Everton vs Stevenage (Capital One Cup 2nd Round)
Everton begin their quest to end 18 trophyless years with a second round League Cup tie against League One Stevenage. The Blues will start the night as huge favourites, but Martinez will be eager to avoid an upset in a competition the Toffees are yet to win.
Martinez is more than aware of the dangers of facing lower league opposition and used his pre-match press conference yesterday, to stress that Everton would not underestimate their opposition, especially considering that Stevenage have already caused one upset with a first round victory over Ipswich Town. However despite an intention to take the competition seriously, Martinez has confirmed he will rotate his squad and give players who have missed out on action so far a chance to impress. This is likely to mean a first official start in an Everton shirt for both Arouna Kone and Gerard Deulofeu.
Deulofeu has become frustrated at his lack of opportunities so far and Martinez is hoping for a big impact from the Barcelona loanee. Yesterday, Everton’s new manager spoke about Deulofeu at length, an interview you can watch on evertonTV.
“He’s been frustrated so far, which I really like.
“For someone so young to feel they want to help the team is something you want to see as a manager.
“He’s exciting. He’s a crowd pleaser with the style and talent that he uses in his play, but he’s got a real end product. I have seen many crowd pleasers but they are not effective for the team.
“And that’s what we need to allow him to grow into, to adapt to the British game. It will take months, it’s not going to happen overnight.
“We need to be patient with Gerard. We will see the best of him in January or February. He’s an exciting winger. He takes people on and can play on both wings. He is the sort of player who can create something out of nothing.
“It is a big change from the way he is playing Barcelona to adapting to the British game.
“But straight away what he’s got is something that we haven’t got in the squad. He will really important for us throughout the season.”
Kone and Deulofeu are unlikely to be the only players coming into the team. John Stones impressed in pre-season and he is set to make his Everton debut alongside Phil Jagielka in defence. Steven Naismith enjoyed a good summer and is likely to figure, as is Bryan Oviedo, with Leighton Baines getting a rest ahead of the weekend trip to Cardiff.
Expected starting team: Joel; Hibbert, Oviedo, Jagielka, Stones; Heitinga, Fellaini, Mirallas; Naismith, Deulofeu, Kone.
Everton and Stevenage have never met before, with the League One club enjoying a relatively short existence. Formed in 1976, Stevenage have been on an ever upward spiral from that moment on, progressing rapidly through the non league pyramid, before winning promotion to the Football League in 2010. Managed by Graham Westley, the Boro’ like to play attractive football and it promises to be an entertaining cup tie at Goodison.
For our archive footage this week we have delved deep for some classic league cup action. For those who know their history, you will know this is one of the most famous Everton matches of all time. In 1983/84, with the Blues One-nil down in a Milk Cup quarter final to Second Division Oxford United, Adrian Heath seized onto a poor Kevin Brock back pass to score a crucial equalizer that proved the catalyst for the Kendall revolution. Everton went onto win the replay, progressing all the way to Wembley before losing in controversial fashion to Liverpool in the final.