By Tony Jimenez
ROBERTO Martinez’s improving Everton, buoyed after landing their first victory at Manchester United for 21 years, will try to end another long barren run when they visit Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday (6pm).
Everton have not won at the north London club since Andrei Kanchelskis scored the winner in a 2-1 triumph in January 1996 and the odds are again stacked against the visitors this weekend.
Arsenal are four points clear of second-placed Chelsea, having not lost at the Emirates in the league since they were surprisingly beaten by Aston Villa on the opening day of the season.
“In football you need to go through disappointments, bide your time and wait for an opportunity,” Martinez told reporters after a late goal by deputy left back Bryan Oviedo secured a surprise 1-0 victory at champions United on Wednesday.
“There is a real sense of pride because we came here with a real determination to be ourselves and I think we did that.”
Oviedo, who also struck in fifth-placed Everton’s 4-0 rout of Stoke City last Saturday, is only in the side because of an injury to England fullback Leighton Baines.
“It’s been frustrating for him but he has shown he’s ready and taken the opportunity to help the team,” Martinez added.
“He has brought two goals in two games but more importantly he’s shown defensive concentration in those games too. He’s a real example.”
Jose Mourinho hailed Chelsea’s best awayday of the season after a thrilling 4-3 victory at bottom club Sunderland on Wednesday and the manager will hope for a repeat effort at Stoke City on Saturday (5pm).
Belgian winger Eden Hazard gave a scintillating performance, scoring twice for the 2012 European champions and also laying on a goal for vice-captain Frank Lampard.
“Hazard was unplayable,” said Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet. “I don’t remember a player performing at this level against me as a manager.
“We tried everything. We needed another football,” said the former Chelsea midfielder.
Mourinho’s men come up against another former Stamford Bridge favourite at the weekend in Stoke manager Mark Hughes.
Hughes made an encouraging start after taking over from Tony Pulis in the close season but Stoke have struggled in recent weeks and need a win on Saturday to ease mounting relegation worries.
Third-placed Manchester City will be looking for revenge on Saturday (5pm) after producing one of their worst displays of last season at Southampton.
City were shambolic in defence as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the south coast club but Manuel Pellegrini’s team have been electric up front in recent weeks and could be meeting Southampton at just the right time.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side lost 3-1 at Chelsea last Saturday before going down 3-2 at home to Aston Villa four days later.
Luis Suarez will aim to continue his midweek scoring exploits when fourth-placed Liverpool entertain West Ham United at Anfield (5pm).
The Uruguayan netted four times in a 5-1 thrashing of Norwich City on Wednesday to go top of the league scoring charts with 13 goals.
Champions United, down in ninth position following their defeat by Everton, host Newcastle in Saturday’s early kick-off (2.45pm) while sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur travel to Sunderland (7.30pm).
The other games on Saturday feature Norwich travelling to West Bromwich Albion (5pm) and Cardiff City visiting Crystal Palace (5pm).
Third from bottom Fulham entertain Aston Villa on Sunday (3.30pm) while Swansea City host Hull City on Monday (10pm).