Split Down The Middle

by Mark Rowan

As the Blues prepare for their first British pre-season friendlies tonight, the squads have been revealed - with Wayne Rooney set to lead the line at Gresty Road.

David Moyes has split his first team squad right down the middle and teams of equal strength will be appearing at Rochdale and at Crewe.

The friendly 'double-header' has been designed to ensure that all Everton players are on an equal footing in terms of fitness.

However, the game with Dario Gradi's Crewe side (kick-off 7.45 pm) is the one that has whetted the appetite for the travelling Evertonians.

Playing alongside Rooney under the watchful gaze of David Moyes will be the likes of Duncan Ferguson, Thomas Gravesen, Joseph Yobo and Alessandro Pistone.

Alan Irvine will be taking a 16-man squad to Spotland (kick-off 7.30 pm) with Alex Nyarko set to play his first game on English soil since the infamous Highbury incident in March 2001.

As well as the attraction of seeing the enigmatic Ghanaian in an Everton shirt once again, fans travelling to Spotland will also be treated to the sight of the Campbell-Radzinski partnership.

Niclas Alexandersson, who injured his thigh in the 7-0 win over Bad Goisern is undergoing treatment and will play no part in either fixture.

evertonfc.com will be at both fixtures to bring you the latest news direct from Crewe and Rochdale.

Squad v Crewe: P. Gerrard, Pistone, Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth, Carsley, Osman, Gravesen, Gemmill, McLeod, Chadwick, Rooney, Ferguson, Brown, A. Gerrard.

Squad v Rochdale: Simonsen, Hibbert, Weir, Clarke, O'Hanlon, Naysmith, Watson, Li Tie, Nyarko, Linderoth, Pembridge, Campbell, Radzinski, Pascucci, Moogan, Barry.

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