Everton have seven games left to complete in the 2019-20 Premier League season, and will play all those games in 26 days, which is less than an average of four days between fixtures.
As of this weekend with all teams having played 31 times this season, Everton sit in twelfth place with seventh place Tottenham Hotspur tantalizingly close just four points ahead.
Of the Toffees seven remaining opponents, four of them have already beaten the Blues, and four of those teams are also in the running for European spots, something Everton themselves are also in the hunt for. From a difficulty of schedule standpoint, calculated based on table position, Everton have the sixth easiest fixture list ahead of them.
The Blues have this weekend off with FA Cup games scheduled, but their next pair of games are not only two of the toughest left, but will go a long way towards deciding whether Everton will continue to scrap for midtable notoriety or become serious contenders for a Europa League berth.
Next Wednesday July 1st Everton host Leicester City, who play today against Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter finals. The Foxes currently sit in third place, pretty much out of touch of Manchester City who should finish runners-up to Premier League champions Liverpool. However, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea are nipping at their heels just a point behind and the two teams should have the two remaining Champions League spots sewn up between them.
Five days later the Blues travel to North London to take on Tottenham, who will have had one less day of rest having played on Thursday 2nd at Sheffield United - both sides are currently neck-and-neck, with Spurs in 7th with 45 points and the Blades in 8th with 44.
The absolute best case scenario for Everton would be two wins, and if results elsewhere go the Blues’ way in that time, the Toffees could be sitting in seventh place after the completion of gameweek 32 and in good position to ensure Europa League qualification.
In Gameweek 32, the Blues’ result against Leicester will be critical, especially since the two teams directly ahead of Everton are playing each other. Crystal Palace host Burnley two days before and a draw between the two sides would suit the Toffees quite fine if they can beat the Foxes.
In Gameweek 33, Wolves host Arsenal two days before Everton’s trip to Spurs, and a win for Wolverhampton could be the death blow for embattled Mikel Arteta’s Gunners, especially if they fail to get all three points off bottom club Norwich City before that.
Where things will continue to remain murky is if the Blues are able to only pick up three or four points in the next two games, as they’ll remain right in the thick of the pack and needing to reel off a series of wins in their last five games to keep any hopes alive.
Needless to say, two points or less in the next two games would all but end any chances of accelerating Everton’s revival under Carlo Ancelotti, and affect the finances of the club which would be greatly improved with additional European revenue.
How many points will Everton get in the next two games (vs LEI, at TOT)
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