Everton and Republic Of Ireland right-back Seamus Coleman could be ruled out for the rest of the season, after he broke his leg on international duty against Wales.
The Ireland captain was cleaned up by a tackle from Welsh left-back Neil Taylor and was given oxygen, before being carried off the pitch. Taylor received his marching orders post the challenge and the match ended in a goalless draw.
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill confirmed that Coleman had broken his leg and expressed his disappointment on losing his captain. Speaking after the match, he said:
“Seamus has gone to hospital, it’s been confirmed by a doctor that he has broken his leg. Obviously, it’s a real blow to him. He’s having the season of a lifetime at club level. He’s a big player for us, a great captain and a great character. It’s a big loss to Everton, a big loss to us. But he’ll fight back I hope. It puts things in perspective.”
This comes as a bitter blow to Everton who were enjoying a fine run of form in the Premier League with Coleman being one of the best players for the Toffees this season. While an official word on how long Coleman will be out is still awaited, it doesn’t look good for Ronald Koeman and Everton at the moment.
This comes after Morgan Schneiderlin was pulled out halfway through the game against Hull City last weekend due to a calf-strain. Toffees’ midfielder James McCarthy, who was also a part of the Republic of Ireland squad pulled out of the game against Wales due to a hamstring problem.
Everton will play bitter rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside derby post the international break on the 1st of April. With injury issues in plenty, here is how Everton could line up when Premier League action returns after the international break:
Between the sticks, Joel Robles has been impressive in recent weeks and has managed to oust veteran shot-stopper Maarten Stekelenburg. Expect it to stay the same in the coming weeks.
At right-back, with Coleman suffering that horrible injury, he will be ruled out for a considerable amount of time. That would mean young Mason Holgate coming into the line-up. The youngster has played 9 times this season and has looked solid enough. He will look to make the most of the opportunity he gets over the coming weeks.
At the heart of the defence, the steady Ashley Williams will continue alongside the impressive Ramiro Funes Mori. The Argentine has been preferred ahead of Phil Jagielka this season and things should stay the same. Completing the backline at left-back will be the experienced Leighton Baines.
Morgan Schneiderlin has made a great impact at Everton after arriving from Manchester United in January. However, with the extent of his injury yet to be determined, we believe it will be veteran midfielder Gareth Barry who will slot in as the deepest of the three midfielders.
Ahead of Barry, it will the dynamic duo of the young Tom Davies and the ever so impressive Idrissa Gueye. Davies has been excellent since his induction into the first team this season while Gueye has brought in energy and tenacity in the middle of the park. Expect the pairing to continue.
On the right-flank, it will be the 23-year old Ross Barkley. The English international has been impressive in recent weeks, despite the contract stand-off with the club and will have a huge role to play in the business end of the season.
On the opposite flank, Koeman has switched around quite a bit, with Ademola Lookman, Kevin Mirallas, and Dominic Calvert-Levin all impressing in recent weeks. However, we believe Koeman would go for the experienced Mirallas to lead the charge on the opposite flank.
And there is no question as to who will be spearheading the attack. The explosive Romelu Lukaku has been enjoying his finest season for Everton and has notched up 22 goals already and is the league’s top scorer. There is no way that he’d be left out of the squad.