clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Everton nearing full fitness

Only two players remain sidelined

Everton are currently the fittest they have ever been this season, with only two senior squad players sidelined. Muhamed Besic and Matthew Pennington are currently the only players with long-term injuries, slated for returns in the new year. Both Leighton Baines and James McCarthy have maintained their fitness after returning to action last weekend, while Gareth Barry should return today after serving his one-match suspension against Swansea City.

Manager Ronald Koeman is happy about the competition for places, and with his warning that the club will be active during the January transfer window, things will only be heating up more as the winter chill sets in.

"We have all the players available apart from Mo Besic (knee) and Matthew Pennington (hamstring) with long-term injuries.

"Physically the team is good at the moment with a lot of players available. It’s tough because you need to make decisions, but it’s always better to have those kind of options.

"[Gareth] is important - everybody knows that. He’s a really experienced player and is good with Gana in midfield. His cleverness on the ball means it’s really important to have him back."

For the Blues opponents on Sunday Southampton, manager Claude Puel will miss key player Dusan Tadic who will miss the game with a broken nose sustained during international duty for Serbia. Defender Jose Fonte should make the squad, and will face a late fitness test for a foot injury.

Left back Matt Targett is still out with a hamstring injury while Alex McCarthy and Jeremy Pied remain out for the long term.