Everton will be without talismanic striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin as they aim to extend their 69-year stay in the English top flight with victory over Bournemouth on Sunday.
The England international has suffered a series of injury setbacks over the past two seasons.
But his return in recent weeks had finally given Sean Dyche’s men a focal point up front, most notably in a 5-1 win at Brighton that could be the key to Everton’s survival.
“We haven’t had Dom for two-thirds of my time here. We have still won games, still got points on the board and performed,” Dyche said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“We realised when he got injured in the first game that it wasn’t going to be a short injury. We knew we would have to find a way of working with that. We have found that way and it’s important we do that.”
Dyche has other injury problems with Nathan Patterson out and Vitalii Mykolenko doubtful, meaning he could have no natural full-backs available.
A win for the Goodison Park club would guarantee their survival regardless of results elsewhere.
Everton also face an uncertain future off the field with the club in takeover talks and Dyche admitted his surprise at reports this week the club may already be looking for his successor.
“It’s fair to say ‘interesting’ reports, but I don’t know where they come from,” added the former Burnley boss.
“At the end of the day, good businesses should be succession planning. I’ve got no problem with that, even if that were true.”