Carlo Ancelotti doubts that James Rodriguez will be fit for Everton’s trip to Chelsea on Monday night but is hopeful that Tom Davies will be able to make his return at Stamford Bridge.
The Toffees duo missed each of last week’s 1-0 wins over Southampton and West Bromwich Albion with minor knocks, while Seamus Coleman and Robin Olsen were also sidelined.
Rodriguez had penned his eighth assist of the season across all competitions during his last appearance, setting up Richarlison to break the deadlock in February’s 2-0 Merseyside derby win away to Liverpool.
Ancelotti is optimistic that Rodriguez will be able to feature in Everton’s clash with Burnley on Saturday. But, as the Colombian is unlikely to play a role at Stamford Bridge, here’s a potential line-up that the Goodison Park natives could name against Chelsea…
Ancelotti has stated hope that Davies will be fit to earn his 17th appearance of the Premier League season in Monday’s trip to the capital, which could see Everton move above their hosts and replace Chelsea in fourth-place with a win.
“I hope Tom can recover soon and that he will be available against Chelsea,” Ancelotti said during his pre-game media duties on Sunday.
“With James, I don’t know. I think we have to check. I think maybe he is not ready for the game against Chelsea. But for the next game against Burnley, yes [he could be available].”
Yerry Mina has missed Everton’s last three games with a calf injury and it is uncertain if the Colombian defender will be fit to feature at Stamford Bridge, alongside Coleman and Olsen, while Fabian Delph played no role in his side’s last two games with a tendon issue.
Midfielder Allan made his first start since sustaining a hamstring injury in December’s 2-0 win over Leicester City during last Monday’s victory at home to Southampton and was initially rested away to West Brom as a precaution.
The Brazilian made an instant impact from the bench once he was introduced against the Baggies, and will be expected to open the action against Chelsea to help Everton gain control in the engine room battle beside Davies and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Allan and £14.5m-rated Davies both being recalled to the starting line-up will see Andre Gomes and Alex Iwobi fall out of the XI, having featured from the off at The Hawthorns.
Iwobi was hauled off in the 58th minute for Allan’s introduction after wasting a handful of promising opportunities to create attacking chances, while Gomes’ standards slipped as the game wore on following a strong start to proceedings.
Bernard, who was named in the starting line-up for only the third time in the top-flight this season against West Brom, will also be expected to be axed for Monday’s clash with Chelsea after an ineffectual return last week.
Gylfi Sigurdsson will likely take the Brazilian’s place after providing his fourth assist of the league campaign on Thursday.
Richarlison, who has scored in each of his last four league games, and 13-goal top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin will lead the attack, while Lucas Digne, Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate will line up in an unchanged backline after three-straight clean sheets.
AND in other news, Everton eye summer transfer of £4.5m-rated titan raised by Carlo Ancelotti…