Three things to look out for as Everton face Minnesota United in pre-season friendly

Frank Lampard will be hoping Everton build on their loss to Arsenal during their pre-season tour of America.

Everton play their second friendly of the summer against MLS side Minnesota United in the early hours of Thursday (01.00 BST).

The Toffees have been in America for more than a week now and it’s given Frank Lampard a chance to stamp his mark on his squad.

Everton were defeated 2-0 by Arsenal at the weekend but there were plenty of aspects of that game Lampard was pleased with.

Now he’ll be looking for his troops to build on that performance at Allianz Field.

Heading into the clash, we take a look at three things to keep watch of.

Youngsters may get chance

Lampard didn't hide his admiration for the displays of the fledgling talents in the second half against Arsenal.

The Everton chief waxed lyrical about the efforts of Lewis Warrington, Stanley Mills, Reece Welch and Billy Crellin.

The former two, in particular, garnered plenty of praise.

Warrington is back at Goodison after spending the second half of last season on loan at Tranmere Rovers.

The midfielder's ability to be brave on the ball and play through the lines impressed Lampard.

Warrington will be looking to edge himself into Lampard’s midfield plans further.

Mills' consistentcy in training after returning for duty earned him a place on the trip to America.

The son of former England and Manchester City defender, Danny, is a versatile player who Lampard sees as capable of playing in several roles.

Everton youngster Stanley Mills. Picture: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Everton youngster Stanley Mills. Picture: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Everton youngster Stanley Mills. Picture: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Formation choice

After taking charge in January, Lampard played various formations as he bid to get the best out of his troops amid a relegation battle.

He eventually settled on a pragmatic decision of a wing-back system - which bore fruit. In home games, it was more of a three-man defence while it increased to five on the road for solidity.

Yet what formation Lampard settles on for the long-term has been a hot topic of conversation over the summer.

Some feel Everton would be better to a three-man midfield - certainly if the correct players were recruited.

Against Arsenal, Lampard opted for wing-backs yet again.

However, he admitted it was more because of the lack of a natural number six in his squad that he had to deploy two in the engine room.

Still, there's no time like pre-season to experiment with players in new roles.

Tarkowski leadership

It's been somewhat of a slow transfer window so far.

Evertonians wait on with bated breath who'll be the next arrival through the door.

The sole addition so far is James Tarkowski on a free transfer from Burnley.

Perhaps the centre-back's arrival wasn't the most exhilarating from a fan perspective. He's not the multi-million pound replacement for Richarlison and had just been relegated with the Clarets.

But Tarkowski has already made a profound impression at Goodison Park.

His leadership and experience have made quite the mark in a short period.

Everton shipped far too many goals last term and lacked a real commander in the rearguard.

The fact that the Blues didn't concede in the second half against Arsenal when Tarkowski was on the pitch spoke volumes.

If he starts, it'll be intriguing how he continues to build on a bright start.