Everton midfielder Seamus Coleman believes Goodison Park can become a fortress this season, as the Toffees prepare to welcome a hurting Manchester United to Merseyside.
The champions received a derby thumping at the hands of ‘noisy neighbours’ Man City last weekend and United will be desperate to make amends this Saturday lunchtime.
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But Coleman believes that Everton have the strength and quality to make any team fear a trip to Goodison Park – and they are determined to prove it this weekend.
“I think teams coming here know what they’re going to get,” Coleman told BBC local radio. “Here at Everton we never give up and we play for the 90 minutes. Teams don’t get an easy game and we’ll be looking to do that again on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, down the East Lancs Road, the FA has revealed it must wait at least a further week to learn the written reasons from Uefa for United and England striker Wayne Rooney’s three-match suspension.
Rooney was handed the punishment after he was sent off during England’s 2-2 draw with Montenegro in their final Euro 2012 qualifier earlier this month.
And as it stands at the moment, the suspension will rule the former Everton hero out of the group phase of next summer’s Euro 2012 Championship in Poland and Ukraine.
In injury news ahead of this weekend’s clash, Ryan Giggs, Rafael, Darren Gibson and Bebe are all unavailable for the away team, with Jonny Evans suspended after being dismissed against City. For the Toffees, they’ll be without Johnny Heitinga and Victor Anichebe.
With Sir Alex Ferguson likely to make other changes after the embarrassing defeat to their Manchester rivals, Saturday’s 12:00 kick-off will be a big test of character for the visitors.
After all, a defeat coupled with a City home win over Wolves would see United go a whopping eight points behind in the title race. And that is not a prospect worth contemplating for Ferguson’s men.