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Boss Hopeful Over Duo

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

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Roberto Martinez is hoping Darron Gibson and Kevin Mirallas will shake off injuries to be available for the game at Manchester City on Saturday.

Gibson's knee and Mirallas' ankle are the primary injury concerns for the Blues boss.

Mirallas twisted his ankle during the win over Newcastle on Monday, a game which Gibson missed because of a recurrence of his knee problem.

The Etihad Stadium clash could come too soon for Steven Pienaar, while Antolin Alcaraz is still around a month away from a return.

“We hope that Darron is going to be fit," Martinez said. "We have got two days to see how he recovers. We have a bit of doubt with his knee from the previous knock that he had.

“Kevin Mirallas is still a concern and I would say he is 50-50 for the weekend. It was a knock during the game against Newcastle. Obviously he was able to stay on the pitch but he has got a twisted ankle.

“The game will probably be a little too close for Steven Pienaar and Antolin is still recovering.”

Gareth Barry is ineligible to play against his parent club so Martinez will be forced into making at least one change from the side that beat Newcastle, even if Mirallas is passed fit.

“Gareth has been vital for us but we have other players who can come in and do an important job for the side,” added the Blues boss.

"We have got enough experience to do that but Gareth has been really influential and it seems like he has been at Everton for a long time. That’s how comfortable he looks in the team.

“I’m really excited about seeing who can come in and take that opportunity and show the competition that we have for places."

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