Updates from Thursday, March 6
Everton's official Twitter passed down the views of Roberto Martinez:
Roberto Martinez has revealed that Phil Jagielka will be unavailable for Saturday's Premier League encounter with West Ham after feeling a strain in his hamstring.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend's clash, Martinez confirmed the blow via the official Everton Twitter account, adding that Jagielka would also miss out on England's friendly meeting with Denmark next Wednesday (March 5):
JAGIELKA OUT! RM: "Phil has felt his hamstring over the last couple of days and will be missing at the weekend and for England.”— Everton (@Everton) February 27, 2014
As a result, Martinez will now have to shake things up at the back, with Antolin Alcaraz or John Stones sitting as the most likely candidates to fill in.
Squawka shows the impressive contribution of Jagielka in his last Everton outing at Chelsea, highlighting what they will be missing against a West Ham attack who love to throw balls into the box:
Phil Jagielka and Nemanja Matic completed the joint most interceptions (6) in the Premier League today.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 22, 2014
Roy Hodgson will also be disappointed to learn of the absence, although there would have been no guarantee Jagielka would have started against the Danes as England look to experiment.
The England manager is now left with Chelsea's Gary Cahill and Manchester United duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as his remaining options in central defence.
As a result, Hodgson will be expected to call up a replacement, with Manchester City's Joleon Lescott, Tottenham's Michael Dawson or Cardiff's Steven Caulker likely to be considered front-runners for the position.
Who will win at Goodison Park on Saturday?
Jagielka has played the full 90 minutes in all 24 of his Premier League appearances this season, per Transfermarkt, and the 31-year-old has formed an assured defensive partnership alongside Sylvain Distin.
The Hammers may not be the most challenging of obstacles for Martinez's men, but it will be nonetheless intriguing to see how Everton cope without their staple defence.
The Merseysiders are unbeaten when playing without Jagielka this season, winning two of the three matches played without him in their lineup.