James Rodriguez is set to be fit and available for Everton’s Premier League clash with Sheffield United at Goodison Park on Sunday (7pm BST).
The Colombian playmaker resumed full training at USM Finch Farm on Friday, having been sidelined for the Blues’ past three games with a calf injury.
James’ return for Sunday’s crunch contest represents a significant boost for boss Carlo Ancelotti. The former Real Madrid player has scored six goals and provided nine assists for the Blues in 25 appearances this season.
James’ countryman Yerry Mina will not be ready for Sunday’s match, however, as he continues his recovery from a minor adductor problem.
Speaking on Wednesday, Ancelotti described the defender’s injury as a “really small” issue. He added if Mina was not fit to face the Blades, he should be in contention for Everton’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 19 May.
Meanwhile, Blues boss Ancelotti has saluted Ben Godfrey’s “fantastic” qualities as the defender continues to enjoy an exceptional debut season at Everton.
The 23-year-old’s consistently high-class performances have seen him tipped by some observers as a potential candidate for England’s European Championships squad.
Ancelotti says Godfrey’s athleticism, versatility and tactical awareness mark him out as a standout talent.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Sheffield United, which you can watch in full in the video above or here, Ancelotti said: “I have to say his season was really good.
“He showed fantastic quality and defensive ability. He is really fast and really intelligent. It is difficult to find him out of position. I am really pleased and surprised for his season. He was a fantastic signing in the summer.
“The best quality he has is his speed. He is really fast and really aggressive without the ball, tactically he is good and he can play all the positions in defence without any problem.
“He has changed position – he played left-back, right-back and centre-back – and every time he did well. I am really satisfied.
“I don’t know if he will go to the Euros. It is not my decision. I have only to say he has been a fantastic player this season.
“England has very good defenders. Against Aston Villa [in Thursday’s 0-0 draw], Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa were really good, they are top defenders.
“And I have to say Michael Keane also did a fantastic performance in that game. The fact both teams didn’t score was because of the good performance of the defenders.”