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First team

Team news update ahead of Everton clash

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Manager Eddie Howe is sweating on the availability of several key players ahead of AFC Bournemouth’s trip to Everton on Sunday (2.15pm kick-off).

Frontmen Callum Wilson, Joshua King and Ryan Fraser are likely to face late checks before Howe names his team to face the Toffees at Goodison Park.

Strikers Wilson (hamstring) and King (flu) both sat out the Cherries’ FA Cup third-round defeat by Brighton at Vitality Stadium, while winger Fraser (hamstring) reported injured following the tie.

Boss Howe, speaking this morning at his pre-match press conference, said: "We have a couple of knocks, a few players nursing injury and illness so will see who’s fit.

"Callum was missing last week, Josh was ill and Ryan was limping at the end of the game so we have a few to assess and check. Whether they are fit and available we will wait and see."

Howe confirmed he anticipated being without new signing Dominic Solanke until February due to a minor hamstring problem.

The 21-year-old striker, Howe’s first recruit of the mid-season transfer window when he signed from Liverpool, has been working on his rehab under the watchful eye of the club’s medical staff.

Loan signing Nathaniel Clyne could be in contention to make his Premier League debut for the club after impressing in the FA Cup defeat by Brighton.

Meanwhile, Howe confirmed club captain Simon Francis had gone under the knife earlier this week after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament against Tottenham on Boxing Day.

Howe added: “Simon had his operation on Monday and it was successful. He is starting his recovery now so we send our best wishes to him."

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