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Tim Howard set for Toffees return

Tim Howard in action for Everton. Credit: Press Association.

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard is set to make his return to action in Wednesday's Barclays Premier League away clash with Chelsea.

Howard has not yet featured in 2015 due to the calf problem he sustained in the 1-0 Boxing Day defeat to Stoke at Goodison Park.

Asked about the 35-year-old United States international at his press conference to preview the Chelsea game, Everton boss Roberto Martinez said: "Tim has been working really well.

"He trained well on Monday, so I expect that he is fully fit now for any sort of games."

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Everton's Lennon poised for derby debut

Everton's Aaron Lennon pictured after signing for Everton Football Club on loan. Credit: Press Association.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez expects James McCarthy to be available for Saturday's Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool and is also ready to hand Aaron Lennon a Toffees debut in the game.

Midfielder McCarthy is set to return after missing six games with a hamstring problem, while winger Lennon is coming into the squad following his arrival on loan from Tottenham for the rest of the season on transfer deadline day.

The Barclays Premier League contest at Goodison Park looks to be too soon for Tim Howard (calf) to make his comeback, and Leon Osman (foot), Steven Pienaar (knee) and Tony Hibbert (unspecified) remain sidelined.

Rodgers: Blues will be glad to see Gerrard go

Gerrard celebrates his goal against Everton earlier this season Credit: PA

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Everton will be delighted to see the back of Steven Gerrard.

The Reds captain plays in his 33rd and final Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Saturday before heading off to Los Angeles Galaxy in the summer.

With critics writing him off earlier in the season he was instrumental in the 1-1 draw at Anfield in September.

He scored his 10th goal in these cross-city encounters from a free-kick and it looked like being the winner until Phil Jagielka's thunderbolt last-minute equaliser.

Rodgers does not expect any emotion or ceremony from the 34-year-old midfielder but believes there will be plenty of rejoicing from the blue half of the city, who have taunted him mercilessly since he made his first appearance against them in April 1999.

Rodgers says Everton fans will be glad to see the back of Gerrard Credit: PA

I am sure they will be glad to see the back of him. He has been an incredible player for this club and has played in so many of the derby games and been outstanding in them.

He will want to go into it as he does every game - he wants to win for his club and it will be no different this weekend.

– Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool Manager

Merseyside derby kick off time confirmed

The Merseyside derby at Everton's Goodison Park on Saturday will kick off at the scheduled later time of 5.30pm after Merseyside Police withdrew a legal challenge.

Police had wanted the kick-off time for the Premier League clash with Liverpool to be brought forward over public-order fears around fans spending more time drinking before the match starts.

Goodison Park Credit: Press Association

The force had taken their case to a district judge today after Liverpool council's licensing committee last week turned down a police request to bring forward the kick-off time to 2pm or earlier.

But their appeal was today withdrawn at South Sefton Magistrates' Court after a compromise was reached between the police, the council and Everton FC.

The match will go ahead at the later kick-off time of 5.30pm but Everton will improve segregation between the two sets of fans at the game and all parties agreed to look again at kick-off times for Category C, or 'risk' matches.

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