Top Four Hopes on the Line for Spurs and Everton

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Everton and Tottenham's battle to remain relevant in the top four race kicks off a truncated weekend of Premier League action.

Digne and Moura battle for the ball in Everton's 1-0 win over Tottenham in September.

One of Tottenham or Everton’s hopes for a top four finish could be extinguished on Friday when they square off at Goodison Park in the Premier League.

Spurs are seventh, a point and a place ahead of the Toffees, who have played a game less, and both sides know realistically a win is vital if they are to challenge those above them in the table for fourth place.

Cup Repeat Unlikely

These two played out a thrilling FA Cup fifth round tie in February, when Everton won 5-4 in extra-time, but this encounter is highly unlikely to be a repeat of that goal-fest and a tight, cagey clash could play out.

The Blues have been hugely disappointing at home in 2021, losing to West Ham, Newcastle, Fulham, Manchester City and Burnley, while they were held to a draw by Crystal Palace in their most recent Goodison outing, when conceding a late equaliser.

Evenly-Matched Teams on Show

Everton’s poor home run means Tottenham have been installed as favourites at 23/20 to win but Mourinho’s side don’t exactly come into the game full of confidence after a 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United on Sunday. A draw at 5/2 between two evenly-matches teams might be the best bet, while under 2.5 goals at 20/21 also appeals.

There are just two Premier League games on Saturday with Newcastle’s home clash with top-four chasing West Ham the early kick-off at 12:30.

High-Flying Hammers Continue to Impress

The Hammers have continued to exceed expectations under David Moyes and made it two 3-2 wins on the spin last Sunday when they saw off third-placed Leicester at the London Stadium. That result moved them back into the Champions League places and they are starting to believe a place amongst Europe’s elite is within reach.

Jesse Lingard’s superb form since joining on loan from Manchester United goes on as he scored two more against the Foxes to take his tally for the Hammers to eight in nine games, while he also has four assists to underline just how valuable he has been since making the move south in January.

West Ham United’s Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at the London Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday April 11, 2021.

Even without the injured Michail Antonio and Declan Rice, Moyes’ men look well capable at 11/10 of securing another important win at St James’ Park, although they must improve defensively after conceding two second-half goals against both Wolves and Leicester to make nervy endings after earlier being in control at 3-0 up.

The Magpies are just one place above the relegation zone but are now six points clear of Fulham beneath them after a much-needed 2-1 win at Burnley last weekend. They were transformed when Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson came off the bench at Turf Moor with Saint-Maximin scoring one and creating the other so the visitors must be wary of the Frenchman.

Blades’ Woe Ongoing

The evening game on Saturday sees mid-table Wolves host Sheffield United, who are on the verge of having their relegation to the Championship confirmed.

Wolves’ season could well peter out as they have little chance of mounting a late push for Europe and are well clear of the dropzone.

The Blades have known for several weeks now their fate is sealed and they are likely to suffer a fifth straight league defeat at Molineux. Three of those last four Sheffield United losses have been to nil and another defeat without Paul Heckingbottom’s men scoring at 5/4 looks like the way to go.

*All odds correct at time of writing

A sports journalist for over 15 years, Aidan has been part of written and audio coverage on a wide-ranging number of events. Having played and coached at amateur level, he offers in-depth insight and opinion into the world of football in particular.

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