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Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin is back in training after a knee injury but this game could come too soon. Winger Andros Townsend will definitely miss out after a setback with his own knee problem, while Conor Coady is ineligible to face his parent club.
Wolves will assess defender Jonny and midfielder Boubacar Traore, who both missed the EFL Cup win over Gillingham. Forward Matheus Cunha has agreed to sign from Atletico Madrid but the deal won’t be official until January.
HEAD TO HEAD
Lopetegui is optimistic of having both Boubacar Traore and Jonny available after injuries. The rest of the players are also fit but Pedro Neto is out for a “long time”.
On facing Frank Lampard, he said: “I think he has developed as a big coach. I knew him when he was a coach of Chelsea and now he’s working in a very good way with Everton. His teams are very remarkable and I know his teams, and it’s going to be a very hard match.”
Asked about the challenge of Everton, he replied: “There are a lot of things to overcome. They are a very combative team in the defensive phase and in the offensive phase, they have good players, in all the positions.”
On having time to work with the players and areas of improvement, he added: “We have to try to improve our work in both areas because you can play well in the middle of the pitch and you can play well for 10 or 20 minutes, but it isn’t enough. It’s not enough. We have to improve our defensive security and at the same time be able to damage the opponent.”
On the rise of academy player Hugo Bueno, Lopetegui praised his “character,” stating: “I understand that he has a quality and a strength to continue to be here and in the future I think he can be a good player for the club. It’s a good thing for the club that the academy players have the possibility to be in the professional team.”
- Wolves did the double over Everton last season and could win three consecutive league games against them for the first time since a run of five from 1957 to 1960.
- This is the fifth Boxing Day league meeting between these clubs but the first to be hosted by Everton.
- Everton are aiming to avoid a third straight Premier League defeat.
- Frank Lampard’s side have won just one of their last seven league games (D1, L5), failing to score in five of their last six.
- Everton are 17th, their lowest Premier League position on Christmas Day since 1997-98 when they were 19th. They only avoided relegation that season on goal difference.
- The Toffees have lost 20 league matches in 2022, more than any other top-flight side – another defeat would equal the club record of 21, set in 1997 and matched in 2005.
- Goodison Park has witnessed just 12 Premier League goals this season, fewer than any other stadium.
- Everton’s six home goals in this Premier League campaign have been scored by six different players.
- Wolves have lost seven of their past nine Premier League matches and taken just one point from the last 15 available.
- They are yet to win away from home in the top flight this season. Their tally of two points from seven away matches is the joint lowest in the division.
- Wolves have kept just one clean sheet away from home in this Premier League campaign.
- They are winless in their last seven top-flight Boxing Day games since beating Birmingham 2-1 in 1978 (D2, L5).
- Julen Lopetegui is aiming to be the first Wolves manager to win his opening top-flight game since John Barnwell in November 1978.
Referee: Craig Pawson. Assistants: Dan Cook, Dan Robathan. Fourth official: Anthony Taylor. VAR: Andre Marriner. Assistant VAR: Derek Eaton.
The match takes place on 26th December at Goodison Park with a 3pm kick off, the match can be watched on Amazon Prime.