COMMENT By Will Butcher
Attacking talisman Romelu Lukaku will dramatically improve Everton’s goal threat against Bournemouth, even if he doesn’t fully recover from a toe injury.
The former Chelsea striker failed to make the matchday squad for the 2-0 loss to Norwich on Wednesday night in the third round of the EFL Cup, with Enner Valencia struggling to provide the attacking bite that Lukaku provides.
However, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo, manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Lukaku will return to face Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth as one of four changes that will make the Toffees very hard to beat.
“Romelu trained separately from the group today,” Koeman revealed, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo. “We expect him to train normally tomorrow morning. If that happens then he’s fit for the weekend.”
Argentinian Ramiro Funes Mori would provide more pace at the heart of the Toffees defence instead of Phil Jagielka despite his performance at left-back against Norwich, as they aim to deal with Bournemouth’s speed merchant Callum Wilson.
Experienced midfielder Gareth Barry will close in on Ryan Giggs’ Premier League appearance record of 632 games, replacing Tom Cleverley who disappointed against Norwich.
Gerard Deulofeu’s pace will prove vital to the right of Everton’s attack on Saturday, with the Cherries expected to start ageing Charlie Daniels at left-back.
Elsewhere, the left-flank of Everton will be reshuffled as youngster Mason Holgate and Aaron Lennon failed to do enough against Norwich to alter Koeman’s selection. Leighton Baines and new signing Yannick Bolasie will replace the duo.
In other Everton news, Aaron Lennon has revealed this latest clamp down from manager Koeman.