MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 31, 2022: Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin lines-up before the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Everton FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Dominic Calvert-Lewin 1 of 5 Everton players expected to miss Liverpool clash

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a major doubt for Monday’s Merseyside derby at Anfield, with Sean Dyche describing his chances of being involved as “touch and go at best.”

Calvert-Lewin led the line in Everton‘s victory over Arsenal in Sean Dyche’s first match as manager at Goodison Park last Saturday.

But as the Toffees prepare to face Liverpool, Dyche has cast major doubt over Calvert-Lewin’s involvement, with the 25-year-old nursing a hamstring problem.

“We’re still monitoring him. It will be touch and go, at best, I would think,” said Dyche.

“We’re hoping it settles down as quickly as possible.

“He put a real shift in, his stats were very good in the last game and unfortunately he’s got a niggly hamstring and we’ve got to get on top of it as quick as we can.”

Neal Maupay or Ellis Simms, who returned to Everton from a loan spell at Sunderland at the end of last year, would be the like-for-like replacements for Calvert-Lewin.

But Dyche suggested he was open to a few ways to set up without Calvert-Lewin against the Reds, with the likes of Demarai Gray another option.

“We adapt to the players that we work with. The obvious two are Simmsy and Neal,” he added.

Everton manager Sean Dyche during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday February 4, 2023.

“There are different ways the team can operate. I don’t look at one player to try to win games, it has to be a team collective.

“It is a great opportunity whoever plays next. What a game to be stepping into if he is not right. Get ready to take it on.”

Elsewhere, Andros Townsend, Michael Keane, Nathan Patterson and James Garner also remain out for Everton, who know a victory at Anfield will lift them out of the relegation zone.

For the Reds, Diogo Jota is in contention to make the squad having returned to full training this week, while Fabinho is back from illness, but Thiago is expected to miss out with a hip flexor injury.