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Sunday 21 September K.O. 16:00

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The KC Stadium | 11th May 2014 15:00 | Attendance - 24848

Everton v Hull City

Team News

Lacina Traore and Steven Pienaar are in line to return to the Everton squad for Sunday's game at Hull City.

Traore hasn't played for the Blues since suffering a hamstring injury following his goalscoring debut against Swansea City in February.

However, the on-loan striker trained on Tuesday and Wednesday this week and will train again with Roberto Martinez and his staff on Friday and Saturday.

Pienaar has been absent since limping from the field in the FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Arsenal in March.

And providing both come through the next two sessions with no adverse reactions, they will travel with the team for the season-closing clash at the KC Stadium.

Steven Pienaar has trained really well all week,” Martinez said at his Friday press conference. “We still have two days of work and if he doesn’t get any setbacks I expect him to be in the squad.

Lacina TraoreRoberto Martinez believes Lacina Traore and Steven Pienaar could be in line to return against Hull.

“Lacina Traore is very much similar but we have to be a little bit cautious because he hasn’t been working with the group as long.”

Martinez also confirmed that Darron Gibson, who has been sidelined with a cruciate ligament injury since October, has also been training with the squad.

However, Sunday’s clash is likely to come too soon for the Republic of Ireland midfielder.

Martinez continued: “Darron Gibson has been working with the group and been doing really well but it is a bit too early to put him into competitive action yet.”

Sylvain Distin could earn a recall to the starting line-up. The Frenchman was an unused substitute in last weekend's 3-2 defeat to Manchester City after returning from a hamstring strain.

Kevin Mirallas [groin], Bryan Oviedo [broken leg] and Arouna Kone [knee] will all miss the game against Steve Bruce’s FA Cup finalists.

Form

FA Cup finalists Hull have picked up just one point from four games since winning a 5-3 thriller in their Wembley semi-final against Sheffield United last month.

Steve Bruce's side have also conceded 11 goals in that time, shipping three in each of their last two outings.

A cup final dress rehearsal against Arsenal at the KC Stadium finished 3-0 to the Gunners towards the end of last month, while the Tigers have also gone down 3-1 against both Manchester United and Aston Villa in recent weeks.

Their sole point since that victory over the Blades came in a 2-2 draw at Fulham's Craven Cottage as Bruce's men have slipped to 16th in the table.

Despite that, Sunday's opponents have never truly looked in relegation danger in their first season back in the top flight and boast the 12th best home record in the league thanks to seven wins and four draws.

The Tigers have picked up just one point since reaching the FA Cup final with a 5-3 win over Sheffield United last month.The Tigers have picked up just one point since reaching the FA Cup final with a 5-3 win over Sheffield United last month.

Everton will be looking to halt a run of two straight defeats and end the 2013/14 campaign on a high.

The Toffees have lost out at Southampton and at home to champions-elect Manchester City in their last two games but already boast a Club record Premier League haul of 69 points.

Roberto Martinez's men will be looking to deliver their eighth away victory of the campaign, having won seven and drawn six of their 18 outings on the road this term.  

Last Meeting

Everton 2-1 Hull City, 19 October 2013

Steven Pienaar stepped off the bench to score a fine winner as the Blues tamed the Tigers at Goodison Park in October.

The South African, back in the squad after five games out with an injury, had only been on the pitch a total of 27 seconds when he met a Kevin Mirallas cross from the right-hand side and elegantly swept the ball past goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Hull CitySteven Pienaar celebrates his goal just 27 seconds after stepping off the bench against Hull in October.

Mirallas thought he had earlier given Everton the lead when he drilled a low shot into McGregor's bottom corner - only for eagle-eyed members of the Dubious Goals Committee to notice it had brushed off the studs of teammate Gareth Barry and award the Man City loanee his first Everton goal.

Striker Yannick Sagbo then pulled Hull level with his first ever Premier League strike, before Pienaar stole the show with his rapid, match-winning, contribution.
 

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