We bid farewell to Goodison Park for another season tonight, when Sean Dyche brings his Claret and Blue cladded Burnley to Merseyside. Who features against the Turf Moor natives, however, remains under wraps, although one rarely seen member of the Toffees’ dressing room could be a surprise inclusion.
Speaking ahead of the match, Marco Silva told the assembled media that he would have a strong squad on offer, now that perennially crocked defender Yerry Mina is fit to play.
The Colombian ace had been ruled out of action for the last six weeks with a hamstring injury sustained while on international duty back in March, having already missed large chunks of the season with various other blows.
It is now mathematically impossible for the 24-year-old to play more games in his maiden campaign on Merseyside, than he has missed since completing his mega-money move, as Mina has been unavailable for 20 games across all competitions, six more than he has played.
A start against Burnley, though, would be a great chance to see how Mina’s hamstring has recovered after six weeks out of action, as Silva may have to rely on the 15-cap international more often next year with doubt over Kurt Zouma and Phil Jagielka’s futures at the club.
The boss’ claims on Thursday also suggest a start may be on the cards for the €30.25million (£25.9m) arrival from Barcelona, as he gave no assurances that Michael Keane and Kurt Zouma are guaranteed to start.
Along with Mina, the boss also addressed Theo Walcott’s fitness during his pre-game press conference, after the former England international was a doubt for last week’s trip to Crystal Palace through illness.
The former Arsenal winger has put that behind him now, though, and could feature for more than four minutes at the end of the game – like at Selhurst Park – if required.
“They’re ok, they are working with the team,” Silva told the assembled press. “They are fit and depending on my decisions, are available for the match.”