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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League


Darron Gibson says it will take a collective team effort if Everton are to limit Gareth Bale’s influence this Sunday afternoon.

Tottenham’s domestic and European charges have been led by the 23-year-old Welshman, who has netted 27 goals for club and country this season.

Bale has never scored against Everton – a statistic Gibson credits largely to the performances of Seamus Coleman in recent meetings.

However, Gibson believes that the responsibility of marshalling the Spurs speed merchant can’t be rested completely on the shoulders of the Everton full-back this coming weekend.

Indeed, Gibson himself could well have to role to play in containing Bale, particularly with Spurs boss Andre-Villas Boas operating the former Southampton man in a more central position this season.

“I think he [Bale] has been unbelievable,” Gibson exclusively told evertontv. “He’s won games for Spurs on his own.

“It’s good for English football and it’s good for Spurs but hopefully he is not good on Sunday against us. I think he is up there with the best in Europe at the minute.”

Seamus Coleman Gareth Bale

Gibson added: “Seamus has dealt with him quite well the last two times he has played against him.

“He’s a great player and I don’t think there is one particular way of stopping him. We’re good as a team defensively and we work hard for each other, so hopefully we will be alright.”

Despite Bale’s headline-grabbing displays, Gibson also warns that Tottenham are much more than a one-man team.

Ten-goal striker Jermain Defoe is set to miss Sunday’s game through injury but Clint Dempsey, who scored in the reverse fixture at Goodison in December, has netted eight times in all competitions, while centre-back Jan Vertonghen has also weighed in with six.

“They’ve got great players in the squad and players coming off the bench as well, so I don’t think we are going to go into the game just focusing on Gareth Bale,” explained Gibson.

“It took them a while to get going but they are in great form at the minute. But if we play the way we have been and the way we did against Manchester City, I think we will do well.”

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