Chance for Ferguson to make impact for Everton

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The Independent Football

Duncan Ferguson should have the chance to prove himself when Everton take on Stockport in the Carling Cup tonight.

The striker has impressed his manager, David Moyes, in training and as a substitute, and is expected to begin the cup tie, with his fellow Scot Jamie McFadden also likely to make his first start.

Francis Jeffers' back strain will keep him out again after he missed Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough, and the youngster Leon Osman will not be making a first senior appearance of the season after he suffered suspected cracked ribs.

Everton's assistant manager, Alan Irvine, said: "Francis Jeffers is likely to be out, he's got a sore back. Hopefully he'll be okay for the weekend.

"Unfortunately Leon Osman is injured too, which is a real shame because he's been doing exceptionally well and would have been in with a chance of playing in this game."

Meanwhile, Niclas Alexandersson and Paul Gerrard will not be allowed to play for their loan clubs in the Carling Cup.

Alexandersson is at West Ham and Gerrard at Sheffield United but both clubs have been refused permission to use the players. Irvine said: "When they do come back we want to be able to pick from everyone and not have them being cup-tied."

The goalkeepers, Richard Wright and Steve Simonsen, remain out and neither Kevin Campbell nor Scot Gemmill will be risked despite being back in training.