Everton face major reshuffle after Jarrad Branthwaite injury and Dominic Calvert-Lewin update

Jarrad Branthwaite walks off injured during the match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on April 15, 2024
Jarrad Branthwaite walks off injured during the match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on April 15, 2024 -Credit:Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

With Everton losing a trio of defenders to injury in the 6-0 thrashing at Chelsea, Sean Dyche could make a clutch of changes for their survival showdown against Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park next Sunday.

Perhaps most-concerning for the Blues was the sight of Jarrad Branthwaite, their breakthrough star of the season, being forced off early in the second half at Stamford Bridge. Dyche said: “Jarrad we hope is minor, but we have to wait and see.”

Given that the 21-year-old has been a revelation at the back for Everton this term, missing just one Premier League game through suspension since coming into the side in the third game of the campaign, with his form earning him a maiden England call-up, any absence would be a devastating blow. If Branthwaite isn’t able to recover in time to face the East Midlanders then Michael Keane, who replaced him at Chelsea, looks set to take his place.

Ben Godfrey could also be an option but he well be needed at right-back with both captain Seamus Coleman and Nathan Patterson, the player who replaced him at the interval, both suffering injuries. The Republic of Ireland skipper has pulled his groin while the Scotland international has a hamstring injury that Dyche described as looking “more serious.”

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Godfrey – who had a nine-game spell of consecutive starts in the side, eight of which were at right-back – may well get to reprise the role then although Ashley Young, who has played right wing for the last three matches but was mostly used as a full-back until picking up an injury in the reverse fixture against Chelsea at Goodison Park in December could also be moved back. The 38-year-old’s spot on the flank might be taken by Jack Harrison who played in an advanced central role when coming off the bench after the break in west London.

Central midfield could also be a moveable feast with Dyche hooking Amadou Onana and James Garner at the interval against Chelsea. Andre Gomes, who came on, could provide an alternative along with Idrissa Gueye who has been absent for the last couple of fixtures.

Up front, Dyche had claimed in his pre-match press conference he was hopeful that Dominic Calvert-Lewin would be fit to face Mauricio Pochettino’s side but staff were being “ultra-careful” with Everton’s number nine due to a hamstring issue. Having missed the drubbing, the Blues will be praying that their centre-forward, who had netted in both his previous matches, can be back in contention as they go into a week of three successive home fixtures and rival Beto to spearhead the attack.