Everton handed huge injury boost before Liverpool, Ancelotti set for colossal upgrade – opinion

Everton handed huge injury boost before Liverpool, Ancelotti set for colossal upgrade – opinion

Everton have landed a huge boost with Carlo Ancelotti confirming that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will make his return from injury against Liverpool in Saturday’s Merseyside Derby.

The striker, who has 18 goals to his name in 25 appearances across all competitions this season, has missed his side’s last two Premier League fixtures with a hamstring issue sustained in the FA Cup.

Calvert-Lewin was forced off the field 55 minutes into the 5-4 fifth-round victory over Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month, after scoring the Toffees’ first and assisting two strikes to mount a first-half comeback following Davinson Sanchez’s early opener.

Gylfi Sigurdsson occupied a false nine role as Everton lost 2-0 to Fulham in Calvert-Lewin’s absence, while Richarlison led the line on his own as Manchester City won 3-1 at Goodison Park last time out.

The Blues now head to Anfield striving to record their first win over Liverpool since 2010 and first away victory since 1999, with a chance to draw level on points with Jurgen Klopp’s sixth-placed defending Premier League champions.

And Ancelotti has confirmed that Calvert-Lewin will be fit enough to start on the red side of Stanley Park, along with midfielder Allan who has been out with a hamstring injury since December 16.

“Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Allan are back,” Ancelotti said on Friday.

“For the fact we have a lot of games in this period, it is important to have all the squad available. We are close to having all the players fit.

“This is important. We can rotate a little bit and keep the squad more fresh.

“Allan was out for two months. To have him back is really important for us.”

Having Calvert-Lewin back will be hugely beneficial for Everton in their hopes of recording a rare win over Liverpool on Saturday and at a time when the Reds have lost their last three fixtures held at Anfield.

While Sigurdsson and Richarlison, the Toffees’ two record signings at £45m and £50m, led the attack in Calvert-Lewin’s absence, neither offer the same presence as the England international, who was acquired from Sheffield United for just £1.5m in 2016.

Calvert-Lewin has offered a team-high 2.7 shots per game in the Premier League this season, the eight-most across the division, which is 1.7 more than Richarlison and 2.0 more than Sigurdsson when either has been fielded as a de facto centre-forward, per WhoScored.

He also offers an imperious aerial presence compared to either the Brazilian (1.3/4.7 duels won) or the Iceland international (0/0) with success in 4.6 of his 9.1 contests, only four players across the top-flight win a higher amount per game than the 23-year-old.

That’s on top of his goal output, which makes Calvert-Lewin the joint-third top-scorer in the Premier League and with the third-highest contribution rate, having netted 37% of Everton’s 35 efforts struck home to date.

So, clearly, having Calvert-Lewin back fit and available for Everton’s trip to Anfield will be hugely beneficial for Ancelotti, as he gains a colossal upgrade on his recent stand-in options.

AND in other news, Everton face a £35m asking price to land Carlo Ancelotti’s 21-year-old target