Going into the game, Everton have the same squad as they did against Newcastle United; with Steven Naismith and James McCarthy being declared fit. As to whether the two will be risked is another matter and with a win in the last game I wouldn’t expect either to start. The trio of Bryan Oviedo, Steven Pienaar and captain Phil Jagielka are expected to return next week for the Goodison trifecta of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Dagenham & Redbridge but today’s game has come too quick in their recovery. Finally, Tony Hibbert and Tyias Browning’s knee injuries have not given them return dates.
For the visitors, Mark Hughes is without Marc Muniesa, Stephen Ireland and Peter Crouch all through hamstring injuries. Geoff Cameron has recovered from his own hamstring injury and played 75 minutes in that win against United. In that game Glenn Whelan suffered a couple of knocks to the calf and shin but hasn’t been ruled out against the Blues. Lastly, Shay Given is unavailable due to a knee injury – not that he would have kept the impressive Jack Butland out of the side.