The catch-22 of Everton's hosting of Manchester City is not lost on Roberto Martinez, but he insisted they will be doing everything to win.
The Europe-chasing Everton can pave the way for bitter rivals Liverpool to win an elusive Premier League title by taking points away from City, who are in the box seat to win their second premiership in three years.
Anything but a victory for Martinez's Everton would rule them out of UEFA Champions League contention, although an Arsenal win over West Bromwich Albion on Sunday would end Everton's hopes regardless.
Four points separates Arsenal (fourth) from Everton, with the latter not yet assured of a UEFA Europa League spot, with Tottenham lurking three points back in sixth.
And Martinez said their own predicament is exactly what the club is worried about, not Liverpool's, as they look to bounce back from a poor 2-0 loss to Southampton at their last start.
"Liverpool can rest assured Goodison will be the toughest place for City to travel this season, that is for sure. This game is vital for us – we need the points," Martinez said.
"I am not insulted by the suggestion we will lie down, no. I just think it's more football rivalry, a bit of banter, which I can understand.
"I would be more hurt or insulted if we had nothing to play for. But we have too much to fight for. Fans have been saying, 'If we win, great. If we lose, it's not a problem'.
"But I don't think anyone at Everton would want their team to lose. We need one point to guarantee European qualification and want six points because the Champions League is still open. For us, it means everything to win this game."
Martinez understands the passion the fans have for the game, and the lack of love they have for their neighbours - recalling a timely anecdote involving this season's UEFA Champions League finalists Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
"We played Atletico Madrid, who needed Real Madrid to win away at Tenerife for Atletico to get into Europe automatically. Madrid needed a victory to win the league," Martinez said, referring to the end of the 1992-93 La Liga season.
"But Madrid were losing and the Atletico crowd was going crazy, even though that meant they were not guaranteed Europe. I couldn't figure that one out.
"The line they used after the game was, 'We would rather lose one eye as long as the neighbours lose two.'"
However, Martinez pointed out that when he took his Wigan side to Stoke at the end of the 2010-11 campaign needing a win and the latter with 'nothing to play for', he was taken aback.
"We had to win that last game, and I thought they (Stoke) might be half-hearted because they had nothing to play for," he said.
"But they were going mad. Tony Pulis wanted to finish in the top 10. I'd never seen anything like it, but that is the British game and I love it. We should never lose that."
|Coach: Roberto Martínez|
for P. Jagielka 66'
for L. Osman 83'
|Levante 2 Eibar 1: Comeback pulls hosts out of bottom three|
|Stuttgart 0 Hertha Berlin 0: Strugglers share the spoils|
|Toulouse 1 Marseille 6: Six of the best for Bielsa´s men|
|Fulham 1 Bournemouth 5: Howe´s men reclaim top spot in style|
|Willem II 2 Twente 2: Visitors come from behind to draw|
|Hanson expects fired-up Reading in quarter-final|
|Five Kano Pillars players wounded by gunmen|
|Kane and Austin could play together for England - Pochettino|
|Giggs refutes claims of Van Gaal spat|
|Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano: Jemez piles pressure on hosts|
|Gomez sidelined for two weeks|
|Evans to discover fate on Saturday after denying FA charge|
|Lens fixture will be good for Ibra, says Blanc|
|Knee surgery leaves Kessler´s World Cup hopes in jeopardy|
|Souleymane S rejects Chelsea offer to visit Stamford Bridge|
|Atletico Madrid v Valencia: In-form visitors out to overtake champions|
|Guardiola wants further improvement in attack|
|Basile: Messi does not need World Cup win|
|Liverpool v Blackburn Rovers: Rodgers calls for calm amid Henderson hype|
|Rodgers: Scrap Wembley semi-finals|
|Inzaghi rubbishes Tassotti talk|
|Adebayor not training with youth team, says Pochettino|
|Ancelotti plays down Danilo rumours|
|Wenger hits back at Scholes´ Ozil criticism|
|Aulas: Lacazette departure simply impossible|
|Qatar have sympathy for Euro clubs over World Cup switch|
|Blatter calls for more women on FIFA ExCo|
|Napoli v Inter: Benitez hails team spirit|
|Walters: Spit at me and you´ll eat through a straw|
|Pulis unperturbed by Sherwood comments|
|Abdennour extends Monaco contract|
|Parma reach agreement with stewards ahead of Atalanta game|
|Forecast good for Bradford´s Liddle|
|´Ibrahimovic only interested in winning´ - Raiola brushes off Cavani rumours|
