Leeds United's hosts Everton hit by huge injury blow with key man ruled out of Whites clash

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Everton will be without one of their key men for Saturday’s Premier League showdown against Leeds United at Goodison Park.

Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin started new boss Sean Dyche’s first Toffees game in charge at home to Arsenal but the striker was taken off in the 62nd minute due to a hamstring issue. Dyche then described the forward as “touch and go” for Monday night’s Merseyside derby at Liverpool but Calvert-Lewin failed to make the matchday squad against the Reds. Speaking at Thursday’s pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash against Leeds, Dyche revealed that Calvert-Lewin would not be available to face the Whites.

Asked about Calvert-Lewin, if he had a timescale on when he would be available and if he had got to the root of the problem, Dyche said: “No, the root of the problem is pretty easy for the medical side of things and now it’s just time, making sure his body is well. We have got other good players here and I think it’s more important to focus on them at this stage because facts are facts, Dom is not available so until he is my focus will be on the players that we have got available and the team unit which is always more important.”

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Pressed on how he weighed up his other forward options of Neal Maupay, Ellis Sims and Demarai Gray, Dyche admitted: “They are the three most obvious. I think the mentality has to be that you score as a team and you hope not concede as a team obviously. But the framework of the team is important so it’s not just about the individual player. It’s about putting players in an area to score goals whoever that may be, the whole team has a responsibility to score as we did against Arsenal with a good set piece so I think it’s the mentality of a group. Obviously you do want players fit but it’s the mentality of the whole group that is important.”

KEY MAN MISSING: For Everton boss Sean Dyche. Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images.KEY MAN MISSING: For Everton boss Sean Dyche. Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images.
KEY MAN MISSING: For Everton boss Sean Dyche. Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images.

James Garner (back), Nathan Patterson (knee) and longer-term absentee Andros Townsend (ACL) also remain out. Dyche has revealed that both Garner and Patterson will play for Everton’s under-21s on Friday night.

"A couple of the lads will play tomorrow, which I am going to watch," said Dyche. "Jimmy will play tomorrow, and Pato (Nathan Patterson) will play as well. So I will get over and watch them for the first time. They are not there yet, but they have been on the grass with us. Next is to put it into game practice."