KICK OFF: Friday 16th April 2021, 8PMEmbed from Getty Images
A huge game between two sides battling it out for a Champions League place come the end of the season. Both Everton and Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to give their hopes of finishing in the top four a welcome boost when they meet at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Friday night.
Everton are currently eighth in the table, seven points behind fourth-placed West Ham United, while Tottenham occupy seventh position, six points off their London rivals.
For long periods of this campaign, Everton have been very much in the top-four picture, but a disappointing run of form especially at home has seen Carlo Ancelotti’s side lose precious ground in the race for a Champions League place.
A run of four games without a victory, since their win at relegation candidates West Brom – picking up just two points in the process – has left them down in eighth position, seven points behind West Ham and with much work to do if they are to close the gap.
Ancelotti’s side have suffered back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and Burnley towards the start of March and have been frustratingly held by Crystal Palace and Brighton in their last two encounters. They have only one victory to their name at Goodison Park in this calendar year, when they beat Southampton at the beginning of March.
The Merseyside giants will view their next two games against Tottenham and Arsenal as pivotal to their aspirations of claiming a European place, and a top-four place could still be possible if they manage to pick up maximum points from their next two fixtures against both North London clubs.
Tottenham meanwhile also head into this game in disappointing form, having only won one of their last four in the Premier League and will enter this match off the back of a 3-1 capitulation to Manchester United on last weekend.Embed from Getty Images
Spurs will face Manchester City in the EFL Cup final on April 25, but were disappointingly knocked out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb last month, which leaves their only chance of making the Champions League next season hinging on their Premier League form in these last seven fixtures.
The pressure is on Mourinho to deliver. A defeat here will see his side drop down to eighth if they lose this match, and have already suffered two defeats to Everton this season, losing 1-0 at home to them in September in the league and in a thrilling encounter in the FA Cup at Goodison Park losing 5-4.
Tottenham have only won once of their last five encounters with Everton, while they have dropped points in nine of their 16 away league matches this term.
PREMIER LEAGUE FORM (Last Six):
Tottenham Hotspur: WWLWDL
Ancelotti’s injury headache could ease come Friday night with Allan, Andre Gomes, top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jordan Pickford all in contention to make their returns, at least to the matchday squad.
Bernard, Jean Philippe Gbamin, Fabian Delph and Abdoulaye Doucoure are all long-term absentees, while Yerry Mina is now facing “a few weeks” on the sidelines with an adductor issue suffered in the 0-0 draw with Brighton.
As for Spurs, full backs Ben Davies and Matt Doherty are both still unavailable for selection through injury.
Though, it is good news for Mourinho with no new fresh injury concerns ahead of their crucial encounter with Everton on Friday.
Everton: Olsen; Holgate, Godfrey, Keane; Coleman, Davies, Sigurdsson, Digne; Rodriguez, Richarlison, Iwobi
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Ndombele; Bale, Lucas, Son; Kane
SCORE PREDICTION: Everton 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
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