David Moyes hoping European exertions will tell on Stoke


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The Independent Football

The Everton manager, David Moyes, hopes to be able to capitalise on any fatigue Stoke may display as his side look to end their disappointing run against Tony Pulis's side.

Everton are unbeaten in their last six matches, having scored four times in each of their the last three league games, but have found the net just once in four fixtures against Stoke. That has yielded a return of just four points but, with Stoke set to play their 54th game of the campaign after their Europa League exertions, Moyes wonders whether tiredness may finally begin to tell.

"It has been a long old season," said the Scot, whose side's distant ambitions of European football next season were ended at the weekend despite beating Fulham. "They have had a lot of games, they got through the group stage of the Europa League and they will be disappointed their league position is not further up.

"European football was a great achievement for them but it does take its toll when you are in the Thursday-Sunday scenario – but I would take it."

Everton had a run to the FA Cup semi-final but, by contrast, Moyes believes his squad is relatively fresh after they had injury problems in the first half of the season.

Kick-off Tonight, 7.45pm (Highlights, Sky Sports 1, 10pm)

Odds H 8-5; D 9-4; A 16-11

Referee A Taylor (Cheshire)