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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Manager Roberto Martinez believes Everton's Premier League rivals will sit up and take note if they can condemn high-flying Tottenham to defeat this weekend.

The Londoners head to Merseyside sitting fourth in the Barclays Premier League table, having suffered just two defeats in 16 games in all competitions this term.

And though Andre Villas-Boas' men are still coming to terms with the loss of star man Gareth Bale, Martinez believes a prolific summer recruitment drive means the White Hart Lane outfit are as strong as ever.

"If we can win, I'm sure it sends out a message," said Martinez on Friday. "But there's also a message internally; that you gain that confidence and belief in what you are doing.

"I don't think any team in the Premier League will give you a bigger test than Spurs this season. Gareth Bale was a phenomenal player for Spurs, there's no two ways about it. But when you replace that with seven or eight players, you're going to be in a stronger position because you don't rely on that player. And you're talking about players with top potential in world football.

"As a top four club, sometimes you are outstanding at something. I think Spurs are developing to be outstanding at everything.

"If you look at the players they have, they can keep the ball, they can start the play and build up play patiently, they've got really good pace in wide areas and on the counter attack, they've got goals up front and they can finish games stronger than they started because of the players they have at their disposal on the bench.

"This Spurs side can become something special but that's why we're looking forward to the challenge - because we feel that we are ready to face whatever we have got in front of us at Goodison."

Though keen not to underestimate the size of the task at hand, Martinez also knows Everton have won each of their last three home games against Tottenham and not suffered a Goodison defeat to the North London outfit since February 2007.

And key to maintaining that run, he feels, will be concentration in the final third.

"Tactically, with such a high line, they [Tottenham] condense the spaces really well so we need to be very, very good in our decision making when we are in possession.

"I think it's fair to say we will get on the ball, we will have our chunks of possession, it's just about how we're going to use them.

"I do feel that the environment that is created at Goodison is as positive as you can get as a home team and we want to use that to our advantage.

"Spurs are a team who travel really well - probably this season they've been travelling better than playing at home - and that's an exciting prospect to try to overcome."

Don't miss out on the action! Tickets for Sunday's game are still available. To buy, click here or call 0871 663 1878*.

Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office at Goodison Park, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.

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