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Playing City prepared Everton for Chelsea - Martinez

Atmosphere could be key

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has said that the lessons learned from the 2-0 loss a couple of weeks earlier against Manchester City will stand the team in good stead against Premier League champions Chelsea tomorrow. The Blues dominated for parts of the game before fading away in the latter part to concede twice.

"I think the first half against Manchester City showed that we were a team who could cope with their attacking threat, then really take control of games as well," he explained. "The only criticism from that day is that we should have scored - and when we did score it was ruled out.

"The Man City game gave us a very good indication in terms of knowing the level we will need to hit, and improve in certain aspects, against Chelsea."

The defending champions under Jose Mourinho have had an indifferent start to the season, including an ignominious loss at home to Crystal Palace leading up to the international break. Still, with the quality the London side possesses, Everton will have a challenging time against a team they have beaten only four times in the last 36 games they have played.

"Facing Chelsea is going to be a really good challenge. We knew the start of the season was going to be very tough, with really difficult opponents in the first 10 fixtures.

"I felt that Chelsea were by far the best team in the division last season, so it's a great test for us to have that focus and concentration - and we know Goodison Park will be ready for a big occasion."

Tomorrow's lunchtime kickoff at Goodison Park is also a chance for the fans to show their unwavering support for the side. Everton had made the stadium a fortress in the seasons past but it has been a toxic place to play in recent times after some poor performances last season. Martinez called on the fans to be at their vocal best tomorrow.

"We are looking forward to facing Chelsea and testing ourselves with the support of our crowd and getting Goodison behind us because when we feel that when that happens we can compete with anyone.

"It's an early kick-off which always brings a very different atmosphere, but we've had very good moments with early kick-offs and last season against Manchester United was a real example of that.

"We'll have to be at our very best but I do feel that when Goodison is at its best we can perform at a very good level and that's what we are looking forward to doing.

"The opposition that we've been facing have been really strong but I think the performances have been giving us a real sense of confidence that if we get our crowd behind us we can perform against anyone."

Regarding the John Stones controversy and the bad blood between fans of the two clubs, Martinez was asked if he would ignore Jose Mourinho, and his response was it would be business as usual.

"Of course I will (shake his hand), yes.

"I am against the window being open once the season has started and clubs being able to put in bids when the competition is on. I am not against clubs being interested in our players. I understand [Mourinho's interest] 100%.

"But you cannot come out and comment about another player of another club because the Premier League rules do not allow you to do it. We're adult enough to understand why it happened - it can put a little bit more pressure. It's not accepted by the Premier League rules but it is something that happens.

"That's why I think it's important that when the transfer window is open and you get these kind of situations, it shouldn't affect the preparation for a game."