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

Naismith Ready To Stake Claim

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Steven Naismith says he is ready to help fill the void left by suspended duo Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar.

Both Blues picked up bans during the 2-0 win over Manchester City earlier this month and will now sit out Saturday's game against Stoke City as well as the trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

Naismith has made 12 starts and 14 substitute appearances for David Moyes' side this term, netting three goals along the way.

Having fully recovered from a successions of serious injuries sustained at former club Rangers, the Scotland international is eager for more action and says he will do everything he can to earn a starting place.

Asked if the two suspensions opened a door for him, he told evertontv: "It's got to.

"They're two massive players for Everton this season. They've been great but it does open that chance up for the boys that haven't been playing regular football.

"I definitely come into that category. I'll do all I can in training in the lead up to the game and on the day, if I can gain some game time, that'll be great."

Naismith got a first taste of the Potters in December, as he featured for the first 70 minutes of the 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

He admits Tony Pulis' men are a unique opposition, but insists the Blues will be out for nothing but a win come 5.30pm on Saturday.

"They've got a different style to the majority of teams in the league, which makes the game a bit tougher," he explained.

"We got a hard-fought draw but it's definitely a game where we'll be looking to take all three points.

"It's a big advantage being at home with the crowd. We saw in the Manchester City game how well the crowd got behind the team. I

"I'm sure it'll be more of the same at the weekend."

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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