Rafa Benitez had to name a weakened starting lineup for Everton’s game at Aston Villa yesterday with three players who had featured on Monday night — Richarlison, Jordan Pickford and Seamus Coleman — missing out in the 3-0 defeat at Villa Park.
Speaking after the game, the manager’s prognosis for the trio was not encouraging,
“At the moment we think it would be two to three weeks minimum [for Richarlison, Pickford and Coleman] and after we will see.”
Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed that Burnley win and is expected to be out for a similar time frame. Everton travel to Queens Park Rangers for a third round clash in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday and then back home to play Norwich City on Saturday. They then travel to Manchester United the following Saturday before dispersing for the second international break, so it’s possible we don’t see most of that quartet until the first game after the break, which will be a Sunday home game against former manager David Moyes and his West Ham side.
Jean-Philippe Gbamin also missed the game yesterday with Benitez shedding more light on his issue.
“[Gbamin] was a little bit tight in his quadriceps so as a precaution we decided to keep him out of the squad.”
Colombian superstar James Rodriguez was not in the squad again, but the manager explained that the player was concerned about a possible muscular problem without indicating which specific muscle.
“For this game, he was a little bit concerned about his muscle. He was having a little problem and we decided we have to wait, so he was not available. That’s it.”
“We will see if he’s fit for the next game and then we will decide.”
A number of the players we would have expected to see on Tuesday at QPR have already played this weekend, so we’ll wait to see how much Rafa rotates his side for the game against the Championship side after a close shave in the previous round at Huddersfield Town.