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Everton captain Phil Jagielka returns to the squad for the visit of Manchester City after a 10-week absence with a hamstring injury.

Fellow centre-back Sylvain Distin is still a doubt after a similar problem forced him to miss last weekend’s defeat at Southampton.

On-loan Gareth Barry is unavailable against his parent club while fellow midfielder Steven Pienaar is still not available.

Manchester City, meanwhile, have playmaker David Silva available but fellow Spaniard Jésus Navas, who has missed the last three games, remains on the sidelines with his own ankle problem.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini reports no other injuries ahead of Saturday’s match but defender Matija Nastasic is not yet match fit after three months out with a knee injury.

Roberto Martínez says the suggestion any Evertonians would happily see their team lose to Manchester City to prevent Liverpool from winning the title is just ‘banter’.

It is fair to say opinions are divided on that.

Nevertheless, the ultra-professional Spaniard and his players have European qualification and the chance to host a Merseyside derby in the Champions League on their mind. City have the title in their grasp again.

It is tough to imagine a team with such class failing to take its second chance.

Stat of the game: Manchester City have lost on their last four league visits to Everton, scoring just one goal and conceding seven.

Everton (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Baines; Naismith, McCarthy, Osman, Deulofeu; Barkley; Lukaku.
Out: Barry (ineligible), Gibson, Koné, Pienaar (all knee), Mirallas (groin), Oviedo (broken leg), Traoré (hamstring).
Test: Distin (hamstring).

Manchester City (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Touré, Fernandinho; Silva, Agüero, Nasri; Dzeko.
Out: Nastasic (knee), Navas (ankle).

Referee: Lee Probert. Matches: 19, R2 Y29.

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