Everton v Stoke – Match preview and team news

Everton still retain hopes of a place in the top four and will be looking to build on their deserved 2-0 win over Manchester City in their last league fixture against a Stoke side that are desperately short of form at the moment.

Speculation still remains over the long-term future of Toffees boss David Moyes, whose current contract expires at the end of the season, but the Scot will be keen to end the season as well as possible and at least secure a Europa League place for the Merseysiders.

Both Marouane Fellani and Steven Pienaar are suspended for the visit of the Potters but Moyes could have the luxury of selecting Phil Jagielka and goalkeeper Tim Howard again after both missed the last three matches with ankle and back injuries respectively. Full-back Tony Hibbert (calf) remains a long-term absentee.

Stoke meanwhile have only won one league match in the whole of 2013 and the pressure has been slowly rising on long-serving boss Tony Pulis after a series of dreadful performances, particularly at the Britannia. The Potters remain safely in 11th position but with a tough fixture run-in, will be keen to just pick up the one or two more points they need to secure their top flight status for yet another season.

Defender Robert Huth is available again after returning from a three-match ban while Marc Wilson has now fully recovered from his broken leg after turning out for the Republic of Ireland in the week. Michael Owen makes his last return to Merseyside as a professional footballer and could be on the bench.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Everton v Stoke

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