Marco Silva refused to rule Alex Iwobi and Andre Gomes out of Everton’s first home game of the season against Watford on Saturday but the Blues boss will definitely be without Fabian Delph.
Deadline-day signing Iwobi reported to USM Finch Farm for the first time on Monday following three weeks off after helping Nigeria to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations and has taken part in only a handful of training sessions with his new teammates.
Gomes, meanwhile, was withdrawn shortly before half-time of last weekend’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace with an ankle problem and will face a late fitness test on Saturday morning.
July signing Delph will again be sidelined by the thigh injury that prevented him from making an Everton bow against the Eagles.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Silva said: “There is still a doubt with Andre Gomes, let’s see how he will be tomorrow.
“It is possible he will be in the squad but we have to see tomorrow.
“Fabian Delph is still out. We have to wait some more days. I hope he can start with the team next week but let’s see at the beginning of the week if he will be in a better condition.
“Leighton [Baines] started working with the team during this week, and all the others are okay.”
Asked about the availability of Iwobi, Silva added he still needs to assess whether the time is right for the 23-year-old to return to top-level action.
“It’s a matter of us putting him in his best physical condition possible,” he said. “Of course, we’re trying to do that as fast as possible so he can start with the team.
“It was a difficult week for him. But that is normal - it was a difficult week for JP Gbamin the week before because it is just one week working with the team.
“But it is what it is and you have to put them in the best conditions.
“Alex is working really hard and well, like all the others, and it’s up to me to decide if he will be or not in the squad list for tomorrow.”
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