Everton take a short trip to Boundary Park to face Oldham Athletic in the fifth round of the F.A cup, knowing that two wins could mean a return to Wembley in an attempt to make amends for the poor showing there last season.
Moyes is monitoring one or two players after the 2-0 loss to Manchester United last weekend. The Everton boss gave no names but it could be assumed to be Victor Anichebe and Marouane Fellaini. Anichebe was seen limping off near the 60 minute mark at Old Trafford and Fellaini has been nursing a hip injury since his international travels. The toffees should expect Sylvain Distin to return from illness but the game will come too quickly for Seamus Coleman. Long term absentee Tony Hibbert will definitely miss out.
Matt Smith, who was detrimental in the win that knocked out Liverpool in the fourth round, is a big doubt for Oldham after being sidelined since the aforementioned game with a shoulder injury. The Latics have had a small upheaval in recent weeks, with manager Paul Dikov stepping aside, losing another key player from the fourth round success in Reece Wabara but gaining four players from the January Transfer Window.
Jose Baxter will play his first game against Everton since leaving the club last summer. The former Blues youngster has been in impressive form for Oldham this season, scoring 11 goals and putting in a number of standout performances in a relegation stricken side. Baxter will be looking to show the Everton gaffer what he’s missed by putting in another dangerous performance.
With Matt Smith missing and Derbyshire now gone, Oldham have lost their next highest scorers from the current season. The threat therefore might come not in the form of a particular player but a real team display. Oldham will look to go long with the ball, throwing people forward at every set piece opportunity and have shown in their last FA cup exploit that they will defend doggedly if needed.
Oldham Athletic’s last 6 – LLLWLW
Everton’s last 6 – DDWWDL
The two teams have been drawn against each other 5 times in the F.A cup’s history, with Oldham edging the encounters with 3 wins to Everton’s 2.
It has been 23 years since Everton have been drawn away from home successively from the third round of the cup, with tomorrows opponents Oldham ending our hopes in the fifth round that year.
The Blues have had seven different scorers in the cup this season. The last time this was achieved was when Everton reached the two most recent FA cup final outings.
David Moyes will reach 250 away performances with Everton on Saturday.
Referee: Phil Dowd
Assistant Referee: Simon Bennett
Assistant Referee: Michael McDonough
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson
We hear that the line up is:
Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Mirallas, Osman, Gibson, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic