Everton manager Marco Silva has said that his team need to play without fear in their game against Manchester United on Sunday if they are to get a result.
Since the beginning of the 2008/09 campaign, Everton have played 61 matches against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Sunday's opponents Manchester United – picking up just five wins in those games, and suffering 34 defeats.
As quoted in the Daily Mail, Silva said: "To be able to win one game at Old Trafford or at one of the other strong sides in the country you have to be strong as a squad. You have to have the personality and the character to not fear and to be yourselves."
In fact Everton's last win against the 'top four' actually came in a win at Old Trafford in 2013. On that day the Toffees had a late Bryan Oviedo strike to thank for the victory.
Interestingly enough the only current Premier League team with a worse record against the top six is Silva's former team Watford. Silva himself has a record of one win and nine defeats against the traditional 'big six' in the top flight.
The Toffees have won three of their last four matches and enter the game with a subdued optimism that this may be the best chance to transform their torrid record, as Manchester United enter the game in poor form.
Everton fans will likely welcome their manager's comments, as for far too many years previous managers have entered these games with a defensive mindset.