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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Hitzlsperger Handed First Start

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Thomas Hitzlsperger will make his first Everton start when the Blues take on Reading at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon.

The German is one of two changes from manager David Moyes, with the other seeing Scotland international Steven Naismith recalled to the first XI. 

Club skipper Phil Neville and Kevin Mirallas (hamstring) are the men to drop out.

There are also new faces on the Everton bench in the shape of Portuguese midfielder Francisco Junior and 18-year-old Matthew Kennedy, a summer signing from Kilmarnock.

The news means Seamus Coleman, Leighton Baines, captain Phil Jagielka and John Heitinga will again form the defence in front of USA No.1 Tim Howard.

In midfield, new England international Leon Osman is joined by Steven Pienaar, Marouane Fellaini, Hitzlsperger and Naismith, leaving Nikica Jelavic to lead the line in attack.

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Heitinga, Naismith, Pienaar, Hitzlsperger, Osman, Fellaini, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Oviedo, Distin, Vellios, Junior, Kennedy.

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Shorey, Gorkss, Morrison, Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre, Roberts. Subs: Taylor, Mariappa, Cummings, Harte, McCleary, Hunt, Pogrebnyak.

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