Everton latest: Arsenal and Chelsea eyeing young Toffees defender

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Everton moved in to the top four on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Sunderland, as a Wes Brown own goal gave the Toffees a hard-fought victory. With Arsenal in FA Cup action, Roberto Martinez's side took full advantage of their game in hand, and now face Crystal Palace on Wednesday, with Martinez saying they will need to be on top form to beat Tony Pulis' men.

"It's going to be a really difficult game and we need to be well rested and well prepared," the former Wigan boss said. "And we need [the fans'] support, because Crystal Palace are one of the toughest sides in the division in terms of their defensive focus and how good they are in their defensive intensity."

The win against Sunderland was by no means the prettiest of the season from Martinez's men, who are known for playing attractive football, and goalkeeper Tim Howard says it was a good sign that they can grind out results rather than just win with style on a weekly basis.

"You don't mind it being a bit scrappy every now and then because you almost want the confirmation that we've got it in us," Howard said.

"We know we can play good football but we never want to get away from that Everton fighting spirit, that ability to dig in. Games like this remind us that's still in us which is important."

Meanwhile, the impressive displays of defender John Stones have reportedly attracted interest from Arsenal and Chelsea. The young centre back has been deputising for Phil Jagielka for almost two months, and with such superb performances, the former Barnsley man is being tipped to make a late push for Roy Hodgson's England squad for the World Cup this summer - but it's believed that the Toffees would rebuff any approach for Stones.

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