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Martinez: We'll cope with SAS

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has backed his team to stand firm against Liverpool's feared strike duo this weekend.

Last Updated: 23/11/13 at 12:16 Post Comment

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge: Have scored a combined 18 goals this season

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge: Have scored a combined 18 goals this season

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Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have already netted 18 goals between them ahead of the first Merseyside derby of the season at Goodison Park this weekend.

But Martinez is concentrating on getting his own side's tactics right on Saturday rather than formulating a plan specifically to deal with Suarez and Sturridge.

"They have had a very good start to the season, they are very influential in their team," the Everton boss said. "From that partnership up front, they have got a real goalscoring threat.

"You do see why Liverpool have been successful this season, it is not an accident. I do feel they are a strong side. But as a team, you are always used to coping with threats of the opposition.

"Not long ago we had a very good team full of individuals here - Spurs - and we dealt with them really well.

"It is more about what we can do and how we can perform in the derby rather than being worried about what the opposition can bring."

Everton have kept three successive clean sheets, although they have not scored in their last two outings against Tottenham and Crystal Palace, but Martinez is confident the goals will soon flow again.

He added: "We haven't been scoring goals due to certain aspects that we need to work on but the way we have been getting in the final third has been fantastic. That is where the excitement comes.

"We are very close to getting into a position where we can control games and score goals at the end of it. We see it as a normal process we need to get through rather than something that is lacking.

"This could be a very significant game. There are other clashes between teams in the top seven and that makes it a very interesting weekend.

"It makes it an opportunity we want to take. We want to get away from the feeling of just fighting for the Merseyside rights. It goes a little bit further than that and making sure it is a strong start to the season.

"It is difficult in international week to have a normal week preparing for a big game but I think we are used to it. It is not a one-off situation.

"But maybe it is easier to prepare for a derby after the international break than any other game because the players come back fully focused.

"Even when on international duty they start thinking about the game. They know the derby is around the corner.

"I have realised after five months at the club how much this fixture means to the fans. I am well aware."

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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