Everton’s selection nightmare
Everton fear they could be without 11 players for the Carling Cup tie with Tottenham, the date of which has angered manager David Moyes.
The Toffees have suffered a spate of injuries and face playing three games in six days, with Moyes angry that tonight’s fourth round tie at Spurs could not have been moved to tomorrow.
But TV requirements, added to police concerns about two sets of fans from Merseyside travelling in the capital on the same day, meant that it was Liverpool's trip to Arsenal that was switched for live broadcast.
That left Everton forced to play their tie tonight, two days after facing Bolton in the Barclays Premier League.
Coming on the back of a Europa League thrashing against Benfica in Lisbon on Thursday, Moyes' mood has not been calmed.
The Scot who had attacked the competition organisers in his programme notes 10 days ago, added yesterday: “We have a lot of games coming up and things are difficult with selection. But I certainly enjoyed getting to the FA Cup final last season and I would love to do that again in this competition.
“We have been without some of our best players certainly for half of last season and now the start of this. Sooner or later, somewhere along the line it will take its toll in performances and some of the results.”
Ayegbeni Yakubu (heel), Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (groin), Joseph Yobo (head) and Leighton Baines (calf) are the likeliest of Everton's wounded brigade to be considered tonight, but the chances are remote.
Moyes could be without those four plus Mikel Arteta, Steven Pienaar, Phil Jagielka, Leon Osman, Victor Anichebe, Phil Neville and James Vaughan.
John Heitinga, who came off with cramp in the 3-2 defeat at Bolton, will return and Lucas Neill will be given another chance to show his worth.