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There's only thing on the mind of all Evertonians this week - the Merseyside derby. Everton travel across Stanley Park to face their city rivals Liverpool on Saturday lunch time, and manager Roberto Martinez is hoping for a better result after two successive defeats to Crystal Palace and Swansea City - especially given that it's 15 years since the Toffees won at Anfield.
"The game is going to be really exciting. I think it’s going to be one of the best derbies – the last two were very good from a technical point of view and very good football games, but I think this one is building up towards being a very good game. The defeat against Crystal Palace, there was something spooky about it. The last time we beat Liverpool at Anfield was September 27 so I hope the spookiness carries on at the weekend.”
Their chances of claiming that elusive win have been dented by injuries though, with Martinez still unsure whether Steven Pienaar and Seamus Coleman will take part in the fixture, though Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson are available after starting the midweek game against Swansea City.
"Steven [Pienaar] is recovering really well and we are going to assess him over the next few days, it's the same with Seamus [Coleman]. Both are in the same situation where it is too early to tell if they are going to be fit for the weekend. I consider Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson fully fit after getting through the game on Tuesday."
Midfielder Leon Osman has been with the club since he was 16, meaning this fixture will mean a lot to the 33-year-old. Whilst he may not be guaranteed of a place in the team after a disappointing display against Crystal Palace remains to be seen, but Osman is determined to hand the Everton fans a win this weekend.
"They are certainly exciting games and they haven’t lost anything in that sense over the years. It’s well documented that we have not won at Anfield for a number of years now. That’s something we are hoping to put right and this is the next one we can get our teeth into," said Osman.
"This is the Merseyside derby and where it’s the old cliché that the form goes out of the window. Neither team is going into the game with the exact form they are working towards and that should make for an interesting game on Saturday. We go there confident that we can win the game each year and that will be the case again on Saturday."