Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

James Rodriguez reportedly injured following collision with Van Dijk

Everton will be without their talisman James Rodriguez this weekend after the Colombia international was confirmed as injured following a collision with Virgil van Dijk last week according to The ECHO.

Rodriguez, 29, will miss Sunday’s match with Southampton as a result. Seamus Coleman was also confirmed as an absentee.

“Unfortunately, James had a problem during the game,” Ancelotti said.

“He had a mistimed tackle with Virgil van Dijk at the beginning of the game and I think he will not be available for the game against Southampton.”

BBC pundit Danny Murphy revealed to The Mail after the match that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp purposely exploited Everton’s Rodriguez during the 2-2 draw.

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He said: “They [Everton] look better than they’ve done for years and, in James Rodriguez, have a player with real star quality. But the better teams will have seen how you can exploit the Colombian’s lack of willingness to track back when the opposition left-back is bombing forward.

“Andy Robertson capitalised. Liverpool were a real threat down that side and of course, that’s how they took an early lead with the full-back crossing for Mane.”

Everton’s English goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (L) tackles Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on October 17, 2020. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Pickford sorry for Van Dijk incident

Van Dijk, 29, himself later suffered an injury following a tangling with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford which forced an ACL tear which is expected to keep the Dutchman out of action for the season as he awaits surgery.

Ancelotti claimed that Pickford was left “really sad” following the incident but denied the tackle was premeditated.

“To be clear, we are really sorry for the injury of Virgil van Dijk,” Ancelotti said.

“Every one of us hopes he can recover soon and well.”

Pickford will face no further action for the challenge as the Football Association determined the incident was seen at the time having consulted with the match officials, including the video assistant referee David Coote.

Sheffield United’s English manager Chris Wilder gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Fulham at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on October 18, 2020. (Photo by Gareth Copley / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by GARETH COPLEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Previewing Sheffield United

Van Dijk will miss Saturday’s encounter with Sheffield United which could see a return to Anfield for former striker Rhian Brewster.

Ahead of the match, United manager Chris Wilder claimed that the Blades were grappling with an even bigger injury nightmare than Liverpool with the loss of Van Dijk.

Blades defender Jack O’Connell may also be missing for the campaign with a knee injury, while the Blades are also currently without midfielder John Fleck and striker Lys Mousset.

The South Yorkshire side travel to Anfield on Saturday and speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game, Wilder said: “It’s all relative. Us losing Fleck, Jack O’Connell and Lys is, I’d say, a bigger loss than losing van Dijk, relatively.

“All clubs go through these periods and situations. They still have world-class players and an academy that produces players all the time.

“And those three at the top of the pitch (Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino) can hurt anyone.”

 

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