DENIS Stracqualursi will get the chance to edge his way into the first-team frame for Everton today – as Tim Cahill vowed to carry on causing havoc in attack.
The Argentine striker was an unused substitute for the Toffees’ 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday, but will be given the chance to build on his fitness and impress David Moyes by lining up for the reserves tonight.
Stracqualursi, 23, will get his first taste of English football against Aston Villa’s second string at the Stobart Stadium, Widnes, tonight alongside fellow loan capture Royston Drenthe, and Magaye Gueye, who is returning from a broken toe.
The reserves’ game against the Midlanders was originally scheduled to take place behind closed doors at Finch Farm, but will now be open to the public, as the new-boys are also joined by 17-year-old Ross Barkley, who almost set up a dramatic winner for Moyes’ men on Saturday.
Tickets for the game cost just £4 for adults and £2 for juniors and are available on the turnstiles on the night. It will be Everton Reserves’ fourth outing of the 2011/12 campaign, having recording one win, one draw and one defeat so far.
And although Moyes will be eager to see Stracqualursi get some crucial match practise, especially with Louis Saha still struggling for fitness, the Blues boss can rely on Cahill to resume his forward role against Wigan Athletic at Goodison on Saturday if necessary.
Cahill created his side’s opener against Villa, and led the line in typically dynamic fashion - a task he admits is not easy.
He said: “It’s hard. You are up against big centre-backs and it becomes a big battle and you know you have to do the hard yards and chase everything down and create havoc in the defence.
“It fell nicely for Ossie from me for the first goal, and you could see their centre-backs were having to deal with me and it was giving more space to the players coming in from behind.
“It was good to see Seamus back as well, even if it didn’t quite drop for us in the box. But if we keep getting the chances we are going to score goals, and we showed there’s a good feeling about the team.
“I’ve learned from players such as David Weir and Duncan Ferguson about how special this club is, my family are very happy here and you have to look at the bigger picture of being here through thick and thin.
“That’s helped me become who I am.
“I have a lot of loyalty for the clubs I have played for and try to give as much support to the chairman and staff as they have given us.”
Everton face Wigan at Goodison Park this Saturday at 3pm and tickets are still available. Prices start from £30 for adults, £15 for juniors and £19.50 for OAP’s.
To buy your tickets visit evertonfc. com/ eticketing, call 0871 663 1878 or drop into the box office at Goodison Park.