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Distin Should Be Fit For Stoke

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Roberto Martinez expects Sylvain Distin to shrug off a slight hamstring complaint in time to feature against Stoke City on New Year’s Day.

Distin, who has played every single minute of the Blues’ 19 Premier League fixtures this season, reported a minor problem following the 2-1 win over Southampton on Sunday.

But Martinez anticipates having the Frenchman available for the trip to the Britannia Stadium.

The Blues boss told evertontv: “Sylvain finished the game against Southampton feeling his hamstring a little bit due to the amount of games that we have had.

“But I don’t expect anything [new] than the Southampton game. Everyone is fully fit and available.”

Distin’s defensive colleague Phil Jagielka remains sidelined with a hamstring problem of his own, an injury that could keep him out for up to four weeks.

However, Martinez is boosted by the return of Tim Howard and Gareth Barry who have completed their one-match suspensions.

“Phil is still in week one of that soft tissue problem,” added Martinez.

“From the Southampton game, Tim Howard and Gareth Barry both come back into contention and are available again. And obviously Leighton Baines got through the 90 minutes for the first time which is always very important.”

Everton are next at Goodison in the FA Cup third round. Buy tickets for the third round tie against Queens Park Rangers online here and print them at home.

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