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Blues Fit After Internationals

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Everton v Swansea

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Roberto Martinez says Everton's band of internationals came through this week's midweek games unscathed.

The Blues had 13 players away in either senior or Under-21 action but all are set to return to Finch Farm and be ready for Saturday's Premier League opener at Norwich.

In particular, Marouane Fellaini's 90 minute run-out in Belgium's friendly with France was a boost for Martinez.

He said: "In general terms no one has picked up a knock or an injury. I would say everyone has had a really good experience and benefitted in one way or another.

"It (Fellaini's outing) is good news. It was a really good game of football with good intensity. Felli came through 90 minutes and Kevin got 20 minutes so all in all it was a good exercise."

The Everton manager also explained that Darron Gibson has a '50-50'  chance of being fit after responding positively to treatment on a knee injury.

Martinez added: "For Darron Gibson, one day could make all the difference. In the last 24 hours he has recovered very well - probably better than I expected - but he is still 50-50 for the weekend.

"Yesterday he had no chance to be involved but today we feel that he has got an opportunity. We hope that he can be fit for the weekend."

The Blues boss also provided updates on injured defensive pair Antolin Alcaraz and Tony Hibbert.

He continued: "Tony Hibbert will be training on Monday. I think he is ready to step in so I wouldn't expect him not to be involved for the West Ham game.

"Antolin will probably be a couple of weeks. The Cardiff game will be his realistic target. They are progressing really well and I wouldn't expect anything longer than that."

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    RM: This could be a little final within the group stage of the competition. I’m a big admirer of the way they play football#bluesontourur

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    RM: Steven and Ossie have been rested for this trip bearing in mind the number of games we have this month. #bluesontour