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Everton line-ups as Richarlison returns and Carlo Ancelotti gets double boost vs West Ham

‘Ancelotti has two reasons to be cheerful’

Chris Beesley: Given the global coronavirus pandemic and its numerous knock-on effects, many of us will be glad to see the back of 2020 but while 2021 won’t bring an instantaneous magic wand in that respect, hopes are high that we’ll eventually see brighter times ahead.

Indeed with covid cases rising, Everton are counting the cost of the Liverpool City Region being moved up into Tier 3 which means that fans are again absent from Goodison Park for West Ham United’s visit but Carlo Ancelotti does have a couple of reasons to be cheerful when it comes to his team selection for this evening.

The Blues boss has confirmed that Richarlison is fit to return while the postponement of the Manchester City game – scheduled to come just 48 hours after the trip to Sheffield United has negated the need to rest top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Both should take their place against the Hammers to spearhead the home side’s attack.

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My team (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Holgate, Godfrey, Mina, Keane; Davies, Doucoure; Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin.

‘Unexpected rest is Ancelotti’s chance’

Connor O’Neill: Given the unexpected rest Everton’s players will have had this week following the postponement of the Manchester City game on Monday, Carlo Ancelotti should be able to play the best side available to him.

That means Jordan Pickford will no doubt remain in goal, while it is hard to see the Blues boss wanting to change the back four that started in the win over Sheffield United on Boxing Day.

In midfield, Tom Davies should start alongside Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gylfi Sigurdsson, although Andre Gomes certainly did his chances of a start no harm against the Blades.

While out wide it will no doubt be the returning Richarlison and Alex Iwobi, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin up top.

My team (4-3-3): Pickford; Holgate, Godfrey, Keane, Mina; Doucoure, Davies, Sigurdsson; Iwobi, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.

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‘Richarlison return means Bernard’s chance is gone’

Joe Rimmer: Everton might be thankful of that extra rest.

Indeed, Carlo Ancelotti admitted that the postponed match against Man City means he has changed his plans to rest Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and I’d expect that goes for much of the team.

Everton also have Richarlison back available after a concussion and he starts alongside Calvert-Lewin and Alex Iwobi. It’s a shame for Bernard, who may have pushed for a start otherwise.

Tom Davies should get the chance to continue his good form in midfield and the back four remains the same.

My team (4-3-3): Pickford; Holgate, Godfrey, Keane, Mina; Doucoure, Davies, Sigurdsson; Iwobi, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.

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