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Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi says Julio Enciso is not ready to start in tonight’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The 20-year-old Paraguay forward, missing since August with a meniscus tear which needed two operations, made his comeback as a 72nd-minute substitute in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Everton.

“He is not ready yet to start the game and to play 45 minutes, for example,” De Zerbi said. “It’s dangerous for him because he has not enough physical condition to play too much time.

“We have to reach the time to stay on the pitch step by step. I would like to play with Julio for 30 minutes, 35 minutes, not more.”

Japan winger Kaoru Mitoma heads a list of eight players injured or suspended for the Wolves game, while Danny Welbeck is also a major doubt. De Zerbi expects to be without Mitoma for the rest of the season, due to an unspecified back injury.

The Italian said: “I think you can explain how important Kaoru is — (Simon) Adingra as well — by watching and comparing two games, West Ham away (drew 0-0) and Sheffield (United) away (won 5-0).

“When we were in possession on the wings against Sheffield man to man, it was important in winning the game. At West Ham, we suffered in the position.”





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