Everton manager David Moyes will appeal for the controversial red card Darron Gibson received against West Ham to be overturned.
It means the midfielder will be available to face Wigan in the Premier League on Boxing Day, as the appeal will not be heard until Thursday. And Moyes is hopeful that the midfielder will be spared a three-match ban.
Everton's squad has already been stretched by the absences of the injured Kevin Mirallas and the suspended Marouane Fellaini, and Moyes is keen to ensure that he does not lose Gibson over the New Year.
Striker Mirallas has managed just 45 minutes of football since suffering a hamstring injury during the 2-1 win over Sunderland on November 10. He aggravated the problem on his return against Tottenham on December 9, and Moyes confirmed on Monday morning that the 25-year-old won't be available for the Wigan match.
However, the Everton manager has confirmed he will appeal against the red card handed to Gibson during Saturday's 2-1 win at Upton Park.
Referee Anthony Taylor sent off the midfielder in stoppage time following a collision with Mark Noble; a decision which came after West Ham forward Carlton Cole had been shown a red card for a high challenge on Leighton Baines. Moyes felt both decisions were harsh, and is hoping a successful appeal would spare Gibson a ban.
The Everton manager said: "We think there are real reasons to give it a go, and to ask the FA to look at it again."
Moyes, though, was reluctant to criticise Taylor, adding: "It's up to the referees to make the decisions. It's a hard job being a referee. I don't want to be someone who is over-critical of them, because I know how hard that job is. I think anybody who becomes a referee knows it's going to be hard for them at times, and that they won't always get all the decisions right. I sympathise with the job they've got and they have to try to get it right on the spot."
Moyes' squad has been stretched by injuries and suspensions of late, with Mirallas absent and midfielder Fellaini also out of the Wigan game as he serves the second game of a three-match ban imposed for headbutting Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross during a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium on December 15.
The manager, then, was pleased to welcome back captain Phil Neville and striker Victor Anichebe for Saturday's win at West Ham. Anichebe returned from a hamstring injury to score Everton's equalise at Upton Park, while Neville was back in action for the first time since undergoing knee surgery last month.
"It was very good to get Victor and Phil back," Moyes said. "We needed them, because we've got one or two people out at the moment, so we needed to get one or two players into the squad.
"Victor and Phil came in and they both made a contribution in the game, which was really important."
Moyes, meanwhile, revealed that right-back Seamus Coleman could return from a hamstring injury to play some part against Wigan, saying: "We'll see how he is."