Boss Gives Derby Team News Update

Rafa Benitez has confirmed Everton are not expected to welcome back any injured players for Wednesday night’s Merseyside derby clash [8.15pm GMT] but revealed Andre Gomes has returned to First-Team training.

The Blues boss added the Portuguese midfielder is working his way back to match fitness, and that Everton will still be missing Dominic Calvert-Lewin (quadricep), Yerry Mina (hamstring) and Tom Davies (knee) for the Goodison Park game.

Richarlison returns after sitting out Sunday's contest at Brentford through suspension, while Mason Holgate serves the final match of a three-game ban following his sending off in last month’s draw against Tottenham Hotspur.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Benitez said: “The group of players is the same [as for Sunday’s game at Brentford] but Gomes is training.

“Still Dominic, Yerry Mina and Tom Davies are not available.

“At least we have players training regularly and that is a great advantage for the future.

“They will need some time to have match fitness but at least they are training now."

Benitez underlined his confidence his team boasts the tools to emerge victorious in what will be the 239th meeting between Everton and Liverpool – it is the most played fixture in English football history.

Benitez believes a derby success could spark a significant upturn in Everton’s form, especially with the Blues hoping to welcome back several key players over the coming weeks.

He said: “At the moment we have three players injured [Mina, Davies and Calvert-Lewin], so we have improved in this area. 

“The problem for us was we were missing key players in key games and this didn’t allow us to perform at the level we were at in the beginning of the season. 

“Now we are managing a situation that is not easy because the results are not good enough, and normally you lose confidence. 

“For us, the derby is a massive game because we can get three points and start building on that.

“Hopefully we can go back to the way we were at the beginning of the season, with the team working hard, playing well and winning games.”