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Ancelotti rules out Leicester return for injured trio

The Everton boss will still be without Delph, Coleman and Rodriguez for tomorrow’s trip to King Power

Seamus Coleman will still be out with injury for tomorrow’s game at Leicester
Photo by ALEX LIVESEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti will have virtually the same squad to pick from for tomorrow’s trip to Leicester City as he did for Saturday’s home win over Chelsea.

Everton secured a 1-0 victory over Frank Lampard’s side without Seamus Coleman, James Rodriguez and Fabian Delph, all of whom missed the game through injury.

And as well as long-term absentees Lucas Digne and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Ancelotti confirmed at today’s pre-match press conference that all three of them will also miss the Leicester match.

“The squad is practically the same. I don’t want to take a risk on Seamus Coleman, who is quite ready and fit, but we’d prefer to leave him out for this game and be ready for the next game on Saturday [against Arsenal].

“We have James out, who is starting his individual rehab, and we’ll check him day by day. Delph is also out; the others are all OK.

“I don’t know [if James will make the Arsenal game]. As I said, we have to check day by day. It’s not an easy problem. Maybe if he’s not available for Saturday, he will be available next Wednesday [against Manchester United].”

Ancelotti is anticipating a stern test from Leicester, who are third in the Premier League but have won eight games this season, more than any other side in the top-flight.

And the Italian admitted Everton will need to put in the same high-quality performance as they managed against Chelsea if they are to stop Brendan Rodgers’ side, and in particular the free-scoring Jamie Vardy:

“It’s really difficult [to play against Leicester]. They have a good team who are really good on the counter-attack.

“If you want to have a good result against Leicester, you have to do the same performance as we did against Chelsea - defend well, be focused, don’t let them have the possibility to play counter-attack.

“They are playing really efficient attacking football. They have players with quality, they have fast players, and they have a fantastic striker in Vardy, who is used to scoring every single game. I think that is their best quality - their style of attack is really efficient.”

Ancelotti was also asked about Ben Godfrey, who was signed as a central defender but has also deputised at right-back and now left-back since his October Goodison Park arrival.

And on the back of a highly impressive individual performance against Chelsea at left-back, the Everton boss spoke in glowing terms about the 22-year-old:

“Ben is a good surprise for me because he’s showing all his quality. He’s a guy with a strong personality, humble, so I think we signed a really, really good defender.”

Ancelotti also gave an update on Jean-Philippe Gbamin, who has not played since August 2019 due to several long-term injuries.

He confirmed the Ivorian is near to completing his rehabilitation, but conceded it is unlikely he will feature in any of Everton’s five remaining games in 2020:

“The player, I think, is desperate to come back. We will be having a talk with him and the doctor and we can start to look to him for the next year. The guy had a lot of problems, suffered a lot, and everyone hopes 2021 will be fantastic for him.

“ I don’t think so [that he will play before January] but the important thing is to start training with the team.”