Soccer News of Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Everton will be without Christian Atsu when they meet Stoke City in the Premier League on Wednesday evening.
As reported by the club’s official website, the Ghana international is sidelined due to a virus, with no date given for his expected return to action.
Roberto Martinez will once again have to juggle his options, with Evertonfc.com also reporting that Aiden McGeady, Steven Pienaar, Leighton Baines and Bryan Oviedo are all also unavailable for the trip to the Britannia Stadium due to various diverse fitness concerns.
One slight consolation for the Toffees is that their adversaries are also short on numbers with Stephen Ireland, Bojan Krkic, Marc Muniesa, Ryan Shawcross and Nigeria international Peter Odemwingie all ruled-out of the contest.
Everton lost again at the weekend, falling 2-0 to Arsenal, and their disappointing season is yet to undergo a notable upturn in fortunes. Martinez’s side currently sits 14th in the Premier League table, having accrued 28 points from 27 matches, having won only six matches all season.
Having starred for Ghana during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, inspiring the Black Stars to reach the final, Atsu has returned to take a peripheral role at Everton.
He came on for the final five minutes of the Europa League triumph away at Young Boys Bern before playing the majority of the second half against Leicester City in the Premier League, as the Merseyside outfit could only manage a 2-2 draw.
To date, the former FC Porto forward has made only one start and three substitute appearances for Everton in the Premier League, made one start in the League Cup and has featured on six occasions in the Europa League, starting two matches.
His only fine form this season came during the Afcon, when he scored twice and contributed one assist in six matches for Avram Grant’s finalists.