Benitez Reveals Everton Team News For Brighton Clash

Rafa Benitez has revealed Everton's squad is in "much better" position ahead of Sunday's visit of Brighton & Hove Albion (2pm GMT kick-off).

The Blues are set to welcome Graham Potter's side to Goodison Park following 17 days without a game, having had scheduled fixtures with Burnley and Newcastle United postponed by the Premier League Board due to COVID and injury problems.

Looking ahead to the clash, manager Benitez says he expects to have more players available for selection, including Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has not featured since sustaining a quadriceps injury four months ago.

"We are getting better," said Benitez at his pre-match press conference. "Obviously, we had issues with COVID and these players that have had problems are coming back and have been training, so we are much better.

"We cannot give names, we cannot give numbers but in terms of COVID, we have less problems.

"In terms of injuries, we are also bringing players back - still, we have some issues, but we are much better now.

"We have enough players and we want to play. When you cannot, you cannot - but when you have the possibility to play, we try to play."

Calvert-Lewin's last Everton appearance, coincidentally, came against Brighton on 28 August, with the England striker netting from the penalty spot to make it three goals from the opening three games of the current campaign.

Now fit again, Benitez says he is conscious of handing the 24-year-old too much action too quickly after a frustrating spell on the sidelines.

"Dominic is training with the team," added the Spaniard. "I've explained before that one thing is match fitness that you can improve by playing games and the other thing is fitness.

"Fitness-wise he is getting better... Match-fitness, we will see. Maybe he scores three goals in the first half and we don't need to worry about his match fitness but I think the issue will be how long he can play if he starts the game or, if he comes from the bench, how much impact he can have on the game.

"We are considering all of these things but he is training really well and he is really happy because he is with the team and is ready to play and score goals."