Maxwel Cornet remains a doubt for Everton clash on Boxing Day

Maxwel Cornet remains a doubt for Burnley ahead of the Boxing Day game at home to Everton.

By Chris Boden
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 2:43 pm
Maxwel Cornet
Maxwel Cornet

The Ivory Coast international missed the Clarets' last game at home to West Ham a fortnight ago with a thigh problem sustained at Newcastle the previous week.

And he would have been ruled out of the games with Watford and Aston Villa, which were postponed, last week.

Burnley's top-scorer is back in training, albeit not fully with the rest of the squad, and Sean Dyche explained: "He is on the grass but not with us yet.

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"He is a maybe, he had a muscle injury and Covid in between.

"He wasn't particularly unwell but he missed a few days.

"It helped in one way with the injury, but it doesn't help with your fitness.

"We will have to make a judgement call on him and see how he feels."

It could be Cornet's last chance to feature for the Clarets for some time, if, as expected, he is named in the Ivory Coast squad over the weekend for the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon, with Premier League players reporting for duty after Boxing Day’s round of fixtures, and, potentially, unavailable until the final on February 12th.

That means Cornet could miss a maximum of eight games – including the FA Cup third round tie at home to Huddersfield Town, and any potential fourth round game if the Clarets advance.

Ivory Coast are in Group E with Equatorial Guinea (January 12th), Sierra Leone (January 16th), Algeria (January 20th), with the top two teams of each group, along with the four best third-placed teams, advancing to the round of 16.

Dyche, asked whether the club would ask to delay his departure to Cameroon, said: "We've got to abide by the rules, FIFA made the rules, and if their country decides to call them up, that's it, they get called up."

Meanwhile, Dyche could have Dale Stephens available again, but he will be without Ashley Barnes and Connor Roberts: "Barnesy is making good progress, we knew it would be a long one but he is getting there now.

"Connor Roberts is still coming out of a really nasty infection, but Dale Stephens is back in the building and going well."