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v Crystal Palace

Sunday 21 September K.O. 16:00

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Jags Backs New Boys

Defender has faith in the new faces.

Jags Backs New Boys
Phil Jagielka
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Phil Jagielka is confident Everton's new boys will deliver if they are called upon in Saturday's Merseyside derby.

Royston Drenthe and Denis Stracqualursi will be experiencing their first taste of derby action if selected, while the likes of Apostolos Vellios, Ross Barkley and Magaye Gueye could also be involved for the first time against the Reds.

By contrast, Saturday will be Jags' eighth Merseyside derby. But he insists that the buzz around the training ground in the build-up to the 216th clash between the sides means that no player - regardless of their experience of the contest - will be in any doubt as to what to expect.

Jagielka told evertontv: "Yes, this week does feel a bit different. Obviously we have a few Evertonians in the squad, although there is probably the odd Liverpudlian in the building somewhere, but it is always talked about, right from the Monday all the way through to the weekend, and the players do look forward to it.

"The two teams aren't far apart in the table at the moment but that does not seem to really matter, the derbies are always good to watch for one reason or another and hopefully that will be the same on Saturday."

As for the new boys, he added: "Roy will know about derbies and was at Madrid who have some big rivalries and Denis will pick up on the vibe of it all. I am sure they will be fine."

The two sides have made comparable starts to the season, with the visitors three points better off but having played an extra match.

England man Jagielka has told the Evertonians to expect a bustling and positive display from their team.

“It’s still going to be hard against Liverpool, they’ve had a decent start to the season so we’re not pretending we’ll be up against a Liverpool that is struggling,” the defender said. “They have brought in a lot of good players and a lot of good quality. As much as we say we are looking forward to the derby, we aren’t expecting to automatically win it. But we will be trying our best to get three points - putting up a performance and try to get a win.”

Jagielka also revealed the derby build-up is bubbling along nicely at Finch Farm and that he expects the new boys to get into the swing of things.

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