom. That will naturally be their focus but their squad has improved over the summer and they made a good start to their Carabao Cup campaign when beating Salford 3-0 in the first round.

Ancelotti made ten changes from the side that beat Tottenham and was rewarded with a relatively comfortable win where the Toffees started and finished strongly, even if they were a little lacklustre for periods of the game. From a huge 32 shot total – the most attempts they’ve had in a game since February 2016 – 25 shots came in the first and last 20 minutes, with seven in between.

Despite that lacklustre middle period – and the fact the score line was just 1-0 75 minutes Everton were unlucky not to win by a far greater margin – Moise Kean (twice), Gylfi Sigurdsson and Anthony Gordon (also twice) hit the crossbar or post five times between them and Everton also had a couple of great opportunities across the face of the Salford goal.

We can expect to see the same side out once again, with Joao Virginia, Jonjoe Kenny, Michael Keane, Lucas Digne * Neils Nkounkou; Tom Davies, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Theo Walcott, Anthony Gordon, Bernard and Moise Kean starting, which is a strong line up at his level.

Everton will need to be on their guard against a Fleetwood side that’s coached by none other than Joey Barton; The Cod Army had won four straight games and were on course for a deserved fifth against Peterborough when they had dominated the game before being sucker-punched with two injury time goals.

We’ve only had a handful of games but a tilt at the League One title – they were knocked out in the play-offs last year – is a possibility if they can maintain this form and Barton has seen a number of players impress early on, with Callum Camps, Paddy Madden, Josh Morris and Harvey Saunders having scored already whilst Sam Stubbs and James Hill look like good prospects going forward.

However, Fleetwood will have to be even better against an Everton side who will take some stopping if they can be more clinical this evening and the visitors can be good enough to make it through to the third round with something to spare.

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