Everton missing Yerry Mina for Aston Villa clash

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Everton’s hunt for European football took a huge boost last weekend.

The Toffees bounced back from a crushing defeat to Aston Villa by defeating an in-form West Ham side 1-0.

Carlo Ancelotti admitted that securing Champions League football was essentially impossible but they are still very much in the race to secure a spot in the Europa or Europa Conference League.

It would be a deserved return to continental action for a team who have looked rejuvenated under the Italian coach.

Unfortunately, their hopes of beating Villa on Thursday night when the two sides meet again has taken a big blow.

That’s because they will be without the services of Yerry Mina when they travel to the Midlands.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti said: “Yerry had a problem on his adductor. It is not a big problem. He tried to train yesterday but he was a little bit uncomfortable. I hope to recover him for the game against Sheffield United.”

The manager added: “Even if he does not play on Sunday, I think he can play in the last two games of the season. He has a really small problem.”

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Mina was hauled off just after the hour mark of Everton’s win over the Hammers last time out but they were able to see through the game with a clean sheet.

Having him missing on this occasion will be a huge blow, though.

After all, it could leave Ancelotti with the gutting decision to play Mason Holgate again. The young centre-back endured a torrid afternoon when the Toffees last faced Villa just over a week ago.

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Holgate was robbed of possession by Ollie Watkins after turning back towards his own goal which ultimately resulted in the opening strike of the match.

Thus, if the Englishman returns to the starting XI on Thursday evening, he will have to put in a much-improved performance.

Watkins will be chomping at the bit to face him after his dominating performance in Everton’s 2-1 defeat.

With this incredibly tall frame, Mina would have been a more difficult proposition for Villa’s top scorer to deal with.

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