It’s too early in the season for Ronald Koeman to be complaining about not having enough players fit, yet here we are. Everton apparently have only 17 healthy outfield players for tonight’s critical playoff against Hajduk Split to get into the Europa League proper.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference yesterday Koeman noted that Sandro Ramirez was still struggling with a heel injury he had picked up late in the win over Stoke City, and was facing a late fitness test for tonight’s game.
James McCarthy will miss the game with a knock to the knee which appropriately enough, happened around the same time that he received a call-up from the Republic of Ireland squad. Expect to see more fireworks between Koeman and Martin O’Neill once again.
Ross Barkley’s hamstring injury looks to be worse than previously expected, with the forward now expected out for up to three months from the original six week prognosis. Where does this leave his proposed transfer this summer?
Aaron Lennon is fit again after missing out over the weekend while latest signing Gylfi Sigurdsson is not expected to be in the squad today.
For visitors Hajduk Split, the Croats will be missing their top striker Hungarian Márkó Futács.
Their key men will be teen sensation and attacking midfielder Nikola Vlašić, left winger Ante Erceg and captain and center half Zoran Nižić. For more on the Croat team, click here to read the Q&A we did with a prominent fan of the club.