EPL—Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 9:05 a.m. ET
Tottenham and Everton are currently duking it out for a spot in the top four this year, and the outcome of this game will be a seriously defining moment in that battle.
Spurs are currently third on 57 points, but Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton are all within two wins of that mark. Dropped points here would be a huge dint in Andre Villas-Boas' dreams of the Champions League, whilst a win would make them very tough to gun down over the final few weeks.
Everton have won three in a row, but have only four road wins to speak of this year. Moreover, in their 14 away games, they Toffees have netted just 19 goals. Contrast that to the Spurs, who have been sublime at home all year and have been an attacking force to be reckoned with—although there are two key questions here for the home side.
The first is how they'll fare should Gareth Bale be ruled out. The winger was stretchered off in the final minutes against Basel, and could be out for the weekend. If that's the case, Tottenham will be without one of their key players and it will no doubt impact them greatly.
The other question is as to what side they'll line up, with a return leg in Basel next weekend in the Europa League. Tottenham would love to win that competition, but you get the feeling that a top-four spot and chance to play in the Champions League this year is more important.
Expect Spurs to lineup their possible strongest squad here (albeit without Bale, perhaps) and for that squad to more than handle it's own against Everton.
The Toffees will press, and will likely be rewarded for their efforts, but nothing more than a consolidation goal which leaves this one all tied up.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1, Everton 1