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Coleman Injury a "Minor Soft Tissue" Problem

Will the Irishman's injury keep him from the Merseyside Derby? What will the Toffees do if they are without their player of the month of December?

Clive Brunskill

Dropping points against West Brom after leading was a tough enough pill to swallow for Evertonians, but watching Seamus Coleman limp off a week away from the Merseyside Derby took things from bad to worse. Fortunately for Everton, the match is a Tuesday night affair, with the weekend bringing only an FA Cup tie with Stevenage that likely would have seen Coleman get a rest regardless.

Still, if this "minor soft tissue injury" keeps Coleman out of the lineup at Anfield, what is the next move for Roberto Martinez? The Spaniard brought in John Stones, the 19 year old Englishman, for Coleman for the remainder of the West Brom match, but elder statesman Tony Hibbert would also be an option for the Toffees. Stones has played well this season, and he was advertised as a right-back with some attacking prowess when first signed by the club (Roberto Martinez was also keen on signing the defender at Wigan, likely for exactly that reason!).

But will Martinez want to put the youngster in the line of fire, or will he prefer the experience of Tony Hibbert? Fortunately for whoever plays right back on Tuesday, the attack down Liverpool's left is relatively narrow. Jordan Henderson and Phillipe Coutinho are the most likely to take up a position down the Reds' left flank, and both players tend to try to make plays toward the inside, lessening the likelihood of Stones' or Hibbert's lack of pace being exposed.

Hopefully Coleman will return before next Tuesday, but if not, a decision must be made. What do you think?