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What should we expect from Everton the rest of the season?

With the derby behind us we look to see what is ahead.

Everton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Nine matches. That is all that is left before we head into another summer of waiting for blessed Everton to return to the pitch. With nine matches left, we are six points adrift of 7th place, which is likely where we would need to get in order to qualify for Europe, assuming one of the two Manchester clubs wins the FA Cup.

Realistically, given our remaining schedule, that is incredibly unlikely. Seamus Coleman recently spoke vaguely about competing for European places, but honestly that is probably something that will have to wait until next season thanks to a horrific January this season.

Four of our nine remaining matches are against top six sides. Home to Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United, and away to Tottenham Hotspur to end the year. If we’re being honest, any positive results from those four games is a welcome surprise. Chelsea is probably the most vulnerable of the four but all these clubs have more talent than we do and a lot on the line as they jockey for top four places.

The other remaining matches are Newcastle, West Ham United, Fulham, Crystal Palace, and Burnley. Other than West Ham, all these clubs are below us in the table and the Hammers are only one point above. It is these games that will decide how we remember the end of this campaign and shape what we think about our squad and manager going into the summer.

Football being what it is, an odd sport that is prone to results shifting on one or two bad bounces, I think it would be a bit harsh to expect wins in all of these latter group of games. Burnley’s form is better than their place in the table, Crystal Palace boasts a rejuvenated Michy Batshuayi up front, and as long as Rafa Benitez is at the helm a win against Newcastle will never be easy.

It is my opinion that eight points from those five games, with solid performances throughout, would be more than enough for me to feel optimistic about the Marco Silva project going forward. Gather eight from the non Top 6 sides, nick a point or two from the big sides we have at home, and we would be around 45-47 points for the year. It is not what we would have hoped for to start the season, but it would be an end of the season we could build on.

So what about you? How many points do Everton need from their remaining nine matches for you to feel optimistic about the direction the club is going and what do you think will actually happen?