Everton may be without forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin for Sunday’s huge relegation decider against Bournemouth.
The club are ‘not hopeful’ that the 26-year-old will be fit after sustaining a hamstring injury during last week’s 1-1 draw with Wolves.
That is according to talkSPORT, who report that the England international is unlikely to recover in time to face the Cherries, after limping off at Molyneux last week.
The ‘dangerous’ striker will be a huge miss for Everton, especially with the club’s Premier League status resting on the outcome of the weekend’s fixtures.
Everton sit two points clear of the drop, and a win against Bournemouth on Sunday keeps the Toffees in the Premier League regardless of scorelines elsewhere.
Both Leicester City and Leeds United are two points adrift of Everton, though Leicester have the best goal difference out of the three clubs hoping to stay up.
Everton starting Calvert-Lewin would be a huge boost to PL survival battle
Sean Dyche will now have to reshuffle his starting XI, though the Everton boss has limited options to select from upfront.
Demarai Gray would offer pace and could operate as a lone striker, offering an effective outlet to run at Bournemouth’s defence.
£15m summer signing Neal Maupay has struggled since joining the Blues, scoring just one Premier League goal and would be an unpopular choice to start.
Meanwhile, Ellis Simms, who scored a dramatic late equaliser at Stamford Bridge back in March, would be Everton’s third option, though the 22-year-old has struggled for minutes since re-joining the Blues in January from his loan at Sunderland.
Whoever starts will need to be supported by Everton’s midfield, particularly Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dwight McNeil, who have been the club’s primary source of goals of late.
Calvert-Lewin will be missed, but Everton must not let his absence be a distraction.