23 October 2020 20:36
Everton's James Rodríguez may be fit to face Southampton this weekend, after Carlo Ancelotti offered a positive assessment of the Colombian 24 hours after suggesting he was unlikely to play. On Thursday, manager Ancelotti said he did not think Rodríguez would be available for Sunday's trip to St Mary's, citing a challenge by Virgil van Dijk in the Merseyside derby as causing a bruised foot. But at Friday's pre-match briefing, the Italian offered a more positive outlook on the 29-year-old's chances of featuring. "He's not definitely out," said the Everton manager. "Fortunately I think his recovery was really good and he trained today, just a partial training session.
"I hope that he will train tomorrow and we will see if he is in condition to play on Sunday. It's really better now and we have confidence that maybe he can play. "He had a big haematoma and wasn't able to train until today. So I hope tomorrow it will be better. Today was quite good, the training, but he had only partial training today. "The possibility that he plays depends on training tomorrow. If he's comfortable in training then he's going to play, because it's not a muscular problem. If the hematoma goes down, he can play." Everton will be without Richarlison, suspended after being sent off last weekend, and Seamus Coleman is also injured. Ben Godfrey will make his first start for the club, playing right back. "Ben played a good game [against Liverpool]," Ancelotti said. "After the first 15 minutes of the first half, where he had difficulty, the second half was really better. Also, you have to consider he played against one of the best wingers in the world in Sadio Mane. "It was not an easy game for him but he was good, in my opinion. We tried him as a right-back this week in some exercises. He has all the qualities to play at right-back. "I have no doubts about this and he will play there on Sunday."