|Rodgers helping Balotelli grow - Raiola|
|Newcastle Jets 0 Sydney 1: Janko´s red-hot run goes on|
|Ramsey not out to prove a point against Tottenham|
|Inter must win Europa League - Felipe|
|Gabriel sidelined by hamstring injury|
|I was overwhelmed by price tag - Ideye|
|Kaka excited about MLS debut|
|Ramsey appointment ´important´ for black issues in football - Rose|
|´Unbelievable´ Henderson at another level - Lallana|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Universidad Chile open account, Juan Aurich win|
|Herediano 2 Olimpia 0 (agg 3-1): Hosts through to semis|
|Kane no guarantee for England squad - Hodgson|
|Hart: Kompany will come back better than ever|
|Salah ´on fire´ - Montella|
|Fiorentina deserved to win - Allegri|
|Dunga: Neymar likes a challenge|
|Central Coast Mariners sack Moss|
|Tottenham heading to Sydney in May|
|Gomis collapse ´very difficult´ on Muamba|
|Sporting KC confirm interest in Van der Vaart|
|Coupe de France Review: Guingamp leave it late, Auxerre win on penalties|
|Juventus 1 Fiorentina 2: Salah double hands visitors advantage|
|New Cardiff badge to ditch Welsh dragon for ´oriental dragon´|
|Reid contract a ´real statement´ from West Ham, says Nelsen|
|BREAKING NEWS: Cisse accepts FA charge over spitting|
|Van Gaal fumes at suggestion of poor relationship with Giggs|
|Evans and Cisse charged over spitting|
|Cellino ban extended after settlement with Football League|
|Podolski could return to Arsenal, says agent|
|Van Gaal continues to stand by Evans|
|Sherwood wants blood and thunder FA Cup tie|
|QPR v Tottenham: Sandro targets early goals|
|Bradford City v Reading: Parkinson calls for best performance of the season|
|Aston Villa v West Brom: Sherwood expects repeat performance|
|Cisse apologises for spitting incident|
|Parkinson relishing Reading reunion|
|Suarez set for Anfield return|
|Toulouse deny Casanova replacement rumours|
|Reus remains a doubt for Hamburg clash|
|Evans denies spitting at Cisse|
|Robinho recalled to Brazil squad|
|Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid: Ancelotti wants reaction|
|Milan v Verona: Hosts seek response|
|Hamburg v Borussia Dortmund: Resurgent visitors face bogey team|
|Lacazette: Lyon may sell for right price|
|Hannover v Bayern Munich: Champions prepared for battle|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Lens: David Luiz calls for focus|
|Cisse appointed Senegal coach|
|Bundesliga Preview: Immobile out to impress as Dortmund target top half|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Lyon aim to bounce back, PSG ready to pounce|
|La Liga Preview: Simeone looks to Torres, Real seek response|
|League Two Preview: Ainsworth keen to take pressure off, Burton seek return to winning ways|
|Busquets to miss Rayo clash|
|Championship Preview: Watford out for three wins in a week|
|League One Preview: Freeman issues rallying call to leaders|
|Gutierrez return lifted St James´ Park - Carver|
|Balotelli: ´Someone doesn´t like me´|
|Poyet charged by FA after Bruce spat|
|Sanchez resilience delights Wenger|
|Blanc brushes off PSG treble talk|
|Toure, Bony struggling with AFCON fatigue, claims Pellegrini|
|Gomis offers assurances over health|
|Emre can become world-class - Rodgers|
|Reid signs new West Ham deal|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: America, Alajuelense advance|
|Magath open to Rangers role|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Corinthians preserve perfect record|
|MLS and players union reach agreement|
|Wenger hails Giroud´s mental strength|
|We didn´t give Espanyol a chance - Valverde|
|Benteke eyeing FA Cup glory|
|Serie A Preview: Inzaghi under pressure, Roma eye win|
|Sturridge: ´I am ready to play every game´|
|Luis Enrique coy on Busquets injury|
|Dyche realistic after Anfield loss|
|Matuidi sets sights on PSG quadruple|
|Championship Review: Wigan boost survival hopes, Blackpool´s misery continues|
|DFB-Pokal Review: Bayern through, Bremen upset|
|Hughes: Stoke evolution is ahead of schedule|
|Allardyce: Big calls went against West Ham|
|Van Gaal defends Evans amid spitting furore|
|Pearson calls for video technology after City snubs|
|Rodgers hails Henderson impact|
|Pochettino proud of Tottenham response|
|Kluivert appointed Curacao coach|
|´Devastated´ Carver slams referee for penalty gaffe|
|Hero Hazard thrills Mourinho|
|Benitez praises Napoli ´intensity´|
|Mourinho laughs off bizarre Matic injury|
|Gutierrez grateful for reception after beating cancer|
|Pellegrini explains Kompany omission|
|Guardiola underlines respect for beaten Braunschweig|
|Second-half display pleases Wenger as Arsenal maintain top-three place|
|Martinez wants united front at struggling Everton|