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Seven players under assessment for Hammers clash

by | 20/11/2014  Comments (36)  jump
Everton's medical staff will assess the fitness of seven of Roberto Martinez's squad ahead of Saturday's home fixture against West Ham United as a series of knocks and soft-tissue injuries threaten to deprive the manager of a number of first-team players.

Gareth Bareth is rated as highly doubtful while Leighton Baines and James McCarthy will undergo late tests on minor hamstring strains.

"We're checking Leighton on a daily basis," said Martinez said in his pre-match press conference this morning. "He's someone who heals really quickly and at the moment it's difficult to know if he's going to be involved on Saturday or not - it's going to be touch and go.

"I've seen him recover from a similar grade one hamstring problem before in eight days, so we're going to give him as much time as we can to see if he can make it on Saturday."

Steven Pienaar and Darron Gibson have both picked up knee injuries recently and they are doubts as Everton resume their Premier League campaign following the international break, but Kevin Mirallas is close to making his long-awaited return from a hamstring injury of his own.

Finally, the club will check on Seamus Coleman's ankle after he played in Ireland's Euro2016 qualifier against Scotland with five stitches to a wound on his ankle.  

Reader Comments (36)

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Conor Waters
2 Posted 20/11/2014 at 17:33:19
Is Gareth Barry fit?
Joe Clitherow
3 Posted 20/11/2014 at 17:34:25
Why is the club allowing Seamus to play in any international game, Roy Keane or no effing Roy Keane, with five stitches in a wound?
Steavey Buckley
5 Posted 20/11/2014 at 17:44:54
If you think Roberto has a problem with who will be fit for Saturday, just think whatÂ’s going though Sam AllardyceÂ’s mind, as he is preparing West Ham to take on Everton, and wonÂ’t have a clue which Everton team will turn up on Saturday.
Linda Morrison
7 Posted 20/11/2014 at 19:17:26
I will tell you that at best we will have Baines for this match. It amuses me that LFC are in shock that Sturridge is again injured they should have our lot!

I will be surprised who we have but I think we will win folks!

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 20/11/2014 at 19:30:25
Steavey "[Big Sam] wonÂ’t have a clue which Everton team will turn up on Saturday."

Sounds like every week, Steavey!

Kunal Desai
12 Posted 20/11/2014 at 20:08:38
WouldnÂ’t surprise me if all are in the squad for Saturday, barring Barry.
Sharabi Singh
13 Posted 20/11/2014 at 20:15:45
WeÂ’ll win 2-1
Kieran Riding
17 Posted 20/11/2014 at 21:10:24
Everton and Bellew win double.
Harold Matthews
19 Posted 20/11/2014 at 21:12:01
Will the people predicting a win please give their reasons because, apart from playing at home, I canÂ’t think of any. Naturally IÂ’m praying for 3 points but with so many injured or out of form it wonÂ’t be easy. LetÂ’s hope Martinez finds a way.
Colin Glassar
20 Posted 20/11/2014 at 21:44:23
We have an excellent (recent) record against WHU Harold. 2-0 win.
Gerry Quinn
21 Posted 20/11/2014 at 22:40:16
Colin, we used to have an excellent record against Palace!
Pete Gunby
22 Posted 20/11/2014 at 22:54:43
And Swansea.
Darryl Ritchie
23 Posted 21/11/2014 at 06:15:01
An injury-riddled Everton vs an in-form West Ham. IÂ’m usually the eternal optimist, when it comes to predictions, but IÂ’m crossing my fingers with this match.

WeÂ’re just not going to know whoÂ’s fit until Saturday. Howard, Distin and Jags are set. Up front, we have enough talent with Lukaku, Naismith, EtoÂ’o and McGeady to cause trouble. The big question marks are the midfield and the fullbacks.

Is Osman still capable of playing a full match without running out of gas?

If McCarthy canÂ’t go, are Besic and Barkley ready to step it up a notch and take control of the centre of the pitch?

If not Baines, then who?

IÂ’m not going to make any predictions until I know which Everton is going take the field.

Anthony Flack
24 Posted 21/11/2014 at 07:37:16
London press running article that West Ham have several out including Downing and Sakho... So not just us with a couple of bumps and strains...
Colin Grierson
26 Posted 21/11/2014 at 09:11:25
This is going to be a tough game regardless of our line up. You canÂ’t underestimate the importance of confidence given by a run of good performances.

