Next Match:

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

Blues Get Baines Boost

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Leighton Baines has passed a late fitness test and will start for Everton at champions Manchester City.

On Friday, David Moyes said the left-back was a 'massive doubt' for the clash after reporting a tightness in his hamstring but promised to give the England international until the latest possible moment to prove his fitness.

The 27-year-old has done that, allowing the Blues boss to name an unchanged side for the trip to Etihad Stadium.

It means a back four of Baines, Tony Hibbert, Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka will again sit in front of goalkeeper Tim Howard, with Steven Naismith, Steven Pienaar, Leon Osman, Darron Gibson and Marouane Fellaini making up the midfield. Croatian Nikica Jelavic starts as the lone man in attack.

As expected, Moyes is still without the injured trio of Kevin Mirallas, Victor Anichebe (both hamstring) and Seamus Coleman, while skipper Phil Neville (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Centre-half Jagielka will again deputise as captain.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Naismith, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Oviedo, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, Barkley, Vellios, Gueye.

Manchester City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Y.Toure, Barry, Silva, Nasri, Tevez, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, K.Toure, Sinclair, Garcia, Aguero, Balotelli.

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