Everton manager Sean Dyche has admitted that he’s likely to be without striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin for Monday’s clash with Liverpool.
Calvert-Lewin has been struggling with a host of injury issues this season, playing just 12 times in all competitions. Despite scoring just once in those games, the 25-year-old is still a key man for Everton. And in quotes from the Liverpool Echo, it sounds as though Dyche is planning to be without him at Anfield.
“We’re still monitoring him. It will be touch and go at best I think for the Liverpool game so we’ll just have to monitor it and hope that it settles down sooner rather than later,” said the manager.
“He’s had a couple of niggly injuries which you know, getting on top of them, getting his body to adapt, and all those things for the longer term obviously.
“He put a real shift in [against Arsenal]. His stats were very good in the last game and unfortunately he’s got a niggly hamstring and we’ve got to get on top of it as quick as we can.”
Everton don’t have too much in the way of replacements for Calvert-Lewin. In his absence Neal Maupay is most likely to step up.
Everton made to make do with DCL
Just as Everton receive a little bit of an injury blow, Liverpool have been given some decent news this week.
After four senior players returned to training earlier in the week, Jurgen Klopp suggested that Diogo Jota could be involved on Monday.
It looks like coming too early for Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino and Arthur Melo, but Jota’s inclusion would be a real lift to Liverpool.
The 26-year-old hasn’t played since being stretchered off against Manchester City in early October. Since then Liverpool have plummeted down the table, with Monday’s game taking on huge significance.
Under the lights at Anfield, Liverpool simply have to win. As a self-confessed Red himself, it will no doubt be a special game for Everton boss Dyche, too. He brings his side on the back of a massive win over Arsenal last weekend, but still mired in the relegation zone.
Without Calvert-Lewin, they’ll lack a little of the physicality they otherwise would have had. They’ve had to get used to being without the Yorkshireman for a lot of the last one-and-a-half seasons. Although they’re well-versed in making do without him, they don’t tend to do well with him not in the side. Advantage Liverpool?
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