EVERTON BUOYED BY RICHARLISON RETURN
Everton have been boosted by the return of star forward Richarlison from suspension ahead of the next set of Premier League fixtures. Richarlison has missed the last three games in the English topflight as a result of the red cardthat he received in the Merseyside Derby in October.
Brazilian international Richarlison was sent off in the dying minutes of the league match between hosts Everton and Liverpool as the two teams settled for a 2-2 draw. That result halted the Toffees’ run of seven straight wins at the start of this season.Richarlison received his marching orders after a nasty tackle on Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara and the Spanish international midfielder has not played for the Reds since that incident.
Everton are yet to win or draw a game since that Merseyside derby. They have lost all their three league matches without Richarlison. As a matter of fact, the Toffees are winless in the Premier League without the Brazilian since he joined the club from Watford at the start of the last campaign.
The Brazilian has a big influence on the Toffees, and this is evident in his attacking numbers at the start of this campaign. He has attempted the most dribbles per 90 minutes at Everton this season andhas the most touches per 90 minutes inside the opposition’s penalty area.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has tried the likes of Alex Iwobi, Andre Gomes and Bernard in the left side of attack but neither of the players has been able to live up to attacking quality that Richarlison brings to the left side of the Everton attack. Iwobi started the Southampton game (2-0 away loss to the Saints), while Andre Gomes and Bernard started the Newcastle United game(2-1 away loss to the Magpies) and the Manchester United game (3-1 home defeat to the Red Devils) respectively.