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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League


Roberto Martinez again expects to be without Sylvain Distin and Seamus Coleman for Saturday’s home game against Aston Villa.

The duo missed the midweek trip to Anfield and Martinez says both are unlikely to return to full fitness in time for the visit of Paul Lambert’s side to Goodison Park.

However, the boss is hopeful that Distin and Coleman, along with Gerard Deulofeu, will be fit to feature against Tottenham Hotspur a week on Sunday.

Deulofeu has returned to England after undergoing his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury at parent club Barcelona.

“Seamus Coleman is a little too early for the weekend and Sylvain is in a similar situation,” Martinez said at his Thursday press conference.

“Along with Gerard, they should be available for the first game after Villa.”

Martinez also provided a further update on Romelu Lukaku who was stretchered from the field against Liverpool.

On Wednesday it was confirmed that the injury was less severe than first feared, with the striker expected to be ruled out for ‘weeks rather than months’.

Martinez explained that the next two days will give a clearer indication of the exact timescale the Belgian faces on the sidelines.

"Romelu will be back well before the final seven or eight games of the season, which is very positive,” he said.

"We had very good news in that respect. The structure of the ankle is fine and he sustained no ligament damage. It is badly, badly bruised but it is not a matter of months as we expected.

"We will see how he reacts to the next 48 hours of treatment and we will then see what the best solution is to get him back fit as quickly as possible.

"Other players have been showing very good signs and are desperate to help the team.

"You can't expect to go through an injury with no injuries and no suspensions.”

Tickets for Saturday's game against Aston Villa are still available - click here to buy online, call 0871 663 1878 or visit the Goodison Park Box Office, Everton Two or the TicketQuarter.

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