Everton v Liverpool: Roberto Martinez confident Everton can cope with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge

The sides meet in the early kick-off on Saturday

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is confident his team can deal with Liverpool's fearsome forward pairing.

Strike duo Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge head into this weekend's Merseyside derby at Goodison Park having scored 18 goals between them in all competitions.

Martinez is well aware of the danger they pose but is concerned mainly about getting his own side's approach right rather than formulating a specific plan to nullify them.

The Spaniard said: "They have had a very good start to the season, they are very influential in their team.

"From that partnership up front, they have got a real goalscoring threat.

"You do see why Liverpool have been successful this season, it is not an accident. I do feel they are a strong side.

"But as a team, you are always used to coping with threats of the opposition.

"Not long ago we had a very good team full of individuals here - Spurs - and we dealt with them really well.

"It is more about what we can do and how we can perform in the derby rather than being worried about what the opposition can bring."

Everton's current strength appears to be their defence, which has not conceded in their last three outings.

On the downside they have not scored in their last two matches either - goalless draws against Tottenham and Crystal Palace - but Martinez is not overly concerned about that.

He said: "We haven't been scoring goals due to certain aspects that we need to work on but the way we have been getting in the final third has been fantastic. That is where the excitement comes.

"We are very close to getting into a position where we can control games and score goals at the end of it.

"We see it as a normal process we need to get through rather than something that is lacking."

Both Merseyside clubs have started the season well with the Reds just two points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal after 11 games and Everton three points further back.

Because of that Martinez knows there is more than local bragging rights at stake in the 221st clash between the neighbouring clubs, particularly when the weekend's other fixtures are taken into account.

Elsewhere Arsenal host third-placed Southampton and Manchester City, eighth, taken on Spurs, seventh.

Martinez said: "This could be a very significant game. There are other clashes between teams in the top seven and that makes it a very interesting weekend.

"It makes it an opportunity we want to take. We want to get away from the feeling of just fighting for the Merseyside rights.

"It goes a little bit further than that and making sure it is a strong start to the season."

Martinez will be experiencing the intensity of the derby for the first time and, because of the emotion surrounding the fixture, he does not anticipate having difficulty motivating his players.

Indeed, having had little time to work with his squad this week due to internationals, he sees holding players back as one of his tasks.

He said: "It is difficult in international week to have a normal week preparing for a big game but I think we are used to it. It is not a one-off situation.

"But maybe it is easier to prepare for a derby after the international break than any other game because the players come back fully focused.

"Even when on international duty they start thinking about the game. They know the derby is around the corner.

"I have realised after five months at the club how much this fixture means to the fans. I am well aware.

"But the important aspect from our point of view is to make sure we are ourselves in the game - we don't get affected by the occasion, we don't play the derby, we play the game and we realise that the three points are important enough to be concentrating on, and that will look after the whole occasion by itself."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?