Everton midfielder James Rodriguez is fit and will be available for the Premier League clash against Crystal Palace on Monday, manager Carlo Ancelotti has informed.
Rodriguez has been unable to feature for the Blues since the 2-0 Merseyside derby victory at Anfield on February 20 due to a calf problem. The Colombian returned to training during the international break, however, and will be hoping to add to the five goals and four assists he has registered in the Premier League this season when Palace visit Goodison Park.
“James is in good condition and he trained well during the break. It is important for us to have him back at his best. At the start of the season, he did really well. He helped the team to score goals,” Everton’s official website quoted Ancelotti as saying.
“He is motivated and his physicality is good at this moment. He is going to put more quality, of course, in our attacking play. I am quite confident because I see him in training working well, in good condition and with a good attitude,” he added.
Ancelotti has also confirmed Jean-Philippe Gbamin is in contention to be included in the squad for the first time since August 2019 when the Blues host Palace but stressed the club will carefully manage the Ivorian’s return to competitive action.
“Gbamin is in good condition. It is really good news. He trained this week and last week. He did well and he feels comfortable. I think the medical staff did a fantastic job with him. He is ready to play. He will put physicality and quality into the squad – and a strong desire to play. It is like we have a new player. We are really pleased to have him back,” said Ancelotti.
“But we have to consider the fact he didn’t play for at least one year and a half. I don’t know if he is going to play on Monday but, for sure, he will be available,” he added.
Ahead of the Leicester City clash in the Premier League, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is confident that defender John Stones will be able to rectify his mistakes when he will play at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. After having outstanding form for the Premier League leaders this season, Stones earned a first England cap in more than 14 months. He played all three games for England in the World Cup qualifiers. The 26-year-old was caught in possession to gift Poland an equaliser but made amends when his headed assist to Harry Maguire helped secure a 2-1 win that moved England at the top of Group I.
Jordan Pickford remains sidelined with an abdominal problem – Ancelotti added he believes the England goalkeeper could resume training next week.
Robin Olsen has recovered from a similar injury, however, and Ancelotti is hopeful Ben Godfrey and Tom Davies will be able to feature after missing England Under-21s’ 2-1 victory over Croatia on Wednesday with minor knocks.
Bernard, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Fabian Delph will miss Monday’s match.