Everton v Stoke City
David Moyes will be forced into at least two changes as Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini both serve the first of their two-match bans. Jan Mucha could continue in goal with Tim Howard recovering from fractured bones in his back. Likewise, it remains to be seen whether Phil Jagielka will be fit enough to feature after missing the last two matches with a gashed ankle. John Heitinga is poised to continue his partnership with Sylvain Distin should the former Sheffield United man again miss out.
If Tony Pulis is to go with the same side that drew with West Bromwich Albion last time out, Peter Crouch and Cameron Jerome will spearhead the Potters’ attack. Robert Huth is back available for selection after completing a three-match ban which was issued retrospectively following an off-the-ball incident with Fulham’s Philippe Senderos last month.
Last outing: Everton 2-0 Manchester City, Saturday 16 March
Last six: DLWWLW
Everton return to action after a two-week Premier League sabbatical looking to ramp up the pressure on those teams above them in the table. The morale-boosting 2-0 victory over Manchester City left the Blues just two points behind fifth-placed Arsenal, with a trip to the Emirates Stadium to look forward to on April 16. In the main, David Moyes has enjoyed positive results against Stoke City, with Everton registering two wins and a draw at Goodison Park since the Potters were promoted to the Premier League in the summer of 2008.
Last outing: Stoke City 0-0 West Bromwich Albion, Saturday 16 March
Last six: LWLDLD
Heading into the final two months of the season, Stoke sit in 11th position. However, their current standing masks a run of poor form which has seen the Staffordshire club win just one of their last eight league fixtures. They have scored once in their last four games and have only four points more than Aston Villa, who are just one position above the relegation zone. Although form at the Britannia Stadium has proven steady, on the road Stoke have won just one game all season – at West Bromwich Albion in January.
Everton 4-0 Stoke City, 17 November 1984
Everton thrust aside all that stood before them in 1984/85, romping to the Division One title by a massive 13 points over second-placed Liverpool. One of the most convincing of the 16 home league victories that season was when Bill Asprey’s Potters were thumped 4-0 on a cold November afternoon on Merseyside. Adrian Heath netted a brace, while Peter Reid and Trevor Steven also put the ball past veteran goalkeeper Joe Corrigan. Stoke were eventually relegated after registering just 17 points from their 42 league fixtures.
Stoke City 1-1 Everton, 15 December 2012
Everton were left to rue a glaring first-half miss as Stoke fought back to salvage a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at the Britannia Stadium in mid-December. After Ryan Shawcross' own goal had seen the Blues go ahead, Leon Osman wasted a great chance to extend the lead. The Potters duly equalised shortly after half time via the head of Kenwyne Jones, ensuring there was to be no clean sheet for Tim Howard on his 200th consecutive league appearance for Everton.
Everton played host to Stoke on 30 March 1935, securing a fine 5-0 win at Goodison Park in front of 17,016 supporters. The Blues have played just once on this date under David Moyes’ reign; a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool in 2008.
A host of big names have represented both clubs, including Everton legends Howard Kendall, Adrian Heath and Neville Southall. Mike Pejic, Steve Simonsen, James Beattie, Peter Beagrie, Paul Bracewell and Mickey Thomas have also had a foot in both camps.
- Should Victor Anichebe be named in the starting line-up on Saturday afternoon, he will be making his 50th Premier League start.
- If Leon Osman notches for the second successive Premier League match, he will move above Kevin Campbell in the Club’s all-time scoring charts. His is currently joint 44th having hit the target 51 times in his Blues career.
- Everton have lost just once in their last seven matches played over the Easter weekend.
- The next top-flight goal Everton score at Goodison will be the Club’s 601st home strike in the Premier League.
Referee: Mike Jones
Assistant referee: P Kirkup
Assistant referee: S Burt
Fourth official: J Moss
Tickets for Saturday's game against Stoke are on general now. To join us at Goodison Park, click here or call 0871 663 1878. Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square. Log onto evertonfc.com from 5.25pm to listen to live commentary or follow text updates with the Club’s official Twitter account @Everton.
Our official online betting partner Paddy Power are offering a range of odds on Saturday’s game. Here's our pick of the best:
Everton to win: 8/15
Everton to win 3-1: 12/1
Nikica Jelavic to score first: 5/1
Leon Osman to score first and Everton to win 2-0: 45/1
Everton to win by exactly two goals: 10/3