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Ancelotti gives injury update, addresses James rumours and Pickford focus

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Manager’s comments ahead of Anfield leg of Merseyside Derby

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-MAN CITY Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Everton travel the short distance across Stanley Park tomorrow to take on local rivals Liverpool, with the Blues three points behind the Reds and a game in hand.

Speaking ahead of the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti started off his press conference with an injury update.

“For the game we have out Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Yerry Mina. Mina had a problem on his calf, he will be out for at least three or four weeks. From the other players, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is back and also Allan is back.

“For the fact we have many games in this period it is important to have all the squad available. We are close to having all the players fit, this is important so that we can rotate a little bit and keep the squad more fresh.

“Allan was out for two months, to have him back is very important for us, above all in this period.”

There was a story doing the rounds in Spanish media that James Rodriguez is unhappy with the weather on Merseyside and might be homesick, but Ancelotti dismissed that talk.

“He’s okay. He has no problem, I talk to him every day. He is happy here, confident, motivated.

“He had a little problem in the last few games with his calf but now he is in good condition.

“He really feels good here because everyone takes care of him, and that’s it. I don’t know if he complains about the weather, but we know the weather is not the best weather ever! There are a lot of good things in this area.”

When pressed if he thought James was back to 100%, Ancelotti joked with the Colombian reporter.

“No he’s not a 100%, but he is 99%!”

Jordan Pickford was the centre of a maelstrom following his tackle on Virgil van Dijk in the first leg of this fixture, does Ancelotti think that will be weighing on the mind of the England #1?

“I don’t think so. I don’t think so, he is focused on preparing for the game. Of course he was not happy when this injury happened, but now he is focused on the game and only on the game.”