English Premiership

Pienaar fit for Everton return

Steven Pienaar (Supplied)
Steven Pienaar (Supplied)

Liverpool - Everton have received a massive boost with the return of key quartet, James McCarthy, Phil Jagielka, Steven Pienaar and Bryan Oviedo, ahead of their hectic festive period, manager Roberto Martinez said.

The Toffees play seven games in the next three weeks and Martinez said he was confident the quartet will be involved in the upcoming fixtures, although probably not in Saturday's Premier League clash with fourth-from-bottom Newcastle United.

"We've had a real boost with the players coming back from injury. Steven Pienaar, Phil Jagielka, James McCarthy and Bryan Oviedo, I expect them to play some part in the next seven games," Martinez told reporters on Thursday.

"It is a really busy period. But it is great news to have those players in a position where they have already started to work with the group.

"We feel very confident that, one way or another, they will be involved in those seven games as long as their fitness comes along with the work at the training ground.

"For Boxing Day, it is difficult they will get back even though we have got two sessions. What we need to make sure is that when they come back, they are match fit and can pick up the tempo."

Everton, who are 10th in the league, will host Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur after travelling to Newcastle on Saturday.