David Unsworth has confirmed Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Wayne Rooney will all be available for Everton’s Premier League clash with Watford on Sunday.
The trio sat out Thursday’s trip to Lyon in the Europa League but Unsworth says he looks forward to welcoming back them for the weekend’s “big game”.
The former Blues defender also revealed he is hopeful Michael Keane will be in contention for a place in his squad, after completing his first training session since overcoming an infection on Thursday.
Former defender Unsworth also provided a reassuring update on Cuco Martina, after the 28-year-old defender was taken off on a stretcher against Lyon following an awkward fall.
Martina is now set to be out for “a couple of weeks” as a precaution.
The Toffees will also be without long-terms absentees Ross Barkley (hamstring), Yannick Bolasie, Ramiro Funes Mori (both knee) and Seamus Coleman (broken leg) for the visit of the Hornets.
For the visitors, club captain Troy Deeney will miss the trip to Goodison Park after receiving a three-match ban for an altercation with Stoke’s Joe Allen last weekend.
Roberto Pereyra is a doubt for Sunday’s fixture after limping off against Chelsea with a hamstring injury a fortnight ago. Sebastian Prödl and Younes Kaboul are also sidelined, while Isaac Success, Nathaniel Chalobah and Craig Cathcart will also be absent with knee injuries.
Everton return to Goodison Park on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Lyon - and subsequent elimination from the Europa League - on Thursday night.
Everton held the Ligue 1 outfit for 68 minutes until Bertrand Traore broke the deadlock. A second from Houssem Aouar, followed by a red card for midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, took the tie away from the Blues before Memphis Depay scored a third for the hosts.
Everton will also be hoping to turn their fortunes around in the premier League, having lost last time out away at Leicester City. A quick counter-attack, forged by the impressive Demarai Gray, led to Jamie Vardy opening the scoring before Gray, via a deflection from Jonjoe Kenny, made sure of the result before half-time.
Watford will be hoping to get back to winning ways after two defeats on the bounce against Chelsea away and Stoke at home.
ONE TO WATCH: RICHARLISON
Signed from Fluminese in the summer for £11.5 million, Richarlison has hit the ground running since joining Watford. The skilful winger has already become a firm fans’ favourite, having scored three and assisted two in his 10 Premier League appearances so far this term.
The Brazilian netted his maiden goal in the 2-0 away win against Bournemouth in August before scoring two key, last-minute strikes in as many games. The first earned all three points over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium before, seven days later, he notched a 95th-minute header to rescue a point against West Bromwich Albion.
LAST TIME: EVERTON 1-0 WATFORD
Ross Barkley’s effort was enough to earn Everton victory when the two sides last met in May.
The midfielder ran at the Watford defence before unleashing a 20-yard strike into the bottom corner to score his fifth goal of the season.
Enner Valencia had a chance late on to seal the result but was denied by a good save by Heurelho Gomes.
The win meant Everton remained in seventh and four points behind Manchester United with the season drawing to a close.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: GRAHAM SCOTT
Graham Scott takes charge of his 18th Premier League fixture, having only made his debut in the top flight in 2014.
It was only in the 2015/16 season that Scott was promoted to the Select Group of referees.
Scott has refereed six games this campaign but last officiated Everton as the Blues fell to a 3-0 defeat to Totthenham Hotspur in September.
As always, there will be free live audio commentary of Sunday’s contest here on evertonfc.com
, with Club ambassador Ian Snodin joining evertontv’s Darren Griffiths to describe the action.
In addition to our live commentary, look out for our live blog which will bring you updates, imagery, video and team news from Goodison Park. Head to the match centre, the official App or the evertonfc.com
homepage on matchday to find it.