I think we will nick a win, however, as they may miss a few key players and we have a bit more depth to our squad. If fitness tests are failed...

The team: Howard; Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Browning, Besic; Barkley, McGeady; Osman; Naismith, Lukaku.

(That is the team I think Bobby would play but I would probably opt for EtoÂ’o in behind the front two in a 4-3-1-2 formation.)

Dave Pritchard
28 Posted 21/11/2014 at 10:02:13
Anthony and Colin are right to point out that we are not the only ones with injuries. Inevitably we focus on our own players but injuries affect every club. Downing and Sakho were in-form players so will be a miss for them as much as Baines and McCarthy would be for us.

IÂ’m really looking forward to the game and hope we attack them with a little more urgency than we have been doing of late.

Denis Richardson
29 Posted 21/11/2014 at 10:49:24
I am looking forward to this perversely as RM will be forced to make some changes to the central midfield. Whilst Barry and McCarthy are both big misses, itÂ’ll give us a chance to see what the likes of Besic can do in his proper position and not playing playing wide somewhere.

It’s a shame that Gibbo is out as well (although not really a surprise) but we should have enough to match West Ham. Other than left-back, the back five are pretty much the same (I am assuming Coleman, Jags and Distin will all start). So central midfield is the big question – who plays next to Besic.

IÂ’m not knocking Osman but I hope itÂ’s not him... yet I have a feeling itÂ’s going to be, as RM has played him there before... On the other hand, it may be good to have an experienced head next to Besic in the middle but Ossie gets brushed off the ball so easily... tough one.

I would be tempted to play a 4-4-1-1 with Coleman at right midfield and Browning or Hibbo at right back. Besic and Ossie central midfield and McGeady at left midfield and Garbutt at left back (assuming Baines and Oviedo canÂ’t make it.) Barkley and one of EtoÂ’o or Lukaku up front.

The midfield would be a bit light in the middle but Barkley would hopefully keep them on their toes with Besic and Osman playing more defensive. Good options on the bench.

Not an ideal line-up but looking at our squad, we only seem to have four midfielders fit!

Dave Pritchard
30 Posted 21/11/2014 at 11:48:39
Is Pienaar definitely out?
Abhishek Saha
33 Posted 21/11/2014 at 12:11:13
Assuming all doubtfuls not starting (and of course including the long-term absentees), should our starting eleven look like this??

Browning Distin Jagielka Hibbert
Besic Osman
Barkley McGeady
Naismith Lukaku

Doubtfuls: Coleman, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Gibson, Pienaar, Mirallas.

Phil Walling
34 Posted 21/11/2014 at 12:21:38
I suspect that the only new name on show will be Garbutt’s. And then only if Coleman is unfit to play – and this requires Hibbo at right-back rather than left.
Phil Walling
35 Posted 21/11/2014 at 12:26:06
The fit ’first choice’ players Roberto has to choose from – as far as we know – are Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Besic, Osman, McGeady, Barkley, Eto’o, Naismith, Lukaku – and possibly Mirallas.

Hardly a crisis just because we had to call on ONE junior player at left back, surely?

Steven Jones
37 Posted 21/11/2014 at 12:45:43
Luke Garbutt is a class act and I would be delighted if he played against the Irons... leaving Baines to get a rest in a ready for Wolfsburg.

Leon did well at central midfield last year against Chelsea... much better stats, interceptions, no dribble pasts, higher number of tackles etc than Gareth for that game; it was easier for him facing the play.

However, I fancy Besic and one of Gibson or McCarthy (one has to make it surely).

At home, I would go for Ross and Romelu and McGeady and Atsu on wing to start with and Mirallas on after 60 mins EtoÂ’o, Baines and Osman saved for Wolfsgurg

Peter Cummings
38 Posted 21/11/2014 at 13:00:24
One player who needs to up his game and show us he is as good as the media hype tells us, has to be Ross Barkley. So far, his form has been less than outstanding so tomorrowÂ’s game will be a good test for his ability to show results.

Lukaku must also be more involved and spend more time in his supposed position instead of being elsewhere when the crosses come into the area. I would like to see Atsu get more playing time with EtoÂ’o.

West Ham have done well so far this season so, if we are as weakened as we are expected to be against Big Sams Â’strong armÂ’ tactics, everyone playing must give 100%.

