Dyche doesn't think Doucoure will be fit for Everton trip to Wolves

After defeat last night to Manchester City the Blues next fixture sees them travelling to the Midlands to take on Wolves potentially without their key attacking player.

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages
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That is because Abdoulaye Doucoure is still a major doubt for the trip to Molineux as he continues his recovery from the hamstring injury he recently suffered.

Sean Dyche has been speaking about his injured players today and revealed that he was still very uncertain about whether his Mali midfielder will be ready to return at Wolves.

As well as Doucoure, Idrissa Gueye also missed the game against Manchester City and he has been certainly ruled out of the next game.

But obviously it is Doucoure who will be the big loss and if he does fail to return to adequate fitness for Dyche to risk starting him, then Everton have a problem.

He is integral to how the Toffees manager likes to set up his sides, especially away from home and there is no one in the squad who can replace him.

Doucoure is the team's leading scorer with six goals and has been perhaps the most improved player at Goodison Park since Dyche replaced Frank Lampard almost a year ago.

Injuries have really started to impact on the Blues and stretch Dyche's player resources to the limit as the festive period games come thick and fast.

As well as the two midfielers mentioned Everton are also without two experienced defenders as Seamus Coleman (after only just returned to fitness) and Ashley Young have also been absent.

Furthermore, James Tarkowski and Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed training and might be a doubt too.

Four or five first-choice players is not perhaps as bad as other clubs, but the Toffees have one of the Premier League's smallest squads and so any injury problems are very significant.

While Andre Gomes return for the past two matches has proved fortunate, he isn't Doucoure and has been away from the Premier League for over a year.

Following two damaging defeats to Spurs and Man City, Everton really need three points at Wolves but even with a full-strength squad that was going to be a tough task against a confident opponent that has won it's last two games scoring six goals in the process.

So, Dyche's patched up side will have to work even harder to come away with the points this weekend and end their own mini slump that has pulled the Blues back into the relegation battle.