If Everton are to win and save themselves from relegation on Sunday against AFC Bournemouth, they are going to have to find goals from somewhere else because lead striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is out for the season finale.
The striker had aggravated his hamstring in the defeat against Manchester City a couple of weeks ago, and despite attempting to make a return in the crucial trip to Wolves last weekend, left the game in the first half unable to continue. Rumours emanating from Finch Farm during the week seemed to indicate that he would be out for over a month, and today during his pre-match press conference manager Sean Dyche confirmed that the England international would not be available for the key clash at Goodison Park this weekend. Right back Nathan Patterson left that same game with an injury less than half an hour in, and he will also be out for the visit of the Cherries.
“They won’t be fit.
“We haven’t had Dom for two-thirds of my time here. We have still won games, still got points on the board and performed.
“We realised when he got injured in the first game that it wasn’t going to be a short injury. We knew we would have to find a way of working with that. We have found that way and it’s important we do that.
“Patto has come into the side more latterly and performed well. We lose him as well.”
Vitalii Mykolenko is pretty much the only specialized fullback in the first team still standing, and having missed the last couple of games will need to pass a late fitness test to be considered for Sunday.
“He’s a bit better so we will see how he reacts tomorrow to training today.”
There had been some more scuttlebutt regarding the fitness of midfielder Amadou Onana but he should be available, while Ben Godfrey and Andros Townsend will not. Conor Coady had missed the trip to Wolves since he was ineligible to play against his parent club but will be in the matchday squad.
The onus is going to be on Dyche to come up with a gameplan that might well have to work without any fullbacks and yet provide enough attacking impetus to get the goals and subsequently the three points that would confirm without any doubt the club’s Premier League status on Sunday.