Mike Allison
39 Posted 21/11/2014 at 13:27:42
Naismith ran himself into the ground for Scotland during the international break, he literally fell over with fatigue at one point, so IÂ’d make sure he was rested as well.
Craig Bellew
40 Posted 21/11/2014 at 13:19:48
Kieran (#18) – I hope your prediction comes off for our team and our kid! Roll on Saturday 3 points and our kid knocking that clown clean out!
John Hughes
41 Posted 21/11/2014 at 13:30:32
Every bluenose will be rooting for him, Craig – send him our best!
James Joseph
42 Posted 21/11/2014 at 13:27:41
Definitely Garbutt for me if Baines is out – he’s got to start somewhere and probably best in a home game.

Also, I hope Eto’o starts – I’m looking forward to him meeting up with his old pal Alex Song.

Mike Childs
43 Posted 21/11/2014 at 13:59:43
Downing out for them is a big miss. The way his play has improved this year after years in the doldrums would require a test sample in a cup here in the States.
John Crook
44 Posted 21/11/2014 at 15:12:05
The fact that Mirallas is on the Â’doubtfulÂ’ list is good news. Some were speculating he would be out until the New Year. The fact that he is close to contention should see him get some minutes from the bench over the next 2 or 3 matches and hopefully ready to start again in December. We do miss Mirallas.
Jay Harris
45 Posted 21/11/2014 at 15:22:58
Please let him know every blue is right behind him and our time is coming and so is his.

Team for Saturday assuming fitness:
Coleman Jagielka Browning Distin
Besic McCarthy
McGeady Lukaku Osman

Subs for second half:
Garbutt for Browning
EtoÂ’o for McGeady
Pienaar for McCarthy or Osman depending on fitness.

Denis Richardson
46 Posted 21/11/2014 at 15:32:56
Jay 46 - would be very surprised if McCarthy plays given heÂ’s hardly trained in the last 10 days. If he does, heÂ’ll be risking getting a more serious injury and being out for a long time. Also, your formation looks like 4-2-1-2-1... a bit narrow no?

I cannot really see RM playing Distin at left back although this will really test RMÂ’s commitment to giving youth a chance. As playing Distin at left back and Browning would mean changing half the back line, whereas giving Garbutt the left-back role would only mean changing one position, with Browning as replacement on the bench.

It would also be a blow for Garbutt if he couldn’t start with both Baines and Oviedo likely out – the guy needs to be given a chance at some point.

Craig Bellew
47 Posted 21/11/2014 at 15:45:37
John @42 & Jay @46 Cheers for the well wishes and support its greatly appreciated by both myself and especially our Ant ! 3 points come 4.45pm and a TKO around 10.30pm will go down nicely.

On the post itself outta all the palyers possibly out the biggest misses for us has to be Bainesy and McCarthy as I expect Coleman to play especially if he played the other day for his country.

I know we will miss Barry hugely but if ever there was a time for Mo to step up its now and give RM a selection headache when he returns, I see this as his biggest chance to get his feet under the table so to speak and get a good run under his belt and show us what he has shown in glimpses pre-season and to date.

Looking forward to having Barkley back firing on all cylinders too and once he and Mirallas are back performing together with a fit first 11 I feel we can kick on and have a great second half of the season.

Onwards and upwards. COYB & Â’The BomberÂ’

Geoff Evans
48 Posted 21/11/2014 at 16:04:32
Looks like the boy wonder will have to turn up. Hope he has got a lot more than heÂ’s shown so far. 㿨 mill looks tempting.
Phil Walling
49 Posted 21/11/2014 at 16:51:30
Jay, I cant see Bobby playing Distin out of position just to accommodate Browning. Indeed, I doubt if any of 'the kids' will get a look in !
Jay Harris
50 Posted 21/11/2014 at 20:31:35
Phil, my thinking on Browning was that he would have two experienced pros either side of him to coach him through the game; with the potential of Sakho and Valencia, we need someone a bit sharper and more of a lump than Garbutt in the back 4.

Denis, given the current resources, in the absence of Pienaar Mirallas and the relative poor form of Atsu, I think we have to play narrow with the full backs overlapping to give width.

There again, RM will make the decision so my post is only my thoughts....

Mike Allison
51 Posted 22/11/2014 at 09:27:37
In that case Craig can I add my best wishes to Tony Bellew, I'm not a massive boxing fan but I hope he wins and represents the blues with pride.

Is all the animosity between them for real or is it played up? It's pretty convincing either way, he's got a job as an actor when he packs up if he doesn't mean it.

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