Champions League chasing Everton travel to Molineux on Tuesday night to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.
Both sides came through their respective FA Cup third round ties at the weekend, with Wolves seeing off fellow top flight side Crystal Palace 1-0, but things weren’t as straightforward for Everton.
The Toffees were taken to extra time by Championship club Rotherham United, with an Abdoulaye Doucoure goal the eventual difference between the sides.
Wolves may be hoping that Everton’s need to go 120 minutes in the cup may result in fatigue at Molineux on Tuesday, where Nuno Espirito Santo’s men will be looking to shorten the 7 point gap which has opened up between themselves and the Merseysiders.
Everton meanwhile have enjoyed a solid season so far and currently reside in 7th but can move briefly in to the top four with a win in the West Midlands.
Wanderers will want the three points themselves though after a worrying recent slump in the Premier League which sees them in 13th position and playing catch up to those in the Europa League hunt.
Nuno Espirito Santo has arguably found things particularly difficult since Raul Jimenez sustained a fractured skull, with a lot being asked of 18-year-old record signing Fabio Silva to fill the Mexican’s shoes.
Such is the Wolves gaffer’s concern over his forward options, the club have moved to recall Patrick Cutrone from his loan spell in Serie A with Fiorentina and the Italian is likely to be involved should he have returned negative coronavirus tests upon his return to the UK.
Wolves will also be without Marcal due to injury, with Willy Boly also a doubt to feature against Everton.
The Toffees also have injury concerns, with usual suspects Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Fabian Delph still unavailable – summer signing Allan also remains on the sidelines for this one.
Carlo Ancelotti opted to rest Richarlison in the FA Cup against Rotherham, but the veteran Blues boss has hinted the Brazilian forward will return to the action at Molineux.
However, the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be a blow to Everton with the striker unavailable due to a hamstring strain.
Wolves v Everton at Molineux kicks off at 8.15pm on Tuesday 12th January.