Everton boss Roberto Martinez upbeat on John Stones’ fitness

Everton boss Roberto Martinez and John Stones

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Roberto Martinez hopes to have John Stones available this weekend when Manchester United visit Goodison Park.

The Everton boss has been without the key defender since he sustained ligament damage in the Capital One Cup clash with Reading last month.

The centre-half also had to withdraw from England duty for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania, but Martinez hopes he will be able to partner Phil Jagielka in the heart of defence against United this weekend.

He told the Liverpool Echo: “John has been doing some real, quality work here and it will be a matter of getting him match fit.

“We still have three very important games ahead of that fixture in terms of preparation so we will get a better idea on Friday of where John is. From a medical point of view he is ready.”

He added: “I can guarantee you that he has been frustrated and not being on the pitch and able to help his team-mates has been tough for him, especially he’s been enjoying an incredible level. His performances have been very impressive.

“John has been regenerated and, psychologically, he is in the best place to get back into the team.”

Former United midfielder Tom Cleverley and left-back Leighton Baines are set to miss United’s visit however, while Muhamed Besic is considered a doubt at this stage with a hamstring injury but could still be involved.

Everton are 3.30 to see off United at Goodison this weekend. A draw is priced at 3.30 and the visitors are 2.25 to come away with a win.

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