Sean Dyche is “hopeful” Abdoulaye Doucouré will be available for Everton’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa this weekend – but Dwight McNeil is unlikely to be ready to feature.
Doucoure has missed the Blues’ past five outings after sustaining a hamstring issue in the 2-0 win at Burnley last month, but has now resumed full training and could be in contention to return when Unai Emery’s high-flying side visit Goodison on Sunday.
Speaking in Friday’s pre-match press conference, manager Dyche believes McNeil has been “really lucky” with the ankle injury suffered at Crystal Palace last week, with the winger aiming to be fit for next week’s FA Cup third round replay with Crystal Palace.
There was another positive fitness update on Ashley Young, who has started to take part in some full training after overcoming an issue sustained in the Toffees’ 2-0 home victory over Chelsea in early December.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be available for Sunday, having had his red card in the FA Cup clash at Crystal Palace successfully overturned this week.
Idrissa Gana Gueye will not be available, though, with the midfielder now linking up with Senegal for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.