Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed he will once again be without striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin ahead of Everton’s home game with Premier League leaders Manchester City.
The 23-year-old missed Sunday’s surprise 2-0 home loss to struggling Fulham after picking up a hamstring complaint in last Wednesday’s 5-4 FA Cup fifth-round win over Tottenham.
Ancelotti had expected to be able to call upon Calvert-Lewin against Pep Guardiola’s side but the Everton boss says the striker, who is joint third in the league’s top scorers chart, will not be available on Wednesday night.
“Not available for sure, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and (Jean-Philippe) Gbamin,” the Italian said at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday. “The others are all OK, they are going to train today.
“(Jordan) Pickford yesterday trained and it was OK. We check again today and if he’s available he is going to play.
“Allan is in contention. He’s fit, he’s good. He’s available to play.”
Asked how long Calvert-Lewin faces out with the Merseyside derby clash at Liverpool looming large, Ancelotti said: “I think it’s a matter of days. We hope that he will be available on Saturday (to face Liverpool).”
by Ron Walker
You know it’s a strange season when away wins outnumber home wins, but Everton have a real Goodison Park problem, and it’s getting worse.
Since putting four past Brighton on October 3 and leading a fledgling Premier League table, the Toffees have won two of nine Premier League home games.
Really, they are fortunate their away record includes more wins than any side bar Manchester United and Leicester. Their stories tell similar tales; thriving when able to set up on the counter. When they have to come out and attack teams, it doesn’t click the same way.
That explains how those two wins at Goodison came against Chelsea and Arsenal; in those two games, they had 28 and 42 per cent of the ball respectively, and did enough with it to see out the victories.
Against Fulham, who hadn’t won a game home or away since early November, they did nothing with it. Richarlison managed 11 touches across the whole game. It took 76 minutes to muster a shot on target. Everton have enough creativity and midfield bite to play on the front foot, so something has to change.
“It’s an unpredictable season,” Carlo Ancelotti said, referring in part to the intensity of this truncated campaign, as well as the lack of fans normally packing one of the Premier League’s loudest grounds. But that won’t bring any solace to any of them watching on at home.
This was meant to be the season Everton pushed towards Europe, and it still could be. But without home comforts, that’s going to be a tough ask.