Carlo Ancelotti provides Everton team news ahead of Arsenal clash

Dominic Calvert-Lewin looks on in Everton training ahead of the side's Premier League clash with Arsenal
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has returned to full fitness ahead of Everton’s clash with Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed his Everton squad is almost at full strength again, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Yerry Mina among those back fit and available for the side’s trip to Arsenal.

The Toffees are without a win in their last six games in all competitions and find themselves down in eighth place in the Premier League after three draws on the bounce with Crystal Palace, Brighton and Tottenham.

But a morale-boosting victory over Arsenal – who trail Everton in the table by three points – could put Ancelotti’s men back in the picture for European qualification next season and the timely return of many of the club’s key players will come as a huge relief to Ancelotti.

Calvert-Lewin, Everton’s top scorer with 14 league goals this term, suffered a groin injury in training earlier this month and has missed the Merseyside outfit’s last two matches as a consequence.

Yerry Mina comes off with an injury in Everton's clash with Brighton
Everton centre-back Mina has been struggling with a groin injury (Picture: Getty)

Central defender Mina (groin), midfielder Fabian Delph (tendon) and winger Bernard (muscle) have also been sidelined but all four players could play a role at the Emirates tomorrow.

However, Ancelotti will still be without Abdoulaye Doucoure (ankle) and Jean-Philippe Gbamin (knee) in north London.

‘It’s a really important game. Not decisive but really, really important. The last seven games are really important,’ Ancelotti told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

‘There is a lot of competition and you see also the results: there are a lot of draws so it means that it’s a really competitive final period of the season and I think we are ready.

‘It’s true that we didn’t have a good moment in the last month but now we are much better, we have a lot of players available.

‘We have at least almost all of the squad apart from Doucoure and Gbamin out but the others are in good condition. We are ready to fight for this final part of the season.’

Everton Training Session
Ancelotti is targeting five wins from Everton’s last seven games (Picture: Getty)

On the significance of Calvert-Lewin and Mina returning, Ancelotti added: ‘Yeah and not only them. We have back Delph and we have back Bernard so the squad is much, much better.

‘I have a lot of options and so I am pleased and confident.

I’t’s going to be a different game. It’s true that we defended strong against Arsenal.

‘In the game before that we played against Chelsea we were really good defensively and we used the same strategy to play against Arsenal.

‘Everton and Arsenal have both changed in this period and I think it will be a different game.’

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Ancelotti – who is targeting at least five wins from Everton’s remaining seven matches of the campaign – told his players they should be going into every game with the sole intention of securing all three points.

‘I said five wins but I don’t know, there are a lot of strange results,’ the Italian went on.

‘Maybe you need four wins and maybe some draws, I don’t know.

‘We have to be calm, we just to play and to try to win tomorrow, to try to win against Aston Villa, to try to win against West Ham and play every game like a final. Full stop.

‘We don’t have to say, “Ah, maybe a draw”, no… try to win.’

Tomorrow evening’s match may well be overshadowed by events outside the stadium, with Arsenal fans planning a protest against owner Stan Kroenke and the club’s involvement in the failed European Super League.

‘For every supporter of football it was a strange day, a surprise,’ Ancelotti said when asked how he reacted to Sunday night’s stunning announcement.

‘We heard about the Super League in the past few months but I was sure that it was not going to happen because they were wrong.

‘These 12 clubs were wrong because they didn’t take into consideration the opinion of two parts which are really important: one are the players and the managers also and the other part is the supporters.

‘And the most important part… they wanted to build up a competition without sporting merit. This is not acceptable because in our culture we were born to have sporting merit.’

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