Everton’s injury situation was starting to take a turn for the better but the crushing defeat by Crystal Palace has had a fallout that goes far beyond the 3-1 scoreline with three new names on the list of players out.
Richarlison, Seamus Coleman and Andros Townsend are all expected to miss some time after picking up injuries during the Sunday game at Selhurst Park, with the Blues traveling back to London on Thursday to take on a Chelsea side that are smarting from a couple of defensive debacles of their own and in the mood for a big win to right their own ship.
Speaking during the press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game, manager Rafa Benitez gave an update on Townsend and Coleman.
“You know Andros has a broken bone which takes some time. We need to see how much the specialists say.
“For Seamus, he was pushing. He has a swollen foot but he’s pushing, he’s someone that wants to help. We will decide about him tomorrow.”
The Spaniard also indicated that he had just spoken to Dominic Calvert-Lewin about his impending return.
“[I spoke to him] five minutes ago, before the start of the press conference, I met Dominic and he was quite positive - he was training well.
“He’s getting really close now, the only issue with him is to be sure that we don’t take too much risk because he’s had two re-injuries. We have to make sure he’s 100% fit.
“Then hopefully he will be a crucial player in the second part of the league. He’s very close and I think we will see him soon.”
Key midfielder Allan missed the Palace game with an injury aggravated in training last Friday, but should be fit for this game.
“Allan has been training, we have to keep an eye on him. It was a light training session, to be fair.
“His last game against Arsenal, he was playing for ten or 15 minutes with his adductor problems, he was playing and he wants to help.
“He’s quite positive and he told me this morning that he’s ready to help the team. If I need him, he will be available. He’s a warrior and he’s a fighter.”
France international Lucas Digne, who appears to have been sidelined by Benitez for disciplinary purposes, is back in the reckoning but will miss this game after being taken ill. The manager was asked about the fullback’s quality and responded -
“I cannot agree more with you than that. Lucas Digne is a good player, he was an important player for us.
“Yesterday we had a training session and he was in the eleven starters. Today, he said that he was ill, and he’s not available for tomorrow.”