The Premier League season is slowly but surely coming to an end, and at this stage, it’s all about teams finding out where they’re going to wind up in the table. Some will go above and beyond what they could’ve possibly expected or anticipated, whereas others will likely flounder and fall far below what they had set out for themselves at the start of the campaign.
Tomorrow night, Everton and Burnley will attempt to increase their chances of a strong end to the season when they meet at Goodison Park. The two Northern clubs are both in a weird position right now, because they don’t have all too much left to fight for. Burnley’s highest position they can realistically finish in is 12th, but they could also conclude their campaign in 17th. The Toffees, on the other hand, have a better shot at some kind of success with an outside chance of finishing in seventh place. It’d take a lot of luck going in their direction but if they could pull it off, then a Manchester City win in the FA Cup final would see them qualify to the Europa League next season.
It seems unlikely that they’ll be able to do that, but if they want to really make a statement to the likes of Leicester and (most importantly) Wolves that they mean business, they really do need to put in a convincing performance here.
Burnley are a solid side but Everton have proven themselves to be really handy from a defensive point of view as of late. All they need to do is find that one opening in order to take advantage of the tie, and while goals have been at a premium for them lately, that doesn’t mean they don’t have the stars necessary to find the back of the net.
The best part about playing on a Friday for Everton, which is admittedly a weird date for a PL game, is that they’ll be able to sit back and relax this weekend – allowing their nearest rivals to battle it out in an attempt to avoid any potential banana peels. Leicester will face an incredibly tricky game on Monday and Watford could struggle against Chelsea, meaning that most eyes will be on the Wolves game. If they can beat Fulham then it’s going to be game, set and match anyway, but as we all know, Nuno’s men have a tendency to drop points against teams they should probably be beating.
The next step
It’s not like dropped points will be a tragedy or anything like that because the odds are still against them in the long run, but you just know that the bookmakers alone will represent the belief in Everton for this game.
If they lose then it could impact their momentum heading into the summer transfer window, which as we all know, is going to be a really important time for the club as they continue to try and develop their squad.
Long story (not so) short: this is a big game for the Toffees.