English Premiership

Everton face Baines headache

2013-12-20 20:03
Leighton Baines (File)

Liverpool - Everton manager Roberto Martinez says the imminent return of Leighton Baines will give him a welcome Christmas headache.

Baines, who is pushing Ashley Cole as England's number one left back, suffered a fractured toe in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool last month, since when Costa Rica's Bryan Oviedo has seamlessly slotted into Everton's back four.

Martinez confirmed that Baines was close to a return on Friday, perfect timing as the high-flying Toffees prepare for Premier League matches at Swansea City on Saturday followed by home games against Sunderland and Southampton.

"The prospect of having Bryan and Leighton fully fit is a great challenge and I am very satisfied with it. I wouldn't like to be in a position where I didn't have that dilemma," Martinez told a news conference.

"Leighton has already been introduced to training. We now need to see how the injury reacts. If there is no reaction, he will be available to play on Boxing Day, possibly even earlier.

"It just depends on how the next two days show in his foot. He's not too far away but we need to make sure we don't rush him back too early.

"The headache at left-back is the sort of headache that you want. You would love to have that problem everywhere across the park. We have that in other areas and we have been using it really well when players are hitting good moments of form."

Everton have lost only one league game this season and are four points behind leaders Arsenal as they prepare for three winnable-looking Christmas fixtures.

"It's a remarkable achievement, only one defeat in 16 games," said Martinez before his return to his old club Swansea.

"This is a huge period for the club. We know this period is going to be vital with so many points at stake."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Monday, 18 December 2017
Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 22:00
Friday, 22 December 2017
Arsenal v Liverpool, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Saturday, 23 December 2017
Everton v Chelsea, Goodison Park 14:30
Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v AFC Bournemouth, Etihad Stadium 17:00
Swansea City v Crystal Palace, Liberty Stadium 17:00
West Ham United v Newcastle United, London Stadium 17:00
Southampton v Huddersfield Town, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur, Turf Moor 19:30
Leicester City v Manchester United, King Power Stadium 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.