Baines remains bullish

Toffees defender looking forward to Benfica test

Baines: In confident mood

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Leighton Baines insists Everton are capable of overcoming Benfica, even with a severely depleted side.

The Toffees' preparations for Thursday's Europa League clash at Estadio da Luz have been blitzed by an ever-lengthening injury list.

Joseph Yobo and Leon Osman are the latest to pick up knocks, ruling them out of the glamour fixture in Lisbon.

Steven Pienaar, Phil Neville, Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagileka, Victor Anichebe and James Vaughan will also be missing as they nurse their way back to full fitness.

As if that was not bad enough, David Moyes will also be without the services of summer signings Lucas Neill and John Heitinga as they are ineligible for continental competition.

Baines, though, claims Everton revel in the face of adversity and is backing the Merseysiders to overcome their problems on Portuguese soil.


"We have been in this situation before of missing key players, played a lot of big games without them and got a lot of success," said the full-back.

"It is something we have faced in the past and it does speak volumes about the character of the players we have. We do help each other. We also have a lot of good players."

Everton have made a flying start to their European adventure this term, taking maximum points from their opening two games in Group I, and Baines is hoping they can maintain that momentum in their latest outing.

"Obviously it was important to get off to a strong start and we have managed to do that," he said.

"With six points on the board we have given ourselves a chance to build on that now.

"This is a special stadium and a famous club. It is a big occasion for us to step out there in front of all our travelling fans. Hopefully we can produce the goods."