Nottingham Forest’s survival hopes could be boosted by the news that relegation rivals Everton have four fresh injury concerns ahead of their final two make or break games of the season.
The Toffees’ biggest concern is striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin who was told to come off by manager Sean Dyche after he suffered a potential groin problem against Manchester City at the weekend.
The Blues boss said the 26-year-old had sought to persevere despite feeling tightness but that he felt it was important to withdraw him as a precaution. The substitution took place at half-time and with the away side having opened up a two goal lead, Dyche later said it would have been a harder decision to make had the game been goalless.
Calvert-Lewin’s return from a hamstring problem has been a key factor in Everton’s upturn in form over the past fortnight. He scored the penalty he had earned in the draw at Leicester City and, even though he did not score, was pivotal in the crucial win over Brighton and Hove Albion that swung momentum in Everton’s favour in the relegation battle.
But the Blues are now waiting to learn the extent of any groin problem suffered by Calvert-Lewin ahead of the club’s final two games of the campaign – a trip to Wolves this Saturday before a final day Goodison clash with Bournemouth.
Speaking after the defeat to Man City, Dyche explained: “I had to make a call on it because he felt his groin. It’s a tight groin but tight groins can lead to damaged groins so I had to make a call on it, simple as that. It would have been a harder call if it had been 0-0 but at 2-0 I have to make a call and I said: ‘Right Dom, you’re coming off.’ He wanted to give it a go and I said: ‘No, no, no, you’ve got to come off.’”
Dyche withdrew Idrissa Gueye in the early stages of the second half, explaining: “We were just trying to protect the situation by then.” Mason Holgate was also taken off at the same time, the double substitution also part of an effort to change shape with Everton moving to three centre backs and Dwight McNeil playing as a left wing-back.
Holgate had started after Vitalii Mykolenko picked up a thigh injury in the final training session ahead of this game, while neither Tom Davies nor Ben Godfrey were in the squad. Dyche said: “Tom hopefully will settle down this week. Ben we will wait and see but he is not ready. Myko we will wait and see.”