Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out James Rodriguez for this weekend’s game against Newcastle United.
The Toffees have made a really strong start to the new season. They sit top of the Premier League, after winning four of their opening six games of the new campaign.
They started the season with four straight wins to Tottenham, West Brom, Crystal Palace and Brighton. But they are without a league win from their last two outings.
Ancelotti’s side drew 2-2 in the Merseyside derby two weeks ago as Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised late on. Last time out they were beaten 2-0 by Southampton in their first loss of the season.
Everton are hoping to bounce back from last week’s defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday. Speaking during his press conference, Ancelotti revealed that Rodriguez and Seamus Coleman will both not be available for the game:
“We have Jonjoe Kenny and Jarrad Branthwaite back. James Rodriguez and Seamus Coleman will not be available, and Lucas Digne and Richarlison are suspended.
“[Rodriguez] played all of the game [against Southampton] and had a little problem. He needs to rest for this game. I think he’ll be available for the next game [against Manchester United next Saturday].”
Rodriguez looked set to miss the game at Southampton after he picked up a knock against Liverpool. He did end up playing, but he was seen limping off as the game concluded.
Ancelotti also suggested that most of their focus is on themselves instead of Steve Bruce’s side this weekend:
He added: “It was not a good day against Southampton [but] I think we have moved forward, and we are preparing well for this game. It’s important.
“We want to stay at the top of the table. We know that to play against Newcastle is always difficult. They had good results in the last few games, but we are focused. The spirit is good and we have confidence for the game.
“We have to be focused on the opponent, of course, because we have to try to find their weaknesses, but we have to be focused on ourselves most of the time.
“We are preparing in this game to try to avoid the mistakes we made against Southampton; that’s it. After that, [we] take into consideration the fact that in their last game, Newcastle played really well, were really strong defensively and were really well-organised.
“We have to take care of this, but more focus is on ourselves.”