Premier League: Everton, West Ham square off in tight battle for European football

Everton and West Ham United will face off in a Premier League match that could dictate their chances of playing continental football next season.

Everton take on West Ham in a key Premier League match. (Image: Twitter/@Everton)
By Shayne Dias | May 8, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The Premier League title is all but decided, but the battle for European qualification remains tight. Everton and West Ham United, two teams in the thick of things in the top half of the table, prepare to face off against one another on Sunday in a bid to solidify their chances of playing continental football next season. West Ham currently sit fifth in the Premier League table and are guaranteed a Europa League spot. Everton, on the other hand, are eighth and need a sixth or seventh place finish to even get into the Europa Conference League. Yet that would be some degree of progress under Carlo Ancelotti.

For West Ham and David Moyes, even a Europa League finish would be excellent. This was a team many expected to be in the bottom half of the table. Yet Moyes has worked wonders – both in terms of recruitment and management.

It says a lot that, should West Ham finish outside the top 4, it will be a slight disappointment. They were up there before a 1-0 loss to Chelsea stalled their momentum.

Now they trail Chelsea – who occupy fourth position – by three points. Yet the Blues have a hard run-in of fixtures coming up. They have to face Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester City and Aston Villa. That’s leaving out two cup finals – the FA Cup and the Champions League.

West Ham will be well aware that their London rivals can slip up. And a win against Everton will only add to the pressure on Thomas Tuchel’s men.

What next for Everton?

For their part, Everton will hope to end the season on a strong note. A busy summer in the transfer market raised hopes of a Top 4 finish this season.

Yet they have lacked the consistency to challenge the league’s top teams. That being said, even a run in the Europa League will be a sign of progress for the Toffees.

There’s also the prospect of finishing the season in a higher league position than local rivals and defending champions Liverpool.

There’s no denying the fact that Everton are a better side than they were even two seasons ago. But results in big games will define Ancelotti’s reign. And a win against an on-the-up West Ham would be a good start.

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