EVERTON VS TOTTENHAM - MATCH PREVIEW
When it comes to the Premier League’s usual offerings for Friday night football, it is mainly reserved for those clubs within the middle bracket of the table, as these are games that usually have little on the line.
However, the same cannot be said for this evening’s television pick and with Everton playing host to Tottenham at Goodison Park, the result will have serious ramifications for both clubs’ ailing European hopes.
Defeat for either would surely mean any faint hopes of a top four finish would have dissipated once and for all (that is if they have not already) and a draw may end up being the worst possible result in the context of the race for a Champions League place.
Quite simply, neither team can afford to drop any more points and if they are to somehow catapult themselves into a Champions League paying position, it may need as much as 21 points from the last 21 on offer.
On paper, either side could manage to achieve such a feat and their most ardent supporters will believe that such an outcome will be achieved. However, Everton and Tottenham are where they are in the Premier League table and for good reason.
That reason being a lack of consistency and when you consider that both clubs managed a spell at the top of the table before Christmas, there has been something of a relative fall from grace on Merseyside and in North London.
For hosts Everton, they had to make do with just a solitary point at Brighton on Monday night and when you consider that they have failed to win any of their last four league outings, it is a team that has hit the skids at just the wrong time.
Just two points from the last 12 on offer means that Carlo Ancelotti’s men start this weekend’s action lying eighth in the table and although they have a game in hand over their nearest rivals, there is a sense that the damage has already been done.
Of course, when it comes to damage, there certainly seems to be some internal strife at Tottenham and with the Carabao Cup finalists failing to win either of their last two league outings, the pressure is beginning to mount on the shoulders of Jose Mourinho.
The former Chelsea manager could soon become the former Tottenham manager, if there is a defeat at Goodison Park and if he fails to mastermind a first trophy win for the club in 13 years, as the Carabao Cup final is nine days away.
There is a feeling that perhaps chairman Daniel Levy is waiting for the outcome of their Manchester City meeting to then pull the trigger and if the final ends up being more akin to a bloodbath, then the search for a new manager will begin in earnest.
However, that is an issue for next week and the best way for Mourinho to help his case is to gain three points at Goodison Park. Whether that can be achieved remains to be seen and this could once again be a night where Tottenham suffer more Premier League frustration.