Rafa Benitez’s attacking options as the Everton issue worsens ahead of the Brentford match.

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Rafa Benitez’s attacking options as the Everton issue worsens ahead of the Brentford match.

This weekend, Rafa Benitez will find himself in a pickle, which is a situation he’s been all too familiar with recently.

Injuries and bans have built up in recent months, causing key players to miss a number of crucial matches for the Blues.

Abdoulaye Doucoure, Yerry Mina, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, in particular, have been missing for a while, with absences felt throughout the side’s spine in recent results.

At his news conference later this week, the manager is likely to deliver updates on each of them, with the former pair perhaps returning to fitness.

However, following Everton’s defeat to Man City on Sunday, the position has only gotten worse up front.

Demarai Gray was forced out in the first half of last weekend’s play at the Etihad with an abductor problem, and he is expected to miss the trip to Brentford.

Thankfully, as The Washington Newsday reported on Wednesday, it appears that the winger’s problem is not as serious as first thought – with initial rumors stating that the summer addition could be sidelined until January.

But, thanks to a suspension picked up by Richarlison, he’s not the only fresh problem for Benitez to contend with.

The Brazil international was cautioned in the first half of Pep Guardiola’s side’s 3-0 defeat, making it his sixth caution of the season.

Due to the absence of two key forward players, the manager will have to make additional lineup decisions, although there are options to consider.

The most apparent choice would appear to be Salomon Rondon as the central striker, with Alex Iwobi favoured to slot in on the flank.

The Venezuelan international has yet to really get going at Everton, having missed out on any pre-season action to gain match fitness before completing his transfer deadline day switch.

In the absence of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, the striker has been called into action on several occasions, but he has yet to score in royal blue.

However, the question is when. “The summary has come to an end.”

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