Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Everton playmaker James Rodriguez will not be available for this weekend’s match against Newcastle.

The former Real Madrid player has made a dazzling start to life in the Premier League. He has already registered three goals and three assists so far this season.

Will James Rodriguez play against Newcastle?

However, the winger has been struggling with a knock over the past two weeks. He was a major doubt for last weekend’s game at Southampton, before eventually playing from the start. He could not prevent the team slipping to their first defeat of the season, though, as Everton lost 2-0 at St Mary’s.

Having come through that match, Rodriguez has failed to recover in time for Sunday’s game on Tyneside.

Ancelotti revealed the news in his pre-match press conference, as reported by Sky Sports.

“He has played all the [Premier League] games, he had a little problem so he needs to rest for this game and he will be available for the next game,” he said.

Further team news for Newcastle clash

The Toffees will also be without Richarlison and Lucas Digne who are serving suspensions following recent red cards. The latter had his suspension reduced to just one match after appealing his dismissal against Southampton earlier this week.

Club captain Seamus Coleman remains on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

There is better news for Jonjoe Kenny and Jarrad Branthwaite, though. The pair are back in contention after recovering from their respective ankle complaints.

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League
Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Top of the table

Despite last weekend’s setback, Everton remain top of the table for the moment. Ancelotti’s men will be searching for their first win since the international break when they take on the Magpies on Sunday.

The club’s top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin has fond memories of St James’ Park. The 23-year-old bagged a brace on his last visit to the North East, as Everton beat Newcastle 2-1 last December.

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