May 21, 2024

Move over Branthwaite: Dyche must take big Everton risk by unleashing £20m ‘hero’ today – opinion

 

The one BIG RISK that Sean Dyche MUST make if Everton are to beat Spurs today 💪😬

Everton will be seeking to brush aside their disappointing EFL Cup exit in midweek by bouncing back today, with Tottenham Hotspur the side who stand in their way.

Although the cup is to be no more for the Toffees, their form in the Premier League has been otherwise sparkling, having enjoyed four straight victories of late without conceding a single goal.

However, today marks a completely different test, travelling to the home of a side that took the division by storm early on.

Having somewhat waned following a few major injuries, this clash sees two severely weakened sides come to blows, pitting Sean Dyche and Ange Postecoglou against one another for the first time.

Everton v Fulham - Carabao Cup Quarter Final
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

The former, however, could be set to enjoy a couple of boosts to his squad.

Few would be as huge as Vitaliy Mykolenko though.

Will Vitaliy Mykolenko start for Everton vs Spurs?

Confirmed as firmly in contention for the match, his absence against Fulham was depressingly glaring, given how it weakened the entire squad.

With no Ashley Young to cover, they were without an outstanding option to fill the vacancy at left-back.

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As such, Jarrad Branthwaite was forced into the position, moving their star asset to an unfamiliar area just to plug the gap.

And whilst he did impress, the Englishman is far more accomplished in his favoured centre-back role, with his left-footedness proving imperative to open up the game when playing out from the back.

That’s where Mykolenko comes in, to restructure the side with a steeliness down that left flank.

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Having made himself an unlikely ‘Everton hero’ over the last few months, in the eyes of journalist Joe Thomas, this season in particular has been a standout for the £20m stalwart.

After all, the 24-year-old is averaging 1.5 interceptions, 3.6 tackles, three clearances and 6.1 ball recoveries per game in the Premier League, having also notched two goals too, via Sofascore.

Although it may be deemed a big risk to throw him straight back into action following an injury, his emerging importance is now too high to ignore. When he is not there, Everton are decidedly worse.

So, with Mykolenko reportedly back in contention, his presence in the starting line-up today should be a no-brainer for Dyche, hoping to make it a fifth straight league win.

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