Next Match:

Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

'No New Injury Concerns'

by Scott McLeod @efc_scottmcleod

Roberto Martinez has confirmed he only has four absentees from his squad for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

The long-term injured trio of Bryan Oviedo, Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone and the ineligible Romelu Lukaku are the players unavailable to the Goodison boss for the clash with Chelsea.

Steven Naismith has been given the all-clear to figure in the squad after coming off injured against Swansea City in last week's FA Cup tie, whilst the manager also confirmed Lukaku has been training well and would have been in contention to figure this weekend had he not been unavailable to play against his parent club.

He told "We have our three long-term absentees. Romelu Lukaku has shown good signs and is working well. Obviously, he can't play this weekend, but he is training well. Everyone is fit other than the three long-term absentees."

Martinez is excited at the prospect of pitting his wits against a top-four side for the last time on the road in the Premier League this term.

He added: "The game we have at the weekend is going to tell us a lot about our aspirations. It is only when you are competing against sides that are in the Champions League that you get an idea of how far we need to go.

"From the outside Chelsea look a team capable of competing for the title in the same way that Arsenal and Manchester City have strong arguments for winning the title. Now it is the stage of the season where people can talk about their aims.

"We are looking forward to the game. We know it is one of the hardest places to go and get three points and it will be a good measure of where we are.

"We are in a position now where we want to win every game we go into and we need to aim high. We have 13 games and the margins are very small. The points difference between us and the top four means it is still an achievable aim and we will give everything we've got.

"Chelsea have got terrific home form and a remarkable record over the years with this manager. But we know we can go anywhere in the league and play well.

"The focus is on what we can do and trying to perform even better in difficult places. If you go to the top four clubs you need to find a way to perform and be yourselves. We've done that and the next stage is making sure we get the results our performances merit. This is the last away game where we have the opportunity to measure ourselves against that level."

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