Carlo Ancelotti has said Dominic Calvert-Lewin will not feature in Everton’s Premier League game at Wolves tomorrow, but could welcome back both Jordan Pickford and Richarlison.
All three players sat out Saturday’s FA Cup win over Rotherham, but Ancelotti said Calvert-Lewin, as well as Allan, will definitely be out of the clash with Wolves, despite both being close to a recovery from their respective injuries.
Pickford is back in contention for Everton, though, as might be Richarlison, pending a late decision on his fitness, Ancelotti said at his pre-match press conference:
“Pickford is OK. Richarlison, we have to wait to train today to make a decision on this. Calvert-Lewin is not available; [he has a] hamstring problem. I think he can recover soon.
“I think Allan can return in at least around ten to 15 days.”
Ancelotti revealed that Calvert-Lewin felt an issue with his hamstring prior to the New Year’s Day defeat to West Ham, but thought nothing of it and played anyway.
And while the Everton boss confirmed it is not a serious setback for the club’s top scorer, he does not want to take any risks with such a valuable player:
“He had a little problem during the week before the game against West Ham. The fact that he’d never had this kind of injury before meant he was not able to judge 100 per cent himself [if he was fine to play].
“He played against West Ham, so this means it’s not a really important injury, but we want to keep him safe and to be 100 per cent when he comes back.”
With Calvert-Lewin out, Cenk Tosun is Everton’s only other recognised senior striker, and looks set for his first Premier League start of the season.
The Turk spent nine months of 2020 nursing an anterior cruciate ligament injury, but got off the mark for this campaign in Saturday’s Rotherham win.
And Ancelotti has faith in him to lead the Everton line, even if he doesn’t expect him to be in the best condition given his little game time lately:
“Cenk did well against Rotherham. He scored two goals [one offside], he was focused in the box.
“He was out for a long time and his condition is not at the top, but of course, it will be useful to have a striker who is used to scoring goals.”
The trip to Molineux will see Ancelotti return to the scene of one of his worst days as Everton manager so far.
It will be exactly six months tomorrow since Everton meekly suffered a 3-0 defeat to Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, but Ancelotti feels his team have come on leaps and bounds since then.
He also feels they still have great quality, despite losing Raul Jimenez to a serious head injury and Diogo Jota to Liverpool, and challenged Everton to continue their defensive improvements in tomorrow’s game:
“It’s a really important test. We don’t have a good memory of the last game we played there; it was one of the worst games we played.
“But we have confidence. We played two hours on Saturday, and we have to be able to use all of our energy to recover well, because it will be a really tough game. I have a lot of respect for this team; they have good players and good organisation.
“It’s a good team. They dropped a little bit, but the reason was the fact that they didn’t have their best striker. Jimenez is a fantastic striker; they lost him. It’s still a good team.
“Pedro Neto is a fantastic forward. They have players with experience; Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves. Adama Traore is sometimes unstoppable, so we have to pay attention as usual.
“We have more consistency [now, compared to six months ago]. I think defensively, we are better compared to six months ago, and I hope that we can show that tomorrow.”