Everton return to action in the Premier League on Sunday with a blockbuster clash against local rivals Liverpool.
The Toffees were thumped 4-0 at Chelsea in their last outing and will be eager to produce an improved display against the champions-elect.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are currently 12th in the table, six points adrift of the top six with nine games to play, while Liverpool need just two wins to clinch their first-ever Premier League title.
Improvement needed after the restart
Everton couldn’t have asked for a tougher game to restart their season with, but it presents the perfect opportunity to produce something special.
Things appeared to be improving under Ancelotti at the start of the year, but a run of three games without a win halted the team’s progress.
However, the opportunity to put a temporary halt to Liverpool’s relentless march to the title would be a nice platform to build from for the rest of the season.
Everton still have a chance of qualifying for Europe if they can string a run of results together and there would be no better place for that to begin than in the Merseyside derby.
Gomes boost for Everton
Fans planning on watching the game via live streaming services will be delighted to hear that Andre Gomes is in contention to play this weekend.
The midfielder missed nearly three months of the campaign after breaking his ankle back in November, but returned to action just before play was suspended.
Ancelotti has confirmed that Gomes has been training with the first-team ahead of the Liverpool game and is fit to start if selected.
Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph may also return to the squad, but Theo Walcott is around three weeks away from returning to training.
Liverpool keen to avoid any slip-ups
With a 25-point lead over Manchester City it would be major surprise if Liverpool failed to go on and win this season’s title.
They have undoubtedly been the best team in the league this term, although their cause has been helped by City failing to reach their usual high standards.
The Reds haven’t been beaten by Everton in any competition since 2010 and will fancy their chances of picking up three points at Goodison Park.
However, they have been held to goalless draws on their last two trips across the city and another tight encounter could be on the cards this weekend.
Don’t rule out Europe just yet
Regardless of the result on Sunday, the Toffees still have time to force their way into contention for a top six place this season.
Of their other eight remaining fixtures, three are against the current bottom three teams – Norwich City (A), Aston Villa (H) and Bournemouth (H).
Southampton and Leicester City also have to visit Goodison Park, while Everton’s other three games on the road are against teams chasing a European spot.
Although it will be tough for Everton to close the gap on the teams above them, the fixture list does give them every chance of achieving the feat.
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