Tottenham vs. Everton
Venue: Tottenham Stadium
Kick off: 3PM
Fresh from booking their spot in the Champions League final, Tottenham Hotspur will bring their 2018-19 Premier League campaign to a close at home to Everton this afternoon.
Tottenham looked down and out when Ajax took a 2-0 lead during the second leg of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final; it gave the Dutch outfit a 3-0 advantage on aggregate, and it did appear that Mauricio Pochettino’s side would be leaving the competition at the semi-final stage.
Lucas Moura had other ideas, though, and scored a second-half treble to send Spurs into the final, where they will meet Liverpool in what should be a mouthwatering affair.
The final is not actually until June 1, though, and the team’s immediate attention will be on their final Premier League match of the campaign.
As it stands, Spurs are fourth in the table – three points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, who have a worse goal difference by eight.
Only an incredible set of circumstances would see Pochettino’s team fail to secure a top-four finish on the final weekend, while they can still finish third with Chelsea just one point ahead.
Tottenham’s position in the table is even more incredible when considering that they have lost 13 of their 37 Premier League matches this season.
It is the highest number of defeats in the top seven, but 23 wins and just one draw have given them 70 points, which will ultimately be good enough for a top-four spot.
Having failed to buy a single player either last summer or in January, many thought that it would be a tough season for the capital outfit.
Losing Harry Kane to an ankle injury was also far from ideal, but Pochettino’s side have managed to negotiate a tough period.
It is certainly worth mentioning, though, that Spurs have lost three of their last four games in all competitions, and indeed three of their last four in the Premier League.
West Ham United and Bournemouth have beaten them in their last two top-flight affairs, but the teams below them have also struggled.
Indeed, the opportunity for either Arsenal or Manchester United to move into the top four has certainly been open, but both teams have had their problems at domestic level, meaning that Tottenham have been allowed to keep their spot in the Champions League positions despite a tough run of results.
It is shaping up to be a very interesting summer transfer window for Spurs, and they could well enter the 2019-20 campaign as Champions League holders.
First and foremost, though, finishing their domestic season with a strong performance and a win in front of their own supporters is very much on the agenda.
It has however been a strange season for Everton, but the Toffees will head to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this afternoon off the back of a fine run of form, which has seen them lose just one of their last seven in the Premier League.
A number of supporters were frustrated with Everton’s inconsistency in the first half of the campaign, while results were also not exactly brilliant in the early stages of 2019.
The team appears to have turned a corner in recent weeks, though, and they will be looking to pick up three more points this weekend.
Since losing 3-2 at Newcastle United on March 9, Everton have won five of their seven Premier League matches – that run of form has included victories over Chelsea, Arsenal and United, with their only defeat coming away to already-relegated Fulham on April 13.
Marco Silva’s side have not conceded in their last three Premier League matches, meanwhile, beating United and Burnley, in addition to picking up a point at Crystal Palace.
A total of 53 points has left them in eighth position in the Premier League table – two points ahead of ninth-placed Leicester City.
Everton cannot catch Wolverhampton Wanderers in seventh – which should be good enough for a Europa League spot – but eighth would be considered a decent season under the circumstances.
Tottenham possible XI: Lloris, Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies, Sissoko, Wanyama, Lamela, Alli, Lucas, Llorente.
Everton possible XI: Pickford, Coleman, Zouma, Keane, Digne, Gomes, Gueye, Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Calvert-Lewin.