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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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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
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