Everton face fitness doubts on Mirallas, Gibson
By Football News
Midfield duo Kevin Mirallas and Darron Gibson are injury doubts ahead of Everton's visit to Manchester City on Saturday.
Belgium international Mirallas was substituted late in Monday's 3-2 victory over Newcastle United at Goodison Park after taking a kick to his ankle.
Meanwhile, Gibson has featured just once this season - in the club's 2-1 League Cup defeat to Fulham - and is doubtful for the trip to the Etihad Stadium due to a persistent knee problem.
And Everton boss Roberto Martinez also believes the game will come too soon for Steven Pienaar return to the squad.
"Kevin Mirallas is still a doubt, I would rate him at 50-50," said the Spaniard.
"Darron we hope is going to be fit, we have two days to see how fully he recovers. We had a bit of doubt on his knee from the previous knock.
"It will (also) probably be a bit too close for Steven Pienaar to be available."
Martinez has had a terrific start to his Everton tenure, with the Merseyside outfit remaining the only club in the top flight to remain unbeaten after six games.
He will hope his side can continue their impressive recent form against City, with Everton winning six of the last eight encounters between the clubs.
But the former Wigan manager stressed it will be a difficult challenge to extend their unbeaten record against Manuel Pellegrini's charges, despite their comprehensive 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
"It's only six games into the season. We have been able to perform against different sides," he added.
"It's always a great motivation to carry on with that (undefeated) label for as long as you can, it's a really tough challenge against City on Saturday.
"They have been sensational at home and we know we will have to be at our best. We embrace that challenge and we look forward to facing City in their own yard.
"There is never a good or bad time to face Manchester City. They have a really good squad, they can make changes and refresh it if they need to.
"It is impressive (recent record), the games are close and also competitive. Our form at the Etihad in the recent fixtures is impressive, we know our mentality is going to be the right one."