EPL

James Rodriguez to miss Burnley and Man City clashes

By Sports Desk March 12, 2021

James Rodriguez will miss Everton's matches with Burnley and Manchester City while Abdoulaye Doucoure has been ruled out for up to 10 weeks.

Everton host Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday before hosting City in a crucial FA Cup quarter-final ahead of the international break.

And James will not play in either match. The Colombia international has not featured since the Merseyside derby win over Liverpool on February 20 and was already playing short of full fitness because of a calf injury.

"There are a lot of rumours about James - he played well, really well, against Man United and against Liverpool but he was not 100 per cent fit," said manager Carlo Ancelotti.

"We decided to give him a proper recovery and not let him play at 70 or 80 per cent. We have taken this decision together. The player agrees.

"No problem with the player. He wants to play, but he played against Liverpool and after 60 minutes I took him out.

"It's better for him to solve his problem and be ready for the end of the season. That can be, I think, after the international break, as it is not a big problem.

"Doucoure had a small fracture on his foot. I don't know how long, maybe eight weeks or 10 weeks. I hope he can recover before the end of the season. 

"We are not happy for this but we are not the only club that has to manage injuries. In this period there are a lot of injuries and we have to manage this."

Everton are sixth in the table, four points behind Chelsea in fourth with a game in hand. Burnley sit 15th, four points clear of the bottom three.

The Toffees have won five of their six Premier League home games against Burnley, but Ancelotti heaped praise on opposite number Sean Dyche, comparing his team's style to that of iconic Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi.

He added: "I can say that I like a lot the style of play of Burnley. Why? Because they are a clear 4-4-2. 

"I was born in 4-4-2 as a player with Sacchi. Burnley explains really well how you have to play 4-4-2. He is a good guy, I respect him for the style of play that I like a lot. 

"They are not inventing a new football, but play a really good 4-4-2. Football was invented a long time ago, and I think that managers who think to reinvent football are wrong.

"Football is evolving. I had the luck to train with Sacchi in Italy, where it was only defence, and Sacchi was able to bring a new philosophy to Italian football with more pressing, intensity and different methods of training. 

"It's still changing. Now you can play from the goalkeeper where you couldn't in the past. But to invent is really complicated."

In an unusual sequence of results, five of Burnley's past seven Premier League games have ended level (W1 L1), though their most recent six away matches have not produced a draw (W2 L4).

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