Everton’s clash against Manchester City on the final day of the Premier League season is a huge one.
Their campaign has been an inconsistent one but whether they secure European football all boils down to the last match of the season.
They will have their work cut out against the champions of England but if they win and Tottenham taste defeat or draw to Leicester, they will find themselves in the Europa Conference League.
A place in Europe would be a fine reward for the work Carlo Ancelotti has done with his players.
That said, their task of beating Pep Guardiola’s fierce team has been made harder by the fact that James Rodriguez will be absent from the game.
The Colombian sensation missed the win over Wolves due to fatigue but will now be absent for a successive game.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti commented: “James unfortunately is not available for the game. He did not recover from the problem on his calf.”
Considering the former Real Madrid star is the club’s second-highest creator on nine assists this term, it will represent a huge blow to their chances.
With that in mind, they’d find it incredibly tough to break the Citizens down even with James in their side.
He has carved out 1.7 key passes per game this season, the highest number of anyone at Goodison Park. James is one of the most impressive playmakers in the top-flight on his day so any team would struggle without him.
Calvert-Lewin’s route to goal will be made harder without him in the team, and as such, their chances of qualifying for Europe will also be more difficult.
Combine his injury with the fact club captain Seamus Coleman will also be missing and it doesn’t bode well for the Toffees on Sunday afternoon.
This is not the way they hoped their season would come to an end. Ancelotti has every right to feel gutted heading towards kick-off.