Sean Dyche must start Everton defender Conor Coady on Sunday if 21-year-old Nathan Patterson remains unavailable through injury.
Everton face Bournemouth at Goodison Park in what will be a relegation decider for the Toffees, but Scottish international Nathan Patterson will likely be out with a hamstring injury.
With fellow right-back Seamus Coleman also unavailable, Dyche will have to rework his defensive lineup, and it could give the ‘fantastic’ Conor Coady an opportunity to start.
Indeed, the Everton manager could play three at the back, with Coady starting alongside fellow centre-backs Yerry Mina and James Tarkowski.
Dwight McNeil and Alex Iwobi would fill in as wing-backs, forming a back five when defending, though offering support in attack when the Blues have possession.
A midfield trio of Abdoulaye Doucoure, Idrissa Gana Gueye and James Garner would likely start, offering a balance of attack and defense in the middle of the park.
Coady could be one of many stepping up as injury stricken Everton aim to overcome the final hurdle in PL survival fight
However, Dyche is also likely to be without striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who also has a hamstring injury, picked up at the 1-1 draw with Wolves last week.
In his absence, Demarai Gray and £15m forward Neal Maupay would have to start in attack, with Everton’s options upfront extremely limited.
Coady’s inclusion would offer Dyche another leader at the back for what is a must-win game for the Toffees and is probably his best option given the extensive injury list.
Everton have a slender squad even when everyone is fit, so to go into a game of such significance with key players missing is less than ideal.
However, the visitors have nothing to play for, while Premier League status is on the line for Everton, so the Blues need to take the game to Bournemouth on Sunday.