Michael Keane and Kurt Zouma have been the bedrock of Everton’s recent strong run of results, but the Frenchman is ineligible for the trip to his parent club Chelsea on Sunday.
That defensive disruption is not ideal for Marco Silva but the blow is softened by the availability of another loan central defensive recruit Yerry Mina.
The Colombian international came with a big reputation after a strong World Cup and that anticipation has only been heightened by the prolonged wait for his full Toffees debut, owing to a lingering injury.
But a trip to Maurizio Sarri’s unbeaten side represents a baptism of fire, and the form of one man in particular who is enjoying a resurgence under the Italian will ensure Mina will face a tough challenge in his first competitive start.
Alvaro Morata has been transformed by Sarri’s more relaxed style and has grown greatly in confidence as a result.
Mina will fancy his chances of matching Morata physically, but the Spaniard doesn’t thrive on the 90-minute battle.
He will look to use his elusive movement to exploit any lingering lack of sharpness Mina is experiencing and if the Barcelona loanee isn’t bang at it, the former Real Madrid man could make it a long afternoon at the Bridge.