Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that many of the players who lost 1-1 1-1 draw at West Ham United through an injury will remain seated outside tomorrow’s visit to Newcastle United.
Alex Iwobi remains out with a hamstring problem that put him aside for a month, while Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurðsson, who were excluded from West Ham, equalized just before the game due to a twisted knee and a problem in the groin respectively, are not yet available.
Although there has been more positive news about Michael Keane, who also lost his trip to East London with a neck problem but could recover in time to be added to Tuesday’s team.
Speaking at Monday’s pre-match press conference, Ancelotti said:
“Richarlison trained today, but he still feels pain, so he’s not available tomorrow. Iwobi is doing well, but we don’t want to take risks tomorrow.
“Sigurðsson is out and Michael Keane has trained today, but he was not so comfortable. He will be on the team and we will decide tomorrow.
“We have a lot of games, so players are not recovering properly, and therefore playing them means taking more risks during this period.
“We are having a lot of fun, a lot of games, and I think after this game we have a period where we can train properly. As for the injury, I think it will be better.”
As for the long-term victims, midfielders André Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Ancelotti did not want to set a time scale on their return, but believes that both are recovering well from their mishaps.
Gomes suffered a dislocated fracture in his right ankle in the 1-1 draw at home on November 1 with Tottenham Hotspur, while Gbamin’s summer signature has not appeared since August due to a thigh injury during training.
“They are training individually. Everything is going well, but it takes time. [They had] serious injuries, so they started training and Gbamin starts a partial training with the team [soon].
“We will see in the next few days.”
Tomorrow’s game will mark Everton’s eighth game in exactly one month, with Newcastle even more decimated by Ancelotti’s team injuries.
And while Ancelotti recognizes the importance of a festive football program in England, he believes that the week-long winter break in February will benefit players from then on.
“It is a new thing for me to take a winter break in February, but in England the fact that you play during the Christmas season is very important.
“I understand this, but the fact that there will be a winter break in February can also help all teams get better at the end of the season, that’s for sure.”