Joe Willock has been passed fit to return ahead of tonight’s trip to Everton, however Sky Sports’ Keith Downie reports that Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton are both ‘very doubtful’ to play.
Shelvey is yet to train after falling ill over the weekend and Howe is debating whether or not to risk the Brazilian after an ongoing groin issue has kept him out of our last two games.
Elsewhere, Kieran Trippier (foot), Callum Wilson (calf) and Federico Fernandez (side strain) look set to miss out once again. The latter returned to training yesterday and Wilson is back doing “very light jogging”, however it looks like he won’t be fully fit until the final few weeks of the season.
Howe also talked up Sean Longstaff’s “excellent” performance at Chelsea and Jamaal Lascelles’ leadership, suggesting both are pushing for another start after returning to the side on Sunday.
He’ll also have a decision to make at right-back between Javier Manquillo and Emil Krafth, with fit-again Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser also in contention to return.
As for Everton, Frank Lampard has revealed that Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ill) is facing a late fitness test, while Jonjoe Kenny (suspended), Yerry Mina (quadriceps), Fabian Delph (thigh) and Tom Davies (hamstring) are ruled out.
Here’s what Howe had to say about all of the above, along with Lampard’s comments on Calvert-Lewin:
Eddie Howe on Willock, Shelvey, Joelinton and Fernandez:
“Willock should be OK (for Everton).
“He had an illness but returned to training yesterday.
“Shelvey – we’re waiting to see. He hasn’t trained yet, so is a slightly bigger concern
. “Joelinton is going to be touch and go for this game.
“We have a decision to make whether we look after him with the break we have afterwards, or whether we push him back out there.
“We’ll have to make a late call on him.”
“Apart from that (Shelvey and Joelinton) we are OK.
“Fede Fernandez will hopefully train today after he has had quite a lay off.”
Eddie Howe on Sean Longstaff:
“After not playing for a period of time I thought he was excellent.
“It’s testament to how he’s looked after himself physically that he was able to play the 90 minutes.
“It’s the same for a number of players – coming in & taking their opportunity.”
Eddie Howe on Jamaal Lascelles:
“His attitude has been spot on.
“He is obviously our captain and has led like one, even though he wants to play every game.
“The mark of a leader is in difficult moments and I can’t speak highly enough of him.
“It was only illness that took him out.”
Eddie Howe on Callum Wilson:
“We’re hopeful, his situation hasn’t changed from a few weeks ago,”
“He was out on the training pitch yesterday for a very, very light jog which is the first time we’ve seen him on the grass.
“When a player returns from injury and you see him on the grass, it’s a great thing to see.
“We hope to have Callum back but there is no guarantee at the moment.
“He’s still in the early stages of running but he’ll be a massive player to have back at any stage as we go into the final few games.”
Frank Lampard on Calvert-Lewin:
“Dominic trained lightly yesterday (Tuesday) on the back of not feeling great, so we’ll see how he is again this afternoon and then look at the squad tomorrow.”