Everton v Rotherham preview: We can cope without Richarlison, says Kurt Zouma
Last Updated: 29/08/18 8:23pm
Kurt Zouma has backed Everton to deal without the suspended Richarlison in Wednesday night's Carabao Cup second-round tie with Rotherham at Goodison Park.
After starting the season with three goals in his opening two games following a summer switch from Watford, the 21-year-old was sent off at Bournemouth for headbutting Adam Smith.
Richarlison will now sit out the next three games, including Wednesday's clash with Rotherham.
But fellow new recruit Zouma - on a season-long loan from Chelsea - believes while the forward is an "important player" for Everton, someone else will be ready to step in and stake a claim for a place in Marco Silva's side.
"To be fair, in every team there is competition, if one goes out another comes in to do the same or even better," he said.
"We have played very well in the three games, especially in two away games with 10 men.
"The attitude was fantastic and you can see the spirit on the pitch, everyone wants to give 100 per cent and that is what we want to do all season."
Richarlison's impressive start to the season has seen the former Fluminese player called up to the Brazil squad for the first time.
Zouma, who is in line to make his first start since moving to Goodison Park at the close of the transfer window, has been suitably impressed.
"He is an important player for us," the France international said.
"He is a very good player and is quite young - maybe he was a bit too emotional [with the red card] but he is very young and a top quality player so he will bounce back and come back and help us."
Zouma has had to wait for his chance at Everton, but was a late substitute in the draw at Bournemouth after Michael Keane suffered a hairline fracture to the skull in the closing stages.
Te 23-year-old - who spent last year on loan at Stoke - is ready to make a play for a regular place in the side.
"I came here to play and help the team to win games," he added.
"It is never easy to come into these kind of games, especially when one of your team-mates is injured but I hope he [Keane] is feeling well and all of the squad wish him well."
Everton have not faced since Rotherham since the League Cup second round in 1992-93 - they won 3-1 on aggregate (0-1 away, 3-0 home).
Rotherham have not won at Goodison Park since November 1952, a 1-0 victory in the second tier, losing all three matches since then - though they have not played there since October 1992.
Everton have progressed from each of their last 10 League Cup second-round ties since their elimination at the hands of Crystal Palace in September 2001, when they lost 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.
Rotherham have been eliminated in their last 13 League Cup ties against top-flight opponents, last progressing in the second round in 1984-85 against Stoke City.
Marco Silva only previous League Cup second-round match was at home to a Championship side last season as Watford manager - they lost 3-2 to Bristol City.
Don Goodman's prediction
Marco Silva will be encouraged by Everton's draw with Bournemouth on Saturday, but will no doubt be disappointed to have thrown away a two-goal lead. Coaches want their teams to be playing well and I think Everton are. Rotherham had a terrific 3-1 home win over Wigan in the first round and took a much-needed three points from Millwall in their latest league fixture.
They have lost both of their away Championship games, conceding seven in the process so it's very hard for me to see anything other than an Everton win.
Don predicts: 3-0 (6/1 with Sky Bet)