After picking up an injury in the weekend draw with Bournemouth, James McCarthy is extremely doubtful for the Capital One Cup tie against Middlesbrough. Speaking to the press ahead of the trip to the Riverside, Roberto Martinez was reluctant to rule the Irish international out of the tie but did stress that his participation is in serious doubt.
“James overextended his upper hip muscle, a little bit higher than the groin. It was quite sore yesterday, but we’ll find out more today. The same can be said for Gareth Barry. He had a really nasty knock in the shin area with stud marks and was finding it difficult to walk yesterday.
“Those two players will have to be assessed before we announce the squad.”
So who should be first choice to replace McCarthy (or Barry) in the Everton midfield?