Everton Boss Gives Team News Update

Rafa Benitez has confirmed Allan is in contention for Thursday night’s clash at Chelsea (7.45pm GMT) and captain Seamus Coleman is “pushing” to be available for the game.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Everton manager added Lucas Digne was set to be named in his starting XI at Stamford Bridge but informed Benitez on Wednesday morning that he was ill.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is not ready to feature but Benitez says the striker is “very close” to returning to full fitness.

Coleman was one of three players injured in Sunday’s match at Crystal Palace, with the Everton captain sustaining bone bruising and soft tissue damage.

Richarlison is expected to be out for a number of weeks as he recovers from a tear in his calf, while Andros Townsend suffered a small fracture in his foot – his condition will be reviewed by specialists later this week.

Allan missed the Palace match with an adductor injury and Benitez said he took part in training on Wednesday, albeit adding it was a “light” session. The Blues boss revealed the midfielder told him he is “ready to help the team” at Chelsea.

Benitez did not provide updates on the availability of Yerry Mina or Tom Davies.

Richarlison’s injury meant he was substituted just before the hour mark at Palace and – while he admitted he was frustrated he could no longer feature – the striker has stressed: “Rafa did the right thing for me and for the team...and if I stayed on, I would have done more damage and, probably, faced a longer period out.”

Benitez added: “In this case, we knew he had the problem with his calf. He wanted to be on the pitch, he wanted to help, but he understands that we were trying to do the best for him and the best for the team. 

“We wanted to protect him.”

On Townsend and Coleman, who were also injured at Selhurst Park, Benitez said: “Andros has a broken bone, so that takes some time [to heal]. We need to see what the specialists say.

“Seamus has a swollen foot, but he is pushing – he is someone who wants to help, so we are assessing him and we will decide about that tomorrow.”

Benitez is hopeful he will soon be able to call on talismanic striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has been sidelined since Everton’s 2-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion in August.

The Blues boss also paid tribute to “warrior” Allan’s willingness to play through the pain barrier for his team.

“I met Dominic today and he was quite positive,” Benitez explained: “He was training well. 

“With him, we have to make sure he does not take too much risk, because he has had two re-injuries. 

"We want to be sure he is 100-per-cent fit and hopefully he will be a crucial player for us in the second part of the season. He is very close [to being fit] and I’m sure we will see him soon.

“In terms of Allan, he has been training. We have to keep an eye on him, and it was a light training session to be fair. 

"I will say in his favour, in the last 15 minutes against Arsenal, he was playing with problems in his adductor. 

“He told me this morning he is ready to help the team and, if I need him, he will be available. He is a warrior and he is a fighter.”