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

Malaga Action Tonic For Jags

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Phil Jagielka insists he's in prime condition ahead of the Premier League kick-off, despite having a stop-start summer.

The defender was back later than most of his teammates after being part of the England squad at the Euros and then picked up a slight injury.

But he played all of Everton's final pre-season game against Malaga on Saturday night and afterwards declared himself fully fit and raring to go.

"It was important to get 90 minutes," Jagielka told evertontv.

"It's been a little bit frustrating since I came back for pre-season, I picked up a little hamstring strain but the fitness is getting there now."

Everton lost 1-0 in Spain but the combination of sweltering temperatures and technically strong opposition will serve as excellent preparation for the Premier League kick-off.

"It was pretty warm and we came up against a very good Malaga team," said Jagielka, who has now left to meet up with the England squad.

"The pitch was beautiful and it was a nice game to play in.

"They were comfortable on the ball and passed it round for fun but that is why we picked them, we want quality opposition.

"On the whole we take the positives."

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