Everton will hope to snap a four-game winless run when they travel to Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday night, but Carlo Ancelotti will have to make do without a handful of first-team regulars.
The Toffees boss has confirmed that Jordan Pickford and Andre Gomes will both miss the Amex Stadium affair, as the England goalkeeper continues his recovery from an abdominal injury while the Portuguese midfielder will miss out with a hamstring issue.
Gomes sustained his gripe during the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, when a late strike from Michy Batshuayi denied Everton a first win in four matches across all competitions to now sit eight points outside the Premier League top-four.
Ancelotti still backs his players to secure Everton a place in Europe for next season. But with little room for error, despite holding two games in hand over their rivals, changes are on the cards at Brighton…
Pickford’s continued absence is likely to see Robin Olsen retain his place between the sticks, but the AS Roma loanee may start behind a modified backline after Ancelotti opted to field a five-man defence against Crystal Palace.
Yerry Mina could fall out of the line-up to make way for an additional attacker in efforts to guide Everton to a first win since March 4, having delivered a lesser impact on the result at home to the Eagles than Michael Keane or Mason Holgate.
Wayward shooting from Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin last time out further saw that Everton were punished by Batshuayi’s late equaliser, giving Ancelotti scope to start Gylfi Sigurdsson alongside the duo plus James Rodriguez.
Keane lauded Sigurdsson for his “outstanding” efforts earlier in the campaign, while Danny Mills claims the Iceland playmaker – who has provided a team-high nine assists plus six goals across all competitions this term – has “untold ability”.
Sigurdsson’s added creativity could hand Everton the edge over a Brighton side that has only conceded four goals in their last six Premier League games held at the Amex Stadium, including shutting out Tottenham Hotspur in a 1-0 win.
Ancelotti will also have to rotate his starting options in the engine room with Gomes ruled out, allowing for Allan to potentially make a return after missing the Crystal Palace draw with a minor injury.
The Toffees boss confirmed last Friday that Allan had trained normally and would face a late fitness test, while Alex Iwobi will also be available for selection.
Fabian Delph and Bernard will join Gomes and Pickford on the sidelines, while Jean-Philippe Gbamin – who made his first appearance in 20 months following hamstring and Achilles injuries against the Eagles – may be out for the rest of the season after suffering another setback.