27 min James plays the ball into the area towards Calvert-Lewin, who fresh-airs an attempted backheel to Sigurdsson. The loose ball is picked up by James, whose curling shot is headed away by Brennan.
25 min Calvert-Lewin wins a corner for Everton. James’s inswinger just clears the leaping Calvert-Lewin in the middle and Wednesday force the ball away.
22 min Harris runs at Godfrey, who pokes the ball behind for a corner. Bannan’s inswinging corner shaves the head of an Everton player at the near post and flashes across the face of goal.
18 min Harris’s dangerous cross is cleared by Mina at the near post. Although Everton have had the biggest chance, Wednesday do look bright and breezy going forward.
17 min James plays another nice through pass, this time to Calvert-Lewin in the area. He takes it beautifully in his stride, dragging his studs over the ball to pirouette away from Urhoghide, and forces a low shot that is saved at the near post by Wildsmith.
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15 min The debutant Green cuts infield from the left and stings Olsen’s palms with a decent effort. He looks lively.
13 min That pass from James really was exquisite.
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12 min: Richarlison has a goal disallowed! Ach, that’s a shame, because it was a gorgeous goal. James wandered infield from the right and played a devastating through pass, perfectly weighted to take Brennan out of the game and bring Richarlison into it. He finished calmly past Wildsmith, but replays showed he was fractionally offside.
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9 min Richarlison flashes a terrific cross from the left that just evades Calvert-Lewin.
8 min: Richarlison hits the bar! Coleman moves into space down the right and swings a deep cross towards Richarlison, whose header is pushed/fumbled onto the top of the bar by Wildsmith.
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5 min Wednesday have made a bright start and look perky in possession. For tactics fans, this is their revised line-up:
Sheffield Wednesday (3-3-2-2) Wildsmith; Urhoghide, Borner, Brennan; Harris, Pelupessy, Galvin; Reach, Bannan; Paterson, Green.
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4 min Adam Reach finds himself in space 25 yards from goal. He pushes the ball forward and hits a rising drive across goal that is pushed behind by Olsen. It was a fairly comfortable save, but it was also a good strike from Reach.
3 min Richarlison has a snapshot blocked by a Wednesday defender, Brennan I think.
2 min BT Sport were right: Wednesday are playing 3-5-2. Nothing else to report yet.
Here come the teams. I should have said that the Everton subs bench includes Thierry Small, a 16-year-old left-back; he will become their youngest ever player if he gets on.
“Hi Rob,” says Matt Burtz. “Considering the injuries and the Leicester game on Wednesday, this is probably Carlo’s strongest lineup. They haven’t played in 12 days and there should be no excuses here, but as you’ve already noted, this is Everton we’re talking about. Fingers crossed.”
They’ve had some special cup defeats since the turn of the century, haven’t they? We all remember Shrewsbury but there’s also Oldham, Tranmere, Reading, Wigan, even Liverpool reserves last year.
“Evening, Smyth,” says Sean Clayton. “This could be a massacre – Everton have got the likes of DCL and James against a Wednesday back four including three U-23 players with fewer than 10 career starts each. What’s the audio version of watching through your fingers?”
Good question. Listening on headphones with the commentary in one ear and Brian Eno in the other?
The teams in (probable) formation
Everton (4-2-3-1) Olsen; Coleman, Holgate, Mina, Godfrey; Doucoure, Gomes; James, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin.
Substitutes: Pickford, Lossl, Kenny, Keane, Bernard, Gordon, Davies, Small, Onyango.
Sheffield Wednesday (4-2-3-1) Wildsmith; Urhoghide, Brennan, Borner, Galvin; Bannan, Pelupessy; Harris, Reach, Green; Paterson.
Substitutes: Jackson, Palmer, Marriott, Penney, Dele-Bashiru, Windass, Brown, Hunt, Kachunga.
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If you don’t want to know the Man Utd/Liverpool score, look away before I post the next entry
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has been out with a hamstring injury, plays for the first time since New Year’s Day. Carlo Ancelotti has picked a very strong side, though Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane have been given a rest.
Andre Green makes his debut for Sheffield Wednesday, though we’re not sure whether he’ll play wide or up front. They are without the teenage defender Liam Shaw, who played brilliantly in those three wins under Neil Thompson. There’s no official explanation why Shaw is not involved tonight, but if you fancy a bit of feckless, baseless, clueless, meaningless, worthless, headless, witless speculation as to why he is not involved, check out twitter.com, where less is more.
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Hello. In the FA Cup, every fixture tells a story. Tonight’s meeting between Everton and Sheffield Wednesday at Goodison Park evokes two classic ties – the 1966 FA Cup final, when Everton came from 2-0 down to win 3-2, and the marathon of 1988, when it took four games to separate the teams in the third round. After three 1-1 draws, Everton settled the matter with a perverse 5-0 win at Hillsborough. (There was also a belting quarter-final in 1906, which Everton won 4-3, but you don’t care about, do you, you xenophobe.)
Logic suggests this will be a comfortable game for Everton, though we’ve said that a few times in the 26 years since they last won the FA Cup. They are sixth in the Premier League; Sheffield Wednesday are 23rd in the Championship. Even without their six-point deduction, Wednesday would only be 20th.
To make things worse, their last two games have been postponed because of a Covid outbreak. But their form before that was spotless, with three wins out of three under the caretaker manager Neil Thompson, so maybe a shock isn’t beyond the realms. If Wednesday do win, it’ll add to an already rich story when these two next meet in the FA Cup.
Kick off is at 8pm. The winners will be at home to Wycombe or Spurs in the fifth round.
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