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Everton boss Roberto Martinez has hailed the ‘massive influence’ Gareth Barry has had at Goodison Park this season.
The former England man has been superb for the Merseyside club since joining them on a season-long loan from Manchester City – Everton’s opponents on Saturday.
However, the 33-year-old will be missing from Everton’s line-up for only the third time in the league this season as Premier League rules dictate that a loan player cannot play against his parent club.
That means Barry’s appearance against Manchester United was his last at home this season, prompting Martinez to sing the midfielder’s praises.
“Gareth has been phenomenal and you run out of adjectives to describe his role this season. The enjoyment that he has brought into the squad with his know-how and experience has been terrific,” Martinez said.
“You don’t want to miss those sort of players but we knew that his contribution at Goodison this season was over after the Manchester United game. It was a great way for him to close his ‘home’ season, but now he is going to get ready for the final game of the season at Hull, where he will have a massive, massive influence.”
If City win they will return to the top of the Premier League for at least 24 hours, as title rivals Chelsea and Liverpool are not in action until Sunday and Monday respectively.
A home win is 4.57, the draw 3.62 while City are 1.74 to take a massive step towards the Premier League title.