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

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders