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

Duo Could Return

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

David Moyes says Phil Jagielka and Tim Howard could return from injury for Saturday's game against Stoke City.

England defender Jagielka has been sidelined following an ankle gash sustained in the 3-1 win over Reading at the start of the month.

Goalkeeper Howard, meanwhile, has been out for one game more, having broken two bones in his back during February's FA Cup replay against Oldham.

John Heitinga and Jan Mucha have deputised for the duo respectively, as the Toffees continue their quest for European football next term.

And manager Moyes admits he will be relieved to be welcoming two members of his squad back, especially with another Blues pair missing for the next two fixtures.

He said: "I'm looking to hopefully get Phil Jagielka back and Tim Howard looks as if he has a good chance of being fit as well.

"If we get those two back, it'll add but obviously it's a big miss not to have Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar through suspension.

"We've got to say we're in the business end of the season where you have to win games. When you're losing key players, that's of vital importance.  

"I can think of some players at other clubs that if they lost them, it'd be a real big loss to them.  

"We'll do everything we can to make sure their absence doesn't affect us too much."

With a clean sheet and an impressive display against Manchester City in Everton's last outing, Moyes reserved special praise for the professionalism of Slovakian Mucha.

"Jan played very well against Manchester City," he said.  

"We're delighted with him - he's been excellent and his attitude around the place has been very good.

"But we need players back. I was sitting there worried because we had a very young boy on the bench and it would have been difficult if we'd have lost Jan as well because we're so short of goalkeepers."

Tickets for Saturday's game against Stoke are on general sale now. To join us at Goodison Park, click here or call 0871 663 1878*. Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.

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