Marco Silva has admitted that he’s likely to field a strong side against the Imps in his pre-match press conference.
Website Royal Blue Mersey have posted his comments where he confirms he respects our achievements and that he’ll be fielding a strong side, or in his words ‘a side to win the game’.
“Playing in this competition for us we are going to play with our maximum ambition. We are going to go step by step, but with full ambition in this competition to do something special,” he said.
“Maximum respect to our opponents, and to the competition as well. If we want to do something special in both cups, the most important is tomorrow because we are here now.
“It doesn’t make sense to make rotation just for the sake of making a rotation. We will play with the XI that I think is the best XI to win the match.”
That isn’t necessarily pointing to a full first team squad though as widely reported, the wording is very careful; “We will play with the XI that I think is the best XI to win the match.” For me, that suggests that he expects the team he picks to win, not that he’s going to play a full first team squad.
Surely, any manager puts out a side he thinks should win the game and Everton should, in theory, be able to field a reserve side and win the game. Some sites have already suggested he’ll be starting a full first team but I’m sure that’s not going to be the case.
He paid tribute to both Tyler Walker and Jack Payne in his summing up of the Imps’ current position.
“They are a little bit different. They were promoted and signed 3-4 players of a different profile than last season, with a different striker in the first few games of this season, he’s a good player.
“The offensive midfielder is a good player also, has improved their squad. They’ve kept the same backline, strong players, setpieces are really strong, with technical players in some positions, because they are playing in a different competition also.”
Can we do it? Can we get a result? I think if a side were to under-estimate us then perhaps so, but that won’t happen. Marco Silva did that once, he won’t do it again. I think the classic example of this from the past is Crystal Palace; they under-estimated us in the League Cup in 1994/95, losing at Sincil Bank and only just scraping through at Selhurst Park. We drew them in the FA Cup later in the year and they took no chances, winning 5-1.
Tomorrow’s game is going to be much like that third fixture in 1994/95; Everton won’t take any chances.