Everton need to get back to form.
The Toffees face Leeds United and Burnley in their next two outings after a 3-2 win over Fulham at the weekend.
That victory came after a run of three successive defeats, to Southampton, Newcastle United, and Manchester United.
It leaves them sixth in the Premier League table, four points behind current leaders Tottenham Hotspur.
As the games come thick and fast heading into the busy festive period, Everton need to start picking up points with more regularity if they are to harbour realistic ambitions of qualifying for Europe, be that the Champions League or the Europa League.
But they have been dealt a significant blow to their chances with the news that Lucas Digne is currently facing up to a potential two-month lay-off.
Sport Witness carries a report from France Football claiming that the Frenchman will be until 2021 after sustaining an ankle injury in training.
He needs surgery, and that means he is set to miss no fewer than eight games in December; Everton face Leeds, Burnley, Chelsea, Leicester City, Arsenal, Sheffield United, and Manchester City in the Premier League and Manchester United in an EFL Cup quarter-final.
It opens the door to Niels Nkounkou potentially having a run in the team; he joined the club from Marseille in the summer and has thus far made just one Premier League appearance, in the 2-1 loss to Newcastle.
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
This is a major blow for Digne and for Everton.
But what a chance this presents for Nkounkou.
He has thus far been restricted to just the one appearance, and to primarily playing in the EFL Cup; he has played in every game in the competition this season to date.
Everton managed to snap Nkounkou up from Marseille on a free transfer and it could turn out to be a bargain if he can stake a claim in the side.
There is no guarantee, but the door is open; the 20-year-old just has to walk through it.News Now - Sport News