Everton vs Arsenal: Roberto Martinez excited to test his team against Arsenal

The sides meet in the late game on Saturday afternoon

Everton boss Roberto Martinez expects his summer's work to be put to the test as Arsenal visit Goodison Park this weekend.

Martinez's side, who finished fifth in the Barclays Premier League last season, opened their new campaign with a 2-2 draw at Leicester last weekend.

Although frustrated to be held to a point, Martinez was pleased with many aspects of the performance and is encouraged for the year ahead.

But he accepts that FA Cup winners Arsenal, who are hoping to mount a stronger title challenge this season, will provide a greater yardstick for his side's position.

The intensity will not drop next week either, with Chelsea travelling to the blue half of Merseyside.

Martinez said: "You need to face this sort of opposition.

"What we saw last weekend is that we are really fluid in possession. The thing we need to change is that mentality to keep going forward and keep scoring goals. We didn't get that cushion that could have given us three points.

"But if you look at the positives of the first half - I am really excited looking at this game.

"It is true that until you play against sides like Arsenal and Chelsea you don't have the answers on the pitch.

"As a team we are ready. I feel pre-season was perfect, a real success.

"Now we have to make sure we are as strong a team as we can be. You can only see that when you face opposition like we are going to face at the weekend."

 

With a month of last season remaining, Everton sat above Arsenal in fourth place but they faltered and eventually finished seven points behind the Gunners.

This term they hope to sustain a longer challenge for a Champions League spot but Martinez expects the competition to be tighter.

He said: "The league is going to be a lot more open than people think.

"I see five teams with equal chances of winning the title and I think it is going to go come down to small margins. I expect this competition to be the tightest we have ever seen."

Arsenal were involved in midweek action having travelled to Turkey for a Champions League play-off against Besiktas.

Martinez does not think that will affect the Gunners negatively and, having also played in the Community Shield, they may even boast greater match-fitness.

He said: "They have got a big enough squad and the mentality to cope.

"It can be a positive as you can get rid of that rustiness and into a competitive frame of mind straight away.

"Clearly when you are involved in such an important game like in Turkey you see them reaching full levels very quickly and that could be a negative for us.

"It is going to rely heavily on how well we can play."

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world