Everton will be hosting champions-in-waiting Manchester City tomorrow and manager Sam Allardyce will be sweating the fitness of midfielder Idrissa Gueye. The player showed up at Senegal’s training camp during the international break carrying a muscle tear and was sent back to Finch Farm where he trained for the rest of the fortnight.
Leading into tomorrow’s game, Allardyce spoke to the media today during his pre-match press conference, and said that the midfielder will face a late fitness test before the game. Gueye has previously missed a game recently too, with Everton using Wayne Rooney and Tom Davies as the double pivots against Brighton & Hove Albion - however, City will provide a quite different challenge and using the same pair there will see the Blues easily overwhelmed in an area that the Sky Blues often dominate.
“We’ve got a big test in front of us. It’s the biggest challenge yet but it’s one we really look forward to on the basis that we’ve come off back-to-back wins against Brighton and Stoke.
“We have to be in a positive frame of mind to get out and challenge yourself against them and say, ‘We can challenge them and, on any given day, get a result against them’.”
He added that the Toffees have an opportunity now to try get up to seventh place in the remaining games.
“It’s a massive game for us to go out and show what we’ve got. We must have a game plan in place and we’ve got master our game plan for the full 90 minutes. We’ve got to believe in what we’re doing. But we’ll have to be at our best – there’s no doubt about that.
“We’ve steadied the ship. Now it’s about the last seven games and how many points we can total up.”
“Gana will be assessed as late as tomorrow morning given it’s a 5.30pm kick-off. We’ll give him the next 24 hours and see what the position is because our midfield area is quite light because of the injuries we’ve got.”
Allardyce also added an update on playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson who was expected to miss the rest of the season following a knee injury.
“He is walking with no brace but his process goes on week to week. His aim is to get fit as quick as he can.”
While Iceland will prefer their star to not feature again this season for the Blues, it’ll be good for him to get some game time before the World Cup starts to work out any rust in the system as well.