Everton v Liverpool: Preview 23rd November
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has no injury worries ahead of Saturday’s Merseyside derby.
Defender Antolin Alcaraz has fully recovered from a hernia operation but may have to wait for his Everton debut.
Martinez has told Ross Barkley to focus on Everton, rather than a potential place in the England World Cup squad.
Barkley came off the bench in England’s recent friendly defeats to Chile and Germany and could be involved in manager Roy Hodgson’s plans for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Everton boss Martinez, however, thinks the 19-year-old should concentrate on his club career, as if he impresses for the Merseyside outfit he is more likely to be involved with the Three Lions.
Liverpool look set to be without left-back Jose Enrique for a lengthy spell after the 27-year-old Spaniard broke down in training.
The former Newcastle United star is now expected to undergo surgery on the knee problem which he has aggravated. It had kept Enrique out for five weeks prior to making his comeback as a substitute against Fulham a fortnight ago.
“Jose has been struggling for a while with an injury and it looks like he will need an operation,” confirmed Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.
“That’s a blow for us because he’s a very talented player.”
Jose’s absence is a blow for us because he’s a very talented player.
Rodgers now has to decide whether to hand Aly Cissokho the left-back position for this weekend’s Merseyside derby clash against Everton.
The on-loan Valencia defender has struggled during his time at Anfield, so Rodgers could be tempted to play Mamadou Sakho or Glen Johnson at left-back.
Striker Daniel Sturridge has been nursing a leg injury for several weeks and his condition will be assessed, while Kolo Toure is fit to return.
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