Carlo Ancelotti has said Everton will continue to observe concussion guidelines with Richarlison and must prove they can finally win a Premier League game without the Brazil forward should he be ruled out against Sheffield United on Boxing Day.
Richarlison was substituted during Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat by Manchester United on the orders of Everton’s club doctor after receiving a blow to the head in an accidental collision with Eric Bailly. The 23-year-old claimed on social media that “everything is fine”. “It was more the scare and the image that was ugly. Bailly apologised to me later,” he wrote on Twitter.
The forward, however, will continue to be assessed before Everton’s visit to Bramall Lane and Ancelotti insists Football Association protocols on concussion will not be breached. Richarlison’s absence would be keenly felt by Everton, who have not won a league game that the Brazilian has missed since he joined the club over two years ago. James Rodríguez, another creative source, will miss the festive period games against Sheffield United and Manchester City with a calf injury.
“Without Richarlison we know it will be difficult,” Ancelotti said. “If he had a concussion he has to stay out, we have to follow the protocols, and we have to be able to replace him better than what we did when he was not here [during his three-match suspension after the Merseyside derby].
“James will not be available for the next few games and it is a challenge for us to replace them both. We planned the Arsenal and United games defensively, and it is true that [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin did not have a lot of opportunity. But if Richarlison is not there it will be an opportunity for the players who did not play a lot of games, and for this game they can show their qualities.”
Everton looked tired against United and are one of the few Premier League teams who have to play twice inside 48 hours from Boxing Day. Ancelotti claimed he only plans to rotate against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Monday.
The Everton manager added: “I think against Sheffield United we have a possibility for all the players to recover [from United].”