Goodison Park

Next Game

Everton v Man Utd

Sunday, 26 April 2015, 13:30

Barclays Prem

Goodison Park

Last Game

Everton 1 - 0 Burnley

Saturday, 18 April 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Nothing to fear for Everton

Steven Naismith believes Everton have no reason to fear Arsenal as they have proved they are a match for the big teams.

Last Updated: 07/03/14 at 13:13 Post Comment

Steven Naismith: 'It is a massive game'

Steven Naismith: 'It is a massive game'

Steven Naismith believes Everton have no reason to fear Arsenal as they have proved this season they are a match for any team.

Roberto Martinez's side head to the Emirates Stadium for an FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday which could have a major bearing on the remainder of their season.

Having dropped nine points off the pace - discounting fourth-placed Manchester City's two matches in hand - in the race for Champions League football the FA Cup represents their best chance of success even if European football remains a possibility.

Having gone to the Emirates in December and earned a creditable 1-1 draw Naismith thinks the trip south can be made with confidence even if their away record in terms of results against their rivals is mixed.

Everton suffered their first league defeat at Manchester City in October and have lost at Anfield and, less deservedly, at Tottenham but did register an historic victory at Manchester United four days before their draw at the Emirates.

"It is a massive game," said Scotland international Naismith.

"You need to beat the big teams if you want to get to finals and win trophies so we are going to work hard.

"It is probably not ideal for the manager that everyone has been away with internationals but it is the same for everyone.

"We need to come back refreshed and ready and put on a performance like we have done not only at Arsenal before but at a lot of the big teams in away games."

Arsenal had an unexpected defeat at Stoke last weekend which dealt a blow to their title hopes, but Martinez does not think that will have much bearing on Saturday's encounter.

"There is never a good or bad time to face a top team. We admire Arsenal immensely for the team they are," he said.

"They had a disappointing result at the weekend but that does not change anything.

"They can perform without looking at what happened in the previous game.

"They are as good as anyone when they get on the ball and have free movement.

"But if you want to be winning a competition like the FA Cup you have to find a way of being effective against a team like Arsenal.

"We need to replicate the level of performance we had at the Emirates earlier in the season.

"I thought first half we played really well but when you are dominant you need to reflect that in the scoreline and that is where we need to improve."

Everton should be aided in that respect with the return of striker Romelu Lukaku, who came off the bench after a month out injured to score the winner at home to West Ham last weekend.

The future of the on-loan Chelsea forward has still to be decided with Martinez preferring to focus on finishing this campaign strongly rather than looking too far into the future - especially as they do not yet know whether they will be involved in Europe.

"We are in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and the last thing you want to be talking about is the preparations for next season.

"Facing a domestic competition compared to playing in Europe is a completely different approach but it would be foolish for us to be talking about that opportunity.

"We want to finish as high as we can and whatever happens at the end of the season we will prepare for what comes next."


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30


Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hen a players ability sinks to less than SWP's, but his value accelerates to more than £50m you know you must be in the comments section of an article about a Liverpool player leaving.

goober
Sterling Case For Leaving 'Bigger' Club

I

ll never forget Matt Stanger on Scott Dann on the transfer blog. I've always rated Dann since his time at Brum, and some newspaper had him going to a biggish club after Blackburn's relegation. A ball playing defender, Stanger mused, quoting. Pah. He's a godawful hoofer .

arexrarris
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

T

o be fair, one of the reasons its so difficult for certain clubs to get close to Real Madrid or Barcelona is once they have a player who is good enough to compete against the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona, they f*ck off, usually to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

hump3.
Simeone baffled by PL failure

Footer 365

Radamel Falcao could still make Manchester United move permanent

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev claims Manchester United could still sign Radamel Falcao on a permanent deal.

Liverpool and Standard Chartered extend shirt deal until 2019

Liverpool have renewed their sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered Bank which now runs until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Jurgen Klopp not a West Ham target, says Karren Brady

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady says reports that the club have approached Jurgen Klopp to take over as manager are "nonsense".

Mail Box

Bentaleb Should Be On Unheralded List...

Nabil Bentaleb could be as good as Luka Modric, says one Tottenham fan. We also have lots of mails on Chelsea's style as well as Raheem Sterling's price tag...

Brendan Rodgers Deserves Another Season...

"I am not bashing Chelsea, however..." The Mailbox takes aim at Jose Mourinho once again and under-fire Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers "deserves another season".

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company