Everton has the profile and personnel of a true old school English football club. Hard workers in the midfield, scrappy physical strikers, with solid discipline and a rock in the Goalkeeping spot. GK Tim Howard will be the man here with little pressure behind him for his starting spot. The American is now one of Everton's senior players running out over 125 times now for the Blue Side of Liverpool. Howard should offer a consistent and commanding presence. Howard is one of the most athletic GKs in Europe and makes up for some technique shortcomings with cat like quickness and anticipation. Defense The overall team defense of Everton is why I chose to run with them. At first glance, the defense looks very ordinary with only Sylvain Distin being truly imposing. At 6'3 205 pounds, Distin looks more like an NFL safety than a centerback, but Distin does quite the job using his athleticism to bully attackers off the ball. His technique is a tiny bit raw however, and he will most likely share his CB spot with Holland International John Heitinga. Heitinga is a 5'11 versatile player who will split time at Centerback and Defensive Center Midfielder. Heitinga has a knack for scoring goals with over 30 in all competitions throughout his young Career. England International Phil Jagielka will see most of the action at the other centerback spot. Like Heitinga, Jagielka has some experience playing in the center of the park in midfield and therefore feels very comfortable with the ball at his feet. Pegged by most in Europe to be on the brink of capturing the England National Team CB role fulltime, we are looking for Jagielka to be one of the rocks along the backline. On the outside of defense, look for Captain Phil Neville and stalwart Leighton Baines to see most of the action. Neville is a veteran who spent most of his career in a Manchester United kit, seeing over 250 Caps for the Reds. Although he is not athletic, he is positioning is superb. Look for him get forward at times, though not as often as his counterpart, Baines. Neville may also see time as a defensive mid if the need arises. Dont be surprised to see pint-sized leftback Leighton Baines lead Everton in minutes played. Standing 5'7", he is far from imposing, but he fits Manager Blaza's playing style to a tee. Fit and speedy, Baines will be constantly racing up the flank looking to create space and send balls in. Baines is a pitbull on the tackle, using his quickness to step onto 50/50 balls quickly. Midfield Everton's heart and soul lies in midfield. CM Mikel Arteta is arguably Everton's best player. Possessing a wordclass first touch and close control, look for Arteta to dictate the pace of the game. In a 6 minute half quick match online, Arteta connected on an astounding 51 passes which illustrates his importance to the team. Arteta will begin the campaign in a deeper midfield role. Look for him to work as a deep lying playmaker, spraying the ball around the pitch. Tim Cahill is another star in central midfield. Australia's Golden Boy can work throughout the midfield and is one of the most underrated headers of the ball in European football. Cahill can score goals and adds some grit to go along with Arteta's flair. Central Midfielder Marouane Fellaini is probably my favorite player on this Everton side. Recognized from a mile away by his trademarked Afro, Fellaini is a 6'5" monster in midfield. Possessing strength, pace, and surprisingly nimble feet, the Belgium International is a boss who will look to control the center. He's got bags of pop in both feet and is just as comfortable playing in a deep defensive midfield role or up behind the strikers in an attacking role. On the outside of midfield, Steven Pienaar will be be the standout. I was disappointed to see Pienaar only given high 70's in the speed rating, but they were spot on in his skill ratings. Pienaar will look to take defenders on and combine with Baines on overlapping runs. Forwards Up top, Louis Saha and Yakubu will split reps. They are both physical pacey target men who will look to hold up the play and link up with Evertons strong midfield. Don't be surprised to see both player on the field in a 4-4-2 or even a 3-5-2 look at some point during the season.