By Coral Barry
Roberto Martinez has made four changes to the side that will face Manchester United in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
Darren Gibson, Muhamed Besic, Tom Cleverley and Phil Jagielka all come into the team in a potentially season defining match for Martinez and his side.
Everton were brushed aside by their local rivals on Wednesday and Martinez has had to make some big calls with Ramiro Funes Mori suspended because of a red card he picked up in the Merseyside derby and Gareth Barry injured.
Everton substitutes: Howard, Hibbert, Oviedo, Mirallas, Deulofeu, Osman, Pennington. #OnwardsEvertonians
— Everton (@Everton) April 23, 2016
Captain Jagielka returns to starting eleven after missing the last three games because of a hamstring problem even though Martinez admitted on Friday that the centre-back was not match fit.
The Englishman has been a miss for Martinez’s team that was sorely lacking a leader in the 4-0 humiliation they suffered at the hands of Liverpool.
Questions about Martinez’s position as the man to take Everton forward have been increasing this season with the Toffees enduring a mediocre season in the Premier League despite Romelu Lukaku scoring 17 goals in the league.
Their FA Cup run has been the only bright spark in a bleak campaign and progression into the final past United could ease some of the pressure currently sitting on Martinez’s shoulders.
Cleverley also makes his comeback to the line-up against the club he began his career at as a youngster.