Carlo Ancelotti hopes Allan will be fit for this weekend’s Merseyside Derby after the Everton midfielder sat out Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.
The Brazilian had been expected to feature against Pep Guardiola’s title-chasing side after recovering from a hamstring injury but was given an extra day’s rest to ensure he can contend for a starting role at Liverpool on Saturday.
Allan returned to Ancelotti’s matchday plans against Fulham last weekend following a two-month lay-off, though only took a seat on the bench and was not risked having missed eight Premier League fixtures.
Should Ancelotti have started Allan vs Man City?
Yes, Everton missed him a lot
No, Ancelotti did the right thing
Everton were also without top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin against Manchester City as the Toffees succumbed to their sixth top-flight defeat in 12 games at Goodison Park this season, with the striker nursing a minor hamstring injury.
But Ancelotti is confident the £40.5m-rated forward and Allan will both be fit to feature on Saturday.
“We preferred to give Allan one day training instead of staying on the bench,” the Italian said following Wednesday’s defeat to Guardiola’s Sky Blues.
“He trained today, and we hope he will be available for Saturday – to start.
“Also, Calvert-Lewin, I think, can start.”
Calvert-Lewin has missed Everton’s last two Premier League games after limping off the field during the FA Cup fifth-round win over Tottenham Hotspur, in which he scored his 18th goal before providing his third and fourth assists of the campaign across all competitions.
Allan returning to the side at Liverpool for his 13th top-flight outing since joining Everton for £21m from Serie A side SSC Napoli last summer could spell curtains for Tom Davies in Ancelotti’s plans.
Davies made way for James Rodriguez early in the second half of Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat. Ancelotti felt Gylfi Sigurdsson could occupy the second holding midfield role beside Abdoulaye Doucoure after starting the match in-behind Richarlison.
The £25k-per-week Blues product had tried to offer a combative presence in the engine room and broke up Manchester City’s play well, recording a game-high four interceptions – more than any Everton player has offered per game in the league this term, per WhoScored.
He further matched Doucoure for clearances (one) and was never dribbled past for a 100% tackle success rate, while Sigurdsson took possession with 50% of his and Doucoure 40%. Yet Davies could only register a WhoScored match rating of 6.57, his third-worst of the league season when starting.
Ancelotti’s decision to remove Davies from the action shows where the Italian places the 22-year-old in his pecking order, which is bound to also be behind Allan with the Brazilian already confirmed as starting should he stay injury-free before Saturday.
AND in other news, Carlo Ancelotti is willing Everton to pay £26.5m for a £176k-p/w gem…