Everton injury update on Abdoulaye Doucoure and Yerry Mina as Rafa Benitez discusses Richarlison’s chances of starting at Wolves

The key talking points from the Toffees boss’ pre-match press conference.
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Rafa Benitez has spoken to the media ahead of Everton’s trip to Wolves on Monday (20.00).

Here are the main talking points from the Toffees boss’ press conference.

Doucoure latest

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Everton will again be without Abdoulaye Doucoure at Molineux.

The Toffees badly missed the all-action midfielder in last week’s abject 5-2 loss to Watford.

However, Benitez is hopeful Doucoure will return from his foot setback after next month’s international break.

He said: “The reality is that we are missing some important players nearly from the beginning (of the season).

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“The team was coping quite well. Doucoure was doing really well in the middle of the pitch and to lose him is really important for any time.

Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty ImagesEverton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

“Even the top sides, they have bigger squads, you lose some key players and suffer a little bit.

“Doucoure is getting better and progressing well but at least a couple of weeks.

“Hopefully, after the international break, he’ll be fine and, yes, he’s a big miss for us.

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“But, at the same time, it’s a big opportunity for other players to show their level.”

Other injuries 

Everton felt the absence of Yerry Mina against Watford, who had a hamstring problem.

Benitez kept his cards close to his chest when it came to the Colombian’s fitness and if he’ll be back for the Wolves game.

Andre Gomez (calf) and Fabian Delph (shoulder) have also been sidelined for several weeks and the Toffees are still assessing all of their injured troops.

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“We still have two training sessions so some of them are nearly coming back,” Benitez said.

“It’s too early to say who will be there. We’re waiting for some medical assessments and have to see who can come back.”

Richarlison’s starting chances

Richarlison returned from a knee injury off the bench against Watford, coming off the bench to score within three minutes.

Evertonians’ patience with Salomon Rondon is wearing thin, with the striker struggling to the line sufficiently.

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Benitez has hinted that he could hand Richarlison a start against Wolves.

Everton striker Richarlison. Picture: Peter Byrne - Pool/Getty ImagesEverton striker Richarlison. Picture: Peter Byrne - Pool/Getty Images
Everton striker Richarlison. Picture: Peter Byrne - Pool/Getty Images

The Toffees manager said: “He’s getting better and has been training well.

“We still have a few training sessions and will see how much he can improve.

“In terms of mentality, yes, in terms of his fitness, he will not be 100% but is getting better.

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“I have confidence maybe he can start and be confident he will give us something.

“If you think about the top scorers last season, he was one. He can play well, has the ability to beat players and can score goals.

“When you have a player that did so well last year and was good for us at the beginning of the season, you can miss him or it can be a big boost when he comes back and scores goals like the other day.”

Watford boos

Everton were booed off the pitch after the ignominious loss to Watford.

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Benitez could understand why the fans gave himself and his side such a reaction.

He added: “The first thing was to analyse when winning 2-1, the way we conceded.

“We were thinking how to change and improve that and then start.

“The main thing is we stick together as a team and we’re compact.

“The easiest way is winning the next game. We will try to be as competitive as we have been for the rest of the season.”