Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has conceded that he will have little choice but to rest the Premier League’s leading scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin during a busy December.
Saturday’s visit of Chelsea is the first of seven matches in 22 days. After which, there are league games to follow against Leicester, Arsenal, Sheffield United, Manchester City and West Ham. There’s also the small matter of a Carabao Cup quarter-final against Manchester United.
Calvert-Lewin has scored 11 times in as many appearances but that will not make him immune from squad rotation.
“We are going to replace him with another striker. That can be (Cenk) Tosun, he is fit after the injury,” the Italian told evertonfc.com.
“It can be Richarlison, sometimes. There is no doubt about this.
“This is a really important period. We are going to play every three days against really important teams: Chelsea, Leicester, Arsenal, Manchester United.
“All the players will be involved. I haven’t rotated the players a lot when we had only one game a week.
“But the fact we have a game every three days, I am going to rotate the players. This is like I did in the first period of the season when we played a lot of games and won all the games.
“I have confidence that playing every three days, we can manage the situation better than once a week.”
Ancelotti provides welcome Coleman news
Everton enjoyed their best start to a season in over a century, winning their first seven matches in all competitions. Since then, however, it’s all gone a little sour. The Toffees have only one victory in their last seven with just five points taken from a possible 21.
Their form has not been helped by the loss of both first-choice full-backs in Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman to injury.
Digne could be out until February after surgery but Coleman is on the verge of a comeback.
“He is back, he started to train, partially, with the team today,” added Ancelotti.
“He feels good, I don’t think he will be available for the game against Chelsea. But for the next game against Leicester, he will be available.”