Everton are back in action but it looks they will still be without two of their biggest stars for a few more weeks. Pictures and video from the Finch Farm training facility seemed to indicate that Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were still not training with the rest of the group and in Rafa Benitez’s comments in the online match programme, he seemed to indicate the other casualties Alex Iwobi and Seamus Coleman were training again.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference, Benitez said -
“Lucas Digne is fine. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are closer but they will stilly not be available for this game.”
Yerry Mina played for Colombia late on Thursday night British time, and faces a long flight back to Merseyside and might miss some pre-game training sessions.
“Yerry is coming back, he has been playing a lot of games, a lot of minutes. He’s traveling now, hopefully he will be here and available. Everything is positive in terms of the feedback but we have to wait and see how he feels.
“He is following all the (COVID) protocols, he is doing everything he has to do to be sure that he is available.”
Midfielders Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph have been out injured for some time now.
“They are still working to be ready as soon as possible, but they are still in this process and they are still not available.”
The fitness of Digne and Coleman is a big boost for the Blues, though still being shorn of their forward duo means Benitez will need to continue to be creative upfront with cheap signings Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend.
“All my life as a manager, I didn’t have too much money, maybe at two clubs I had a little bit. You have to be careful, and that is my way.
“You make mistakes, like everybody, but you try and spend your money, as you say in England, wisely. That is what I am trying to do.
“If you have a lot of money you are capable of signing good players and get stronger. If you have less money you cannot afford any or almost any mistakes.”