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Naismith heads for Emirates with no fear

STEVEN NAISMITH insists Everton have no reason to fear Arsenal in this afternoon's FA Cup quarter-final at the Emirates Stadium because they have already proved they can match the big teams this season.

Although Roberto Martinez's side have lost at Manchester City, Anfield and, less deservedly, Tottenham, they registered an historic win away to Manchester United in December, four days before claiming a 1-1 draw at the ground they return to this afternoon.

Back in London after helping Scotland defeat Poland in Warsaw on Wednesday night, Naismith said of the cup tie: "It is a massive game. You need to beat the big teams if you want to get to finals and win trophies so we are going to work hard.

"It is probably not ideal for the manager that everyone has been away for internationals but it is the same for everyone. We need to come back refreshed and ready and put on a performance like we have done not only at Arsenal before but at a lot of the big teams in away games."

Arsenal suffered an unexpected defeat at Stoke last weekend which was a setback for their title hopes, but Martinez, the Everton manager, does not believe that will have any bearing of today's game.

"There is never a good or bad time to face a top team," he said. "We admire Arsenal immensely for the team they are. They had a disappointing result at the weekend but that does not change anything.

"We need to replicate the level of performance we had at the Emirates earlier in the season."

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