With the Premier League deciding to uphold the red card on Allan and his three-match ban, Frank Lampard is going to be short of options when Everton travel to London on Sunday for the early game in the FA Cup quarter finals.
His January signings Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli are both cup-tied, and with Fabian Delph and Tom Davies still out injured and Abdoulaye Doucoure in poor form, it looks like the manager will need Andre Gomes to be at his best for this one.
To add to that, Jordan Pickford will miss his second game in a row too, though Asmir Begovic deputized very well against Newcastle. Speaking yesterday during his pre-match press conference, Lampard provided an update on his squad.
“We have the players that are Cup-tied and Donny still isn’t well, but he’s one of those anyway. Jordan won’t be fit for the game.
“In terms of injuries, it’s probably a bit more of an assessment of how the players are. It’s a really quick turnaround. We haven’t been helped by the timing of the game being at 12.30pm.
“I think the broadcasters picked the ‘big boys’, as they see it, to get bigger numbers later on in the afternoon, which would have been better for us, but we have to dig in and handle that. We’ll assess the players over the next 24 hours. The rest of the squad is as it was [before Newcastle].”
Interestingly, he has delved into the Under-23s to get 18-year-old Isaac Price training with the first team.
“Isaac Price has been with us and trained really well with us, he’ll be part of the squad. You can’t forget Andre, he hasn’t played so many minutes lately but he’s a talented player for us.
“Doucoure’s there, players that can do a job for us in midfield - certain players in the back line have played in midfield, Andros Townsend, Alex Iwobi. We’re definitely in a position now where we are tighter for numbers, so it could affect how we set up in the game. I’ve got another 24 hours or so to see that.”
Everton have had clean sheets in both their league wins under Lampard and the manager knows how important it is getting his defence in sync.
“All of them [the defenders] were great, with Begovic behind them as well. Ben Godfrey, to see the strength that he brings to playing slightly out of position - I know he’s played there before - but his strength has been a big plus for us in the last few games. There’s no doubt we missed him a great deal.
“But the lads centrally Michael Keane and Mason Holgate, it’s very easy in the modern day to absolutely hone in on individuals when you concede goals at the back of the pitch. The sort of lads they both are, they’ll hold their hands up about goals where they made mistakes, and that’s one thing I love.
“When you work with people that’s the one thing you want - can I get better? Show me how to get better. You can work together on that.
“So we’ve had chats, they’re open to that. The way they defended the box, their commitment and positioning, was brilliant - and it’s a template for us to keep clean sheets and we have to do that and go from there.”