Marco Silva says Ademola Lookman is in contention for Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Lincoln City.
The young forward has been absent with an ankle problem over the last couple of weeks but is back in training.
Lookman boosts an already healthy squad, with Silva adding that he will take the squad’s fatigue after a heavy festive period into account when picking his team but insists he will choose a starting XI in “100 per cent condition to play” to face the Imps.
Lincoln have potential problems between the sticks at Goodison Park. First-choice keeper Josh Vickers injured his calf on Boxing Day at Crewe and has been absent since. Stand-in glovesman Grant Smith, however, is cup-tied having played for Maidstone in a previous round.
Third-choice keeper Sam Slocombe – on loan from Bristol Rovers - could get the nod.
PLAYER STATISTICS (Premier League)
1. Richarlison: 9
2. Gylfi Sigurdsson: 8
3. Dominic Calvert-Lewin/Lucas Digne/Theo Walcott: 3
1. Bernard/Gylfi Sigurdsson: 3
2. Digne/Keane/Tosun/Walcott: 2
3. Seven players: 1
1. John Akinde: 11
2. Harry Anderson: 6
3. Shay McCartan/Tom Pett/Jason Shackell: 4
1. John Akinde/Bruno Andrade/Harry Toffolo: 4
2. Lee Frecklington: 3
3. Shay McCartan: 2
ONES TO WATCH: Jason Shackell and Harry Anderson
Two players at different ends of their respective careers could play vital roles for Lincoln.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: John Brooks
In centre-back Shackell, the Imps boast a player with Championship and Premier League experience after his spells at Norwich, Wolves and Burnley. Having captained both the Canaries and the Clarets – plus at Derby and Barnsley – the 35-year-old will be pivotal to keeping Lincoln’s defence firm against the top-flight Blues.
At 6ft 4in, Shackell will also pose a threat at set-pieces. Indeed, he scored a header just five minutes into his debut for Danny Cowley’s side against Port Vale.
At the other end, winger Anderson has been instrumental in Lincoln’s attacking play this season. Having started out at Peterborough, he joined the Imps initially on loan in 2016 but soon made the move permanent.
This season he has four assists and six goals and complements fellow winger Bruno Andrade on the other flank in laying on the ammunition for top-scorer John Akinde.
The Leicestershire native will officiate his first Everton fixture on Saturday.
He has taken charge of matches in the Championship for much of the current campaign, with this Cup tie set to be his 23rd outing of the season.
Brooks has handed out five red cards and 91 yellows so far this term.
FACTS, FIGURES AND MILESTONES
This is the first FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Everton’s previous clash with the Imps was a League Cup tie in October 1993 in a second-leg match. Having beaten Lincoln on their patch 4-3 a fortnight previously, the Blues completed formalities with a 4-2 success at Goodison Park.
The two clubs have met only six times overall, with Everton winning on three occasions.
If he plays against Lincoln, Seamus Coleman will match Joe Royle’s 276 appearances for the Club. If that is a start, it will bring up 250 in all competitions for the Irishman.
Everton Giant Bob Latchford had a short spell at Lincoln at the tail end of his career, spending a year at Sincil Bank between 1985 and 1986.