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Everton v Derby Preview

Everton v Derby Preview

The Rams head to Goodison Park with only Pride to play for, after their drop to the Championship was confirmed last week.

The Toffees will be looking for a victory to keep the pressure on Merseyside rivals Liverpool for the fourth Champions league spot come season end.

Rams boss Paul Jewell has stated relegation is a relief and they can start to rebuild for next season.

He said: 'It's been a difficult season for everybody but short-term pain for long-term gain is what we are after.

'It's hurting me - not winning a game for 18 matches is horrendous but I knew it would be tough.

'Hopefully if and when we do come back, which will be sooner rather than later, we won't find ourselves in the same situation we do now.'

Rams trio Kenny Miller, Andy Todd and Jay McEveley have recovered from dead leg injuries in time to face Everton.

But Jewell will be without defender Marc Edworthy, who has cracked a rib for the trip to Goodison Park.

Edworthy joins long-term absentees Claude Davis and Giles Barnes on the sidelines, and Alan Stubbs, who should make a return to action next week at home to Aston Villa.

"Stubbsy is not far away but not quite ready," said Jewell.

"We have got 16 fit players but I am not complaining because it was my idea to let players go out on loan," Jewell added.

Young defender Jason Beardsley, on the bench against Fulham, is in a 17-man squad.

Derby's only Premier League win at Goodison Park was a 2-1 victory on 14 February 1998, with goals from Igor Stimac and Paulo Wanchope.

Everton are expected to have striker Andrew Johnson available for the game after his recovery from a groin injury, but they have doubts over full-back Tony Hibbert (hip problem) and midfielder Steven Pienaar, who has not trained all week because of a knee injury.

Everton boss David Moyes believes his side can still take the fourth spot but can`t have any lapses. He said: "We lost the Merseyside derby last week, which gave Liverpool a five-point lead on us.

'But we are not out of the race for fourth, but it is much more difficult now. But we are still there and will keep trying to make it.

'We have six (games) left and four of those at home. We must make sure we win the home games.'

(from): Howard, Neville, Lescott, Yobo, Jagielka, Valente, Baines, Arteta, Carsley, Osman, Fernandes, Gravesen, Pienaar, Johnson, Yakubu, Anichebe, Hibbert, Wessels.

Derby County (from): Carroll, Moore, Leacock, McEveley, Sterjovski, Savage, Ghaly, Lewis, Miller, Villa, Earnshaw, Todd, Jones, Robert, Price.

Referee - Andre Marriner (West Midlands)

The Journalist

Writer: Peter Simcox Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday April 6 2008

Time: 11:02AM


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