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

by Hamish Dufton @efchamishdufton

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

Today’s papers offer inspiring reading for Blues fans ahead of the big kick-off as the Independent and the Times choose to feature Roberto Martinez’s quest to close the gap on big-spending rivals.

The pieces centre on why the Blues boss feels his side can compete the likes of neighbours Liverpool despite the difference in resources.

The paper also references the Toffees’ capture of exciting Spanish forward Gerard Deulofeu in an article about Premier League clubs raiding Europe for fresh talent.

Meanwhile in the Daily Telegraph, Michael Owen writes that David Moyes came close to persuading him to sign for Everton.

On the topic of columnists, Steve McManaman includes a snippet about how the Blues will adjust to new management as part of his ‘five most intriguing aspects of the season’ piece.

Jamie Carragher also mentions the Toffees in his new column for the Daily Mail.

That paper also boasts former Blue Martin Keown as a contributor, and he has his say on Martinez’s appointment, and claims the Spaniard has the perfect wing-backs in Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman.

The Times has Tony Cascarino looking at every Premier League club and he sees the signing of Arouna Kone as a vital one.

The Daily Star, the Sun and the Mirror all feature a piece on Ross Barkley and details how the Blues' youngster has impressed in pre-season and has won the backing of his manager.

The Daily Express has it that Everton will look to snap up Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry on loan, a story echoed by the Times, and the Daily Mail, who also link us with Granada left-back Guilerme Sequeira.

Leighton Baines also makes the Times’ ‘three of the best’ list, alongside Gary Cahill and Thomas Vermaelen.

In the locals, the Echo carries a story with Barry Horne explaining why he thinks Everton can be challenging for a Champions League spot.

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