What The Papers Say - Feb 11

by Matthew Judge

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of  Everton.



EVERTON could be without in-form striker Louis Saha for several weeks amid growing fears he has suffered a hamstring injury in training.

The potential setback would be a massive blow for the Toffees, with the 32-year-old currently on fire after scoring four goals against Blackpool last weekend to take his tally for the season to nine.

It would mean David Moyes would have to prepare for Sunday’s trip to Bolton’s Reebok stadium without Saha, who could be facing a four to five week lay-off.

Saha has been plagued with injuries to his hamstrings throughout his career, and it is understood that the results of a scan yesterday will confirm whether fate has dealt him and the Blues yet another cruel blow.

Although Everton have not confirmed the injury, it would represent their second blow in a week after it was confirmed that Jack Rodwell faces a month out after he injured his groin playing for England Under-21s.

Rodwell had played only 12 minutes of the 1-0 defeat to Italy on Tuesday afternoon before limping off.

He returned to Merseyside and underwent a scan which revealed the severity of his latest injury.



EVERTON have confirmed Jack Rodwell will be sidelined for at least a month with the groin injury suffered while appearing for England under-21s.

Rodwell had played only 12 minutes of the 1-0 defeat for Stuart Pearce’s youngsters against Italy in Empoli on Tuesday afternoon when he was forced to limp off.

The 19-year-old returned to Finch Farm yesterday where a scan on the damage revealed he will be ruled out for four weeks.

It is a bitter blow for Rodwell, who spoke only last week of his hope for a strong end to a season that has previously been hampered by injury.

The midfielder sustained a serious ankle injury in August at Aston Villa that ruled him out for three months, and on his return found himself unable to cement a regular place in central midfield.

However, Rodwell had started the last three games for David Moyes’s side and was confident of retaining his starting role for Sunday’s Premier League visit to Bolton Wanderers.

Tim Cahill is now likely to step up from the bench at the Reebok Stadium, with Everton assistant manager Steve Round admitting the team will have to deal with Bolton’s physical threat if they are to extend a run of just four league defeats in 20 games and move further away from the relegation zone.

“It will be a tough game,” said Round.

“I’ve been to watch Bolton a couple of times this season.

“They get the ball forward early, they play off the front and get the ball into the area and have players flying in behind it.

“They press well from the front, they have good energy and physically they a very big and strong side.

“We will have to be at our best to win the game but the way we are playing at the moment, we can take points off the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Man City.

“This is another game where we have to continue our form and move forwards.”

Meanwhile, the mini-derby scheduled for next week has been postponed due to Liverpool’s FA Youth Cup commitments.

Everton Reserves were set to take on their neighbours at Prenton Park, Tranmere, on Wednesday February 16, but the game will now be played on Thursday, March 24 with a 7pm kick-off.

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