Merseyside outfit Everton have a tricky FA Cup third round tie at English Championship club Hull City this weekend as they try to arrest the poor form that has seen them win just once in Premier League football over the past three months.
Benitez received a big boost on the injury front in their last game, a Premier League home defeat at the hands of in-form Brighton and Hove Albion. The big injury boost was the return of star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin who had played just three times for Everton this season.
England international Calvert-Lewin picked up a thigh injury in his third game for Everton in August and the injury ruled him out for several weeks. His comeback was also delayed by a row injury. In total, the Englishman spent over four months on the sidelines before he made his return against the Seagulls last weekend. Incidentally, his last game was against the same opposition inthe reverse league fixture.
Calvert-Lewin played the whole game on his return from injury but he could not save his team from losing a second game in three league outings via a 3-2 scoreline. Dan Burn scored a rare goal for Brighton during the game in addition to a brace from Argentine midfielder Alexis Mac Allister, while young forward Anthony Gordon scored the two Everton goals. Calvert-Lewin also missed a first half penalty for the Toffees when Gordon was brought down by Brighton midfielder EnockMwepu.
Ahead of the Hull City game in the FA Cup third round, Everton manager Benitez confirmed that Calvert-Lewin won’t feature. The England striker complained of muscle tightness after the Brighton game and won’t be risked for the FA Cup tie. He should make his return for the visit of Leicester City in a rescheduled Premier League game on Tuesday.