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

Osman To Equal Record

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Leon Osman will equal David Unsworth's record of 302 Premier League appearances for Everton when the Blues take on Sunderland this Boxing Day - but there is no return for left-back Leighton Baines.

Midfielder Osman is part of just one change for manager Roberto Martinez, who has opted to rest 20-year-old Ross Barkley and move him to the bench.

Baines was expected to make his return to the first-team fold after five games out with a fractured toe but Costa Rican Bryan Oviedo continues to deputise.

The former Copenhagen star is joined in defence by Seamus Coleman, Sylvain Distin and skipper Phil Jagielka, with Tim Howard continuing between the sticks.

Osman's midfield cohorts will be James McCarthy, Steven Pienaar, Kevin Mirallas and Gareth Barry, leaving Romelu Lukaku to once again lead the line in attack.

An outing against Southampton at Goodison Park on 29 December would now see Osman overhaul former teammate Unsworth to become Everton's leading league appearance maker of the Premier League era.

Everton:
Howard, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo, Coleman, Mirallas, McCarthy, Barry, Osman, Pienaar, Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Heitinga, Jelavic, Naismith, Barkley, Stones, Alcaraz

Sunderland: Mannone, Celustka, Bardsley, Diakite, Roberge, Cattermole, Ki, Colback, Larsson, Borini, Fletcher. Subs: Dossena, Cabral, Johnson, Altidore, Ba, Giaccherini, Pickford

 

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