Sam Allardyce continued his fine start to life as Everton boss with a 0-0 draw against reigning Premier League champions Chelsea on Saturday, but it would seem that the result came at a price with two of his key players picking up knocks during the lunchtime kick-off.
Though Big Sam has kept his unbeaten record as Everton manager intact, he’ll likely be feeling pretty sombre in the lead-up to the busy festive period, with holding midfielder Idrissa Gueye and centre-half Phil Jagielka both sidelined.
Gueye has been a key man in the middle of the park for the Toffees since his arrival from Aston Villa in 2016, but according to 101 Great Goals, Allardyce has hinted that the Senegalese international could miss Everton’s next four fixtures after hobbling off against Chelsea with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
Jagielka on the other hand was able to complete the whole 90 minutes against the Blues, but it has since transpired that he also picked up a knock during the game and will likely miss Everton’s next match against West Brom on Boxing Day.
Allardyce’s start to life at Merseyside has been nothing short of extraordinary, leading Everton away from the bitter depths of the relegation zone to ninth in the Premier League with four wins and two draws since succeeding Ronald Koeman.
However, Everton did well to cling on for a point in Saturday’s match-up in a game which was largely dominated by Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.
Eden Hazard came very close to finding the back of the net, while Everton man Ashley Williams sent the ball onto his own crossbar in the latter stages of the game.
Now, Everton will travel to the Hawthorns in their next fixture when they face Alan Pardew’s West Brom on Boxing Day. Pardew has yet to register a win since taking over from Tony Pulis in November, where the Baggies currently find themselves sitting 19th place following their 3-1 loss to fellow strugglers Stoke on Saturday.