Europa League Here We Come?By: Brian | March 23rd, 2011
With 8 games remaining in a season that would be classified as disappointing by most Everton fans, the one question that remains is if Everton can qualify once more for Europe. Despite Everton’s recent rise up the table, any chance of making it to Europe has been complicated first by Birmingham’s victory in the Carling Cup, and also by the semifinal draw in the FA Cup that ensures the winner of the Stoke-Bolton match a place in Europe. This means that Everton has to finish 5th this season, displacing either Liverpool, Chelsea, or Tottenham, all of whom are hoping ideally for a Champions League berth, but one will have to settle for Europa League qualification, and the other a 6th place finish. Sure it is a tall task, almost certain to fail, but what else is the internet good for besides some mindless speculation.
Currently the Toffees sit in 8th place with 8 games to play this season. They are also 9 points behind fifth place Tottenham who have one game in hand on them, but would also have to pass Bolton and Liverpool who are tied on points with Everton and 5 points ahead respectively. It is certainly plausible for Everton to climb past both teams to 6th place, but overcoming Spurs will certainly be a bit more difficult.
Looking at Everton’s upcoming schedule, games against Aston Villa, Wolves, Blackburn, Wigan, and West Brom should all be wins by Everton, which would give the squad a nice 15 points to move towards Europe. Of course given the season that Everton has had this year, instead of 15 points the squad is more likely to get around 12 which isn’t to bad.
The other three games left include a visit to Old Trafford, and home games against Chelsea and Manchester City. One of the positives from this season has been how well the team has played against the top teams in the league, and with two of these games at home, it is easy to see Everton coming away with victories against City and Chelsea, and while it is extremely unlikely for Everton to get any points at Old Trafford, a draw could happen.
So in the end, Everton probably should get about 18 points out of the remaining 24, which should certainly be enough to move into 6th place. The real question will be how Spurs and Chelsea play over the remainder of the season, if btoh play well, then Everton’s chances of getting to Europe is highly unlikely, but if either team goes into a nosedive, there may be a chance for the Toffees to head to Europe. Of course this whole idea is based on the squad winning the games they are supposed to, and competing with the better teams in the league, so most likely the squad is going to finish 7th or 8th this season.
The team is off this weekend with the international break, but check in with us as we preview and review the various Blues who are on international duty. Until next time COYB!