Crewe V Everton Preview

Everton travel to Crewe Alexandra this evening, hoping to avenge a friendly defeat that occurred almost a year ago to the day.

On Tuesday, July 22, 2003, the Blues slipped to a 0-2 defeat at Gresty Road, with Dean Ashton and Ben Rix grabbing the goals for the Railwaymen.

Like this time around, last year's fixture was the first game the Blues played since returning from their training camp in Austria.

Of course, while the coaching staff would admit that match fitness rather than results is more important, there is still a desire to win the game.

Speaking after last year's friendly, David Moyes said: "You play football to win at whatever level and we didn't win, so that isn't what we are about."

The Blues have been boosted by the return to fitness of Alan Stubbs, Duncan Ferguson, James McFadden and Tony Hibbert and they could all play some part this evening.

All four missed the 1-0 win over FK Zeleznik in Austria, but should be ready to play some part in the game against the Coca Cola Championship contenders.

Crewe have enjoyed an unbeaten start to their pre-season campaign, drawing 0-0 with Stafford Rangers, and defeating non league sides Quorn and Hayes.

They are expected to be at full strength this evening, with Norwich winger Mark Rivers, currently on trial at Gresty Road, possibly playing some part.

Meanwhile, Academy graduate Daniel Fox has been included in the senior squad for the first time tonight. The 18-year-old defender is expected to start on the bench after impressing in the reserves' recent games.

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