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Everton news and transfers LIVE - Andre Gomes set for return, Thierry Henry's advice, Early Arsenal team news

Hello and welcome to the Liverpool ECHO's Sunday live Blues blog for all your very latest Everton news, rumours and transfer gossip.

The ECHO will provide breaking stories, reaction and comment to all the big talking points from Goodison Park - as well as keeping tabs on transfer market gossip from around the world.

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Henry and Arteta's advice to Alex Iwobi

Everton’s Alex Iwobi has revealed the crucial advice he received from Thierry Henry and Mikel Arteta during his time at Arsenal.

The Blues forward told: “Growing up I’d go for nutmegs, try to embarrass my friends.

“Thierry told me that attackers are remembered for goals and assists, and I needed to get that in my head. Something clicked.

“Mikel [Arteta] was another big influence. He was injured at the time and would play and train with the Under-21s.

“He would talk to me, telling me to get on the half-turn, stay alert and sharp, ready to make an impact.”

Everton star Alex Iwobi
Everton star Alex Iwobi (Image: Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Andre Gomes backed to return

Andre Gomes has been backed to make his return from injury against Arsenal this afternoon.

Our writers have predicted how Everton could line up against the Gunners.

And Phil Kirkbride thinks Carlo Ancelotti should throw the midfielder right back into the action for the Blues.

Ancelotti rid Everton of one unwanted record - but Arsenal is the true test for new boss

So says Chris Beesley.

He writes:

In his first two months as Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has shown his ability to win the matches the Blues would be expected to be victorious in but having completed a first-ever Premier League winter break, a tougher run of fixtures now awaits.

Predecessor Marco Silva’s ultimate undoing was being incapable of delivering in what should be the most straightforward of encounters.

Although the former Hull City and Watford boss limped on for another week-and-a-half to oversee further losses at Leicester City and Liverpool, Silva’s fate seemed to have been sealed by the 2-0 home reversal to a Norwich City side that were bottom and remain bottom of the Premier League table back on November 23 which had Everton supporters joining in with the visitors’ chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning.”

Starting with a late 1-0 success over Burnley in his first game in charge on Boxing Day, Ancelotti has steered his new team to subsequent victories against Newcastle United (he should have had a double against the Magpies had it not been for a ridiculous stoppage time collapse), Brighton & Hove Albion, Watford and Crystal Palace.

Such a run put the Blues second in the Premier League form table with only neighbours Liverpool better off.

The sequence has elevated a team that were previously guilty of chronic under-achievement having dropped into the relegation zone after the derby defeat at Anfield that proved the last act of Silva’s 18-month tenure to the cusp of European qualification place and even an unlikely shot of getting into the Champions League following UEFA’s decision to ban Manchester City for the next two seasons.

The outgoing Premier League champions will be appealing the verdict and as Ancelotti himself admitted, there’s no point in relying on favours from others: “If we want to play Champions League we have to think about fourth place not fifth. Fifth is Europa League.”

However, if Everton have aspirations for a continental campaign of any sorts next term then they must now continue their upturn in form against some of the division’s traditional heavyweights.

Click here for the full article

Carlo Ancelotti gestures during the Europa League quarter-final between Arsenal and Napoli at the Emirates Stadium on April 11, 2019
Carlo Ancelotti gestures during the Europa League quarter-final between Arsenal and Napoli at the Emirates Stadium on April 11, 2019 (Image: TF-Images/Getty Images)

Good morning

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Everton live blog.

The Blues return to action this afternoon after a 15-day winter break as they face Arsenal at the Emirates.

Stick with us throughout the day for all the latest news and views on the Blues as we build up to the big game.