A couple of weeks ago, Everton saw their unbeaten start to the English Premier League come crashing down courtesy a 3-1 loss to Manchester City. On Saturday, the Toffees will want to put that result behind them when they host Hull City at the fortress that is Goodison Park.
Romelu Lukaku will be the main man for Everton
After drawing their first three games of the season, Everton went on an impressive three-match winning streak, which came to an end at the Etihad. And a win against Hull is far from a foregone conclusion, what with the Tigers making a brilliant start to life in the Premier League.
Hull are currently only a point behind Everton, who lie seventh with 12 points from seven matches. "We will need to be very good -- there's no two ways about it," Martinez told to evertontv when asked about the Hull game.
"Hull City are not just a team that were promoted last season and they have gone to the next level with the additions that arrived in the summer. They added a lot to a team that tactically is very flexible and they have been able to play in different a formation which is a real strength of theirs.
"They are playing with a confident outlook and that means that they are tough opposition. They are going to come to Goodison knowing they can get a positive result and we will have to be prepared for that. We will go a little bit further than seeing a newly promoted team coming to Goodison."
Everton are so far unbeaten at Goodison with two wins and a draw, including an impressive 1-0 result over Chelsea, which started that three-match winning run.
Martinez will, of course be wary of the threat that Hull possess, but irrespective will be confident of picking up all three points and pushing themselves up the table towards the leaders.
Team News: Steven Pienaar is back in training but the Hull City match comes a little too early for the South African midfielder. Antolin Alcaraz remains out with Apostolos Velios also sidelined after picking up an injury on international duty with Greece U-21s. Darron Gibson could possibly miss the entire season after rupturing his ACL, even though Martinez is hopeful the midfielder can return at some point before the end of this campaign.
"It was a real disappointment," Martinez said. "I was watching the game and it was a real innocuous challenge. With the scans, the ACL is ruptured, but the knee reacted well and nothing else is damaged. The whole structure of the knee is perfectly fine. We look forward to seeing Darron back, hopefully this season."
Steve Bruce welcomes back Robbie Brady to his Hull side with the Republic of Ireland international returning to training on Thursday, after undergoing an hernia operation.
Key men: Everton: Romelu Lukaku has been firing in goals left, right and centre and the Hull defence will have their hands full with the powerful striker.
Hull City: Former Tottenham duo Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone could be influential in helping Hull unlock that Everton defence and handing the Toffees their first home loss since December 2012.
Where to watch
The game is scheduled for a 7.30 p.m. (IST) start with no live telecast. You can catch the match live online by clicking the official link HERE.
Expected lineups: Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Osman, Barry; Naismith, Barkley, Mirallas; Lukaku.
Hull: McGregor; Elmohamady, Bruce, Davies, Figueroa; Quinn, Huddlestone, Livermore, Brady; Aluko, Graham.
Prediction: 2-1 to Everton
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