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Preview: Everton vs. Sheffield Wednesday - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's FA Cup clash between Everton and Sheffield Wednesday, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Everton play host to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday evening as they bid to continue their excellent form under Carlo Ancelotti.

While the Toffees sit in sixth position in the Premier League standings, Wednesday remain in the Championship relegation zone despite four games without defeat.


Match preview

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti pictured in December 2020© Reuters

On the back of victories over Rotherham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ancelotti would have been disappointed that Everton's Premier League game with Aston Villa was postponed last weekend.

Nevertheless, the 12-day break has provided the Toffees with more time to prepare for their next batch of fixtures, something which could help their bid to finish in the top six and win this competition.

Priority will remain on the Premier League, particularly with the Merseyside outfit in a position to move into third if they prevail in their two games in hand.

Ancelotti will acknowledge, however, that he has a responsibility to select strong sides in the FA Cup, with the club having now gone more than 25 years without picking up any silverware.

Despite being clear favourites to emerge victorious at the weekend, Everton face opponents who have put together a five-match unbeaten streak which has gone under the radar.

Changes in the dugout and the club remaining in the Championship relegation zone means that the Owls' chances of progression will be widely dismissed.

However, as well as conceding just two goals in five matches, caretaker boss Neil Thompson has won each of his three fixtures in temporary charge.

Although Wednesday head into this contest having not played since January 9, extra time spent on the training pitch may only benefit this group of players in the long term.

Goals from Adam Reach and Callum Paterson helped Wednesday to victory over Exeter City in the previous round.

Everton FA Cup form: W
Everton form (all competitions): WLWLWW

Sheffield Wednesday FA Cup form: W
Sheffield Wednesday form (all competitions): LWDWWW


Team News

Dominic Calvert-Lewin carries the match ball after scoring a hat-trick against West Ham United in the EFL Cup on September 30, 2020© Reuters

Dominic Calvert-Lewin could return for Everton after making progress in his recovery from a hamstring injury.

The near two-week break will likely lead to Ancelotti naming a stronger team than initially anticipated, although deputy goalkeeper Robin Olsen should take his place between the sticks.

Like their hosts, Wednesday boss Thompson could select his strongest team after the enforced absence from competitive action.

While new addition Andre Green may be handed a start, Thompson has hinted that he will not take any risks on key players who are only just returning from injury.

Everton possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey; Doucoure, Davies; Richarlison, Rodriguez, Gordon; Calvert-Lewin

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Wildsmith; Odubajo, Lees, Shaw, Palmer; Reach, Pelupessy, Bannan, Harris; Kachunga, Paterson


SM words green background

We say: Everton 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday

Although Ancelotti will make at least a couple of changes for this contest, his squad members will be eager to make an impact. With that in mind, we expect the Toffees to record a relatively routine win over their opponents, who could struggle in the final third.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Who will progress into the FA Cup fifth round

Everton
85.6%
Sheffield Wednesday
14.4%
97
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Exeter City's Matt Jay in action with Sheffield Wednesday's Liam Shaw and Ciaran Brennan on January 9, 2021
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Exeter boss Matt Taylor criticises players after Wednesday defeat
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd26148453322150
3Leicester CityLeicester26154745301549
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
5Chelsea26128641251644
6Liverpool26127747341343
7Everton2513483833543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa24123938261239
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2696112943-1433
14Southampton2686123144-1330
15Burnley2677121834-1628
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham26411112132-1123
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2632211543-2811

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