Everton have found themselves once again struggling to retain their Premier League status this season heading for another relegation scrap in their remaining 17 fixtures.

Newly-appointed manager Sean Dyche has a challenging few months ahead of him as the campaign rapidly approaches the business end of the season and the former Burnley boss is all too familiar with the importance of every point and performance when battling at the bottom of the table following his decade-long stint at Turf Moor.

The Toffees are currently 18th in the top-flight table and one point deep in the relegation zone ahead of their clash with Liverpool at Anfield in the 242nd Merseyside Derby on Monday night and after taking all three points from league leaders Arsenal, Dyche will be hoping his team can go into the bitter fixture with confidence.

What is the latest on Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury?

Indeed, Dyche will be working hard on the variables he can control in each crucial game ahead of them but one element he can’t foresee is the injury issues key players have been suffering at Goodison Park with a huge blow hitting the manager as he prepares for his second game in charge.

The Everton boss confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Friday that Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s involvement at Anfield is “touch and go” following a suspected hamstring injury:

“We’re still monitoring him.

“It will be touch and go, at best, I think for the Liverpool game.

“We’ll just have to monitor it and hope that it settles down sooner rather than later.”

As a result, Dyche could now solve his Calvert-Lewin issue by unearthing a youth talent and giving the golden opportunity to academy graduate and former Sunderland loanee Ellis Simms who was recalled in the January transfer window.

Could Ellis Simms start against Liverpool?

The 22-year-old was brought back to Goodison Park at the turn of the year by Frank Lampard after excelling in the first half of the campaign with the Black Cats in the Championship and was clearly viewed as a player who could help the Toffees in their survival efforts.

Over 17 appearances, Simms – dubbed a “real asset” by journalist James Copley – scored seven goals, registered two assists and created five big chances, as well as averaging 1.9 shots on goal, 0.9 key passes and 3.9 duels won per game, via Sofascore, thus proving that he was a huge attacking threat for Sunderland.

The talented goal-scorer is familiar with first-team football since graduating from Everton’s youth academy earning his Premier League debut in December 2021 and also spending time on loan with Heart of Midlothian and Blackpool over his short career so far.

Simms has been a consistent and reliable performer in front of goal – scoring 82 goals and delivering nine assists over 151 appearances with a goal contribution every 114 minutes, rightfully labelled a “clinical finisher” by journalist Chris Smith.

Now Dyche must not waste the chance to capitalise on Simms’ form at Sunderland by unleashing the goal machine for Everton, playing to his strengths to give him the best opportunity to thrive in the Toffees’ forward line over the rest of the season, especially if Calvert-Lewin is set for a spell on the sidelines.


  • The Latest Soccer Videos
  • The Latest Soccer Videos
  • RSS Football FanCast

  • RSS 90min EN

  • Follow me on Twitter