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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Distin Likely To Miss Villa

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Sylvain Distin is likely to miss Saturday's trip to Aston Villa - but Everton manager David Moyes has not ruled out the return of others.

The Blues boss could also hand a debut to new arrival Darron Gibson, who joined the Club from Manchester United on Friday.

Defender Distin picked up a hamstring strain at Tottenham on Wednesday and is unlikely to recover in time for the trip to Villa Park, but Moyes remains hopeful of welcoming back others to his injury-hit squad.

The Blues are already without England centre-back Phil Jagielka, who is out for up to five weeks, meaning there could be a first Premier League start for Irish youngster Shane Duffy.

Asked if Distin, who was replaced by Duffy midway through the second half at White Hart Lane, would be available, Moyes said: "I wouldn't think so."

The Scot has also been without Leon Osman, Tony Hibbert, Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman in recent weeks but hinted some of those names could return to the fold in time.

Probed on whether any players would be back for the clash with Alex McLeish's Midlanders he was equally coy, adding only, "They might be."

Moyes will cast his eye over new man Gibson in training on Friday before deciding whether to throw the Republic of Ireland international straight into the action.

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