Everton boss Sean Dyche is going to be keeping his fingers crossed tonight once more as three of his key players are turning out for their national sides.
Jordan Pickford, Nathan Patterson and Vitalii Mykolenko are all playing tonight and injury to any of these players would present Dyche with some headaches.
Particularly as the Everton manager is preparing to select a team to face Liverpool in Saturday’s Merseyside derby at Anfield.
The Toffees haven’t won at their old enemy’s ground since 2020 and that 2-0 triumph under Carlo Ancelotti was the only league win there in twenty years.
It is a terrible record and one that I don’t suppose will change this weekend, but Dyche and the Blues you feel need all their first-team squad available to have any chance of ending that awful run.
So far Dyche has been lucky with none of the club’s players away on international duty picking up an injury, yet.
Pickford would obviously be the most serious as arguably he is Everton’s only irreplaceable player. Although losing Patterson and Mykolenko would also be a major problem.
There is some good news on the injury front with the likely return to fitness of Idrissa Gueye who missed the Toffees first home win of the season when they beat Bournemouth in their last Premier League match.
I don’t think Gueye has been very impressive recently and I thought his unexpected absence against the Cherries enabled James Garner and Amadou Onana to renew their successful central midfield partnership.
However, Gueye’s vast experience is obviously a factor to consider and I imagine Dyche woill be very tempted to select him for that assurance.
All this takes place against a backdrop of yet more distraction just this evening regarding the potential takeover of the club by 777 Partners.
As soon as the propsed deal was announced there were concerns about the Americans and their suitability to take the reins at Goodison Park.
Current owner Farhad Moshiri has been talking again about his belief that the US investment group are the right people to take control of the club and move things forward.
But now there are further stories that this group might not have the finances to go forward with this takeover and fund the club.
Well all of that is for the future. For the moment a clean bill of health for all the players and a full fit squad for Dyche to pick his team for Anfield, are likely to be all Everton supporters will be thinking about.