Norwich City must be wary of Everton’s strength in depth for EFL Cup clash
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Some fringe players and youngsters may well get the chance to impress at Goodison Park tonight but Norwich manager Alex Neil will also remain wary of the quality that Everton possess.
Toffees boss Ronald Koeman is likely to rotate his squad as well but will be able to call on some players with real quality and experience.
The Dutchman replaced Roberto Martinez during the summer, following the takeover of billionaire Farhad Moshiri, and is riding the crest of the wave that investment has brought to the club.
Star defender John Stones may have been sold to Manchester City for £47.5m but was soon replaced by Swansea and Wales skipper Ashley Williams for around £12million.
Tricky winger Yannick Bolasie and battling midfielder Idrissa Gueye also arrived for big fees, from Crystal Palace and Aston Villa respectively, as Koeman starts building a more ambitious squad.
'I'm not so sure the fresh money's made the difference, they had a really good squad to start with,' Neil said ahead of tonight's EFL Cup third round tie. 'Roberto (Martinez) had them finishing really high up the league in his first season (fifth) there and then the next seasons, for them and for him, ended in a bit of disappointment.
'With Ronald going in there it's given them a bit of impetus and they've responded well to him. They have added to the squad, the likes of Bolasie, Gueye in the middle of the park, Ashley Williams. So they have spent some money but they've got a good squad, they've got a Premier League squad, and they've started the season really well so it will be a good test for us.'
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Koeman picked a strong team for the 4-0 defeat of Yeovil in the second round, with the likes of star striker Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley both starting, and Arouna Kone scoring twice.
'I know against Yeovil they fielded a really strong side but Ronald at that stage was probably still trying to implement his style of play and try to really get into the players what he wanted,' Neil continued,
'Whereas now you could probably argue that he's done that, so I think it's good for him to give some of the other boys an opportunity and I would expect there will be some changes.'
City also travelled to Goodison Park in the League Cup last season, losing 4-3 on penalties, but Neil says that will not provide any added motivation for his squad.
'I don't think that game will have anything to do with this game,' he added. 'I think the team will be significantly different to that team and it was different managers, a different season all together.
'It will be an individual match and that will really determine how we play.'