Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will miss Everton’s Premier League clash with leaders Manchester City on Wednesday night through injury.
The Italian is hopeful the issue will not keep the striker out of Saturday’s Merseyside Derby trip to Anfield, where the Toffees have not beaten Liverpool in their last 24 visits across all competitions.
Calvert-Lewin missed his side’s 2-0 defeat at home to Fulham on Sunday as a result of his hamstring injury, sustained after scoring in the Blues’ FA Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Losing to Scott Parker’s relegation-threatened Cottagers made it five defeats at Goodison Park in the league this season, only five sides – of which three are the bottom three; Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham – have failed to take a point at home more often.
“Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jean-Philippe Gbamin will not be available, for sure,” the Toffees boss said on Tuesday.
“For Dominic, I think it is a matter of days [before he is fit again]. We hope he will be available on Saturday.”
The Italian added, via quotes by the Liverpool Echo: “Calvert-Lewin is really important because he gives us the opportunity to play different ways. Without him, we lose some opportunities to play.”
Former England international Steve Howey, while speaking exclusively with Football FanCast, warned Everton not to rush Calvert-Lewin back from his hamstring injury ahead of Sunday’s defeat to Fulham, fearing an early return could magnify the issue.
Ancelotti will now have to push that threat back to the weekend as he draws up a plan to orchestrate a rare win at Anfield but with Man City to come first, must focus on finding a way to spark life into what was a toothless attack against Parker’s Cottagers.
Richarlison and James Rodriguez led the line for the Blues on Sunday but struggled to leave a positive impression on proceedings, with the £90,000-per-week Brazilian particularly anonymous for much of the meeting.
Richarlison struggled to find a groove against Fulham’s backline that would see the 23-year-old end an eight-game goal drought in the top-flight, with the winger taking a measly 15 touches – only second-half substitute Joshua King (5) recorded fewer for Everton, per WhoScored.
The former Watford attacker further completed a mere nine passes – again, only King (1) made fewer – and failed to register a single shot while FA Cup hero Gylfi Sigurdsson topped the chart for Everton with three and one of his side’s lowly two on-target attempts.
It was clear that Richarlison was not the answer Ancelotti needed in his search for Calvert-Lewin’s replacement, and will need to have come up with a far more creative plan for Wednesday night when Manchester City come to town.
Calvert-Lewin’s absence, coupled with Richarlison’s poor form in the Premier League means Ancelotti will no doubt be worried about having to take on a side like City on Wednesday night.
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