The set-piece prowess of Robert Snodgrass comes to the fore but fails to earn Hull City victory as Ross Barkley stoops to head a first goal since Gameweek 10. Here’s the Stock Check following Friday’s fixture.
On the Rise
Snodgrass produced two stunning free-kicks, one striking the woodwork, the other finding the top corner of Everton’s net.
His sixth goal of the season, a fourth from a dead-ball scenario, elevated him once more in our thinking as a low-to-mid price midfield asset.
The Scot’s record is therefore maintained: he has either scored or assisted 50% of Hull City’s goals this season.
That ensures that Snodgrass must remain on our radar as a fourth midfielder to allow heavy investment up front, or a fifth option in a 3-5-2.
However, Hull City’s fixtures continue to provide a major barrier.
While they next face a trip to West Brom and a vital home clash with Bournemouth, following that, the Tigers are cursed with an evil run that will likely limit Snodgrass’ output.
Mike Phelan’s side must endure visits to Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, with a home fixture with Liverpool also scheduled for the following four Gameweeks.
A beautifully flighted cross served up Ross Barkley’s equaliser and saw Baines record just a third assist of the season.
It represented the left-back’s third attacking return in six Gameweeks and came packaged with the maximum bonus points, taking him to eight over that spell.
Ronald Koeman’s decision to revert from a three-man backline, shifting Baines from wing-back to a traditional full-back role was disappointing. But that tactical tweak may be revisited and, with Everton’s schedule improving markedly, it seems wise to monitor Baines’ underlying numbers in the coming weeks.
The jury is still out on the preferred Toffees full-back option, with Seamus Coleman’s energy arguably offering a greater level of goal threat. However, Baines left-foot supply and spot-kick duties are factors in his favour, with current form suggesting that he is the go-to option.
Dare we consider Barkley?
A source of much frustration for his manager and Fantasy managers alike, he has the talent to deliver but has once again disappointed in this campaign.
Perhaps the goal on Humberside, just his third of the season, will provide the catalyst for greater contributions, though we’re unlikely to jump the gun.
Everton’s fixtures promote further attacking returns, but Barkley has never provided that consistent source we crave and expect from a player with such ability.
The Belgian upped his goal threat, mustering four attempts on the night, one of which struck an upright.
But ultimately, Lukaku failed to follow up on his superb Gameweek 18 goal at Leicester City and allowed another plum fixture to drift by without profit.
In truth, this is typical of Lukaku as a Fantasy asset.
He can rarely be relied upon to deliver according to fixture; his points arrive in bouts, with his form remaining devilishly difficult to predict.
Everton are scoring goals, and the schedule remains favourable, but this is not necessarily a signpost for sustained returns from Lukaku.
Part of a three-man backline in the 2-0 win at Leicester City, the 4.0 valued defender claimed more than 35,000 new owners ahead of the trip to the KCOM Stadium, also earning a place on our Scout Picks bench.
But Koeman’s decision to depart from a winning formation and revert back to a 4-2-3-1 relegated Holgate to the bench, rendering his future as a Fantasy asset uncertain once more.
Koeman hinted that he will change personnel again for the visit of Southampton to Goodison Park on Monday.; it remains to be seen if that finds Holgate recalled and revived.