Carlo Ancelotti explains Lucas Digne’s absence vs Arsenal

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has this afternoon provided an explanation for Lucas Digne missing out on a place in his squad to take on Arsenal.

Arsenal host Everton

The Toffees are currently locked in action with Mikel Arteta’s in-form men at the Emirates.

Hosts Arsenal headed into proceedings still unbeaten in 2020, and having secured wins in 3 of their last 4 outings across all competitions.

The latest of these came on Thursday night, when the Gunners put Greek giants Olympiacos to the sword by a goal to nil in the Europa League last-32 first-leg tie between the clubs.

Everton, though, have also looked much improved of late, under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 21: Carlo Ancelotti, Manager of Everton is seen in the stands prior to the Premier League match between Everton FC and Arsenal FC at Goodison Park on December 21, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The Merseysiders were unbeaten in 5 in the Premier League before today, a run which saw them sitting 2 points above Arsenal in the English top-flight table.

Digne misses out

And Everton’s upturn in form has since carried into the early exchanges in north London this afternoon.

Incredibly, with just 50 seconds on the clock, the Toffees took the lead courtesy of Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s acrobatic finish.

The visitors’ lead, though, comes despite the surprise absence of one of their key men.

Upon Everton’s starting XI being announced an hour prior to kick-off, Lucas Digne was nowhere to be seen.

The Merseysiders’ left-back spot was instead filled by Leighton Baines, in what was no doubt viewed as a considerable blow by the Everton faithful.

And, as outlined above, Carlo Ancelotti has since provided an explanation for Digne’s absence.

Speaking ahead of kick-off, the Italian tactician confirmed that his first-choice stopper was not risked this afternoon, having picked up a fitness problem in training during the week:

‘Lucas Digne had a problem during the week and tried to train yesterday but was not confident, so I preferred to leave him at home to train and be ready for the next game.’

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