(REUTERS) - Everton can send out a message that there is more than one team on Merseyside capable of challenging at the top of the Premier League if they beat Tottenham tomorrow.
Across Stanley Park, Liverpool's flying start to the season has caught the eye but Everton, under new manager Roberto Martinez, has been only marginally less impressive.
Everton are sixth, two points behind second-placed Liverpool and four off leaders Arsenal. They have coped with the sale of midfielder Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United with ease and in Romelu Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, they boast one of the most lethal strikers.
Tottenham are one point better off in fourth spot.
"If we can win, I'm sure it sends out a message," Martinez said yesterday.
"This Spurs side can become something special but that's why we're looking forward to the challenge - because we feel that we are ready to face whatever we have got in front of us at Goodison," he added.
"I do feel that the environment that is created at Goodison is as positive as you can get as a home team and we want to use that to our advantage."
Despite losing Welsh forward Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Martinez said the squad Andre Villas-Boas has put together at White Hart Lane is as good as any in England.
"Gareth Bale was a phenomenal player for Spurs, there's no two ways about it," he said. "But when you replace that with seven or eight players, you're going to be in a stronger position because you don't rely on that player."