Boss: An Opportunity For Traore
Martinez says striker is looking sharp ahead of Swansea tie.
Roberto Martinez says Lacina Traore is likely to make his Everton debut in Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Swansea City.
The striker was an unused substitute at White Hart Lane last weekend and was earmarked to play some part in the midweek game against Crystal Palace.
Traore was again named on the bench when the teams were announced on Wednesday, prior to the match falling victim to the adverse weather.
And with no midweek fixture to contend with, the Blues boss says the Ivorian has ‘benefitted’ from the chance to get some added days of training and recovery.
“He’s getting there. He’s been working really well and benefitted from these extra days from an individual’s point of view,” Martinez said at his Friday press conference.
“Lacina has been sharp in training and has surprised everyone in the medical department at how quickly he has got his fitness levels high for the competition.
“We have to make sure there is no risk for him to participate but, clearly, there is a good opportunity for him to be involved on Sunday in one way or another.”
Martinez also confirmed that he has no fresh injury concerns from the previous time he addressed the media on Tuesday morning.
Romelu Lukaku [ankle] and Antolin Alcaraz [muscle fatigue] are continuing to make progress, but the Spaniard says the Swansea tie will come too soon for the pair.
He added: “We are exactly the same as we were on Wednesday in terms of numbers. We have the same squad, with the three long-term absentees.
“Bryan Oviedo has been around the players and is recovering well. Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone are still out, while Antolin Alcaraz will miss the weekend but is nearly ready. Romelu Lukaku is very similar.”
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