LIVERPOOOL, United Kingdom, Nov 6 – Everton FC manager Marco Silva says he will ring changes to his squad when he parades his team out to play record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia in the SportPesa Trophy match at Goodison Park on Tuesday night.
The game will come less than three days after they played against Brighton & Hove Albion and four more before they play on-form Chelsea in an English Premier League match at the same venue.
“It will be important to give some minutes for different players. For sure, some of the players (who played against Brighton) will not be on the pitch. This match is important but the next match is even more important. I want to be fair and honest with you that most important is next weekend,” the tactician said.
Among the players who will be in line to start against Gor is keeper Maarten Stekelenburg who started between the sticks in Tanzania last year, conceding a goal from Jacques Tuyisenge’s header.
Colombian defender Yerry Mina will also be in line to make his first full start for the side having come off the bench in the Brighton win to see off the games in the final four minutes.
Mina, on loan from Spanish giants Barcelona will be expected to start against Chelsea with current stopper Kurt Zouma not allowed to play against the London side as he is on loan from them. Silva might be bent to give Mina a few minutes to get his sharpness on point.
Brazilian forward Richarlison will definitely be out of the match after picking up a knock on his ankle early on against brighton, but he continued to play on scoring two goals.
“For him, for sure, 100pc he will not play. He is a soldier, he is resilient because even after getting injured, he still wanted to play. That’s the spirit I want to see,” Silva said of his star striker’s availability for the game.
But even if the Portuguese coach decides not to field his first team stars, he is still expected to put out a decent squad that will give a good account of themselves. The likes of Senegalese forward Oumar Niasse might get a few minutes under their belts.
Meanwhile the tactician says he expects a tough game from Gor saying he knows a bit about them and concedes it will not be a walk in the park.
“I expect a very tough game and I know it will be a good moment for our opponents. It is always good to see different players playing and we know something small about them. It is an important moment for them because it is their first time in England and we are here to give them a good game,” Silva further stated.
He adds; “It is important to enjoy the game but it is important also to give them a good game because they have come all the way here to play in his historic stadium. We are ready for everything,” the Portuguese former right-back noted.
The match ended 2-1 last year in favor of Everton in what was Dylan Kerr’s final match as the Gor Mahia coach. Word is that the coach might soon be leaving and the Everton game again, this time in Goodison par might be his last lining out in the green and white of Gor.
-Timothy Olobulu is reporting from Liverpool, United Kingdom-