Carlo Ancelotti believes the race to qualify for Europe will go down to the final day of the Premier League season, and he remains confident his Everton side will be in contention despite failing to win any of their last five encounters.
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The Toffees head into Friday’s match against Arsenal in eighth, three points ahead of the Gunners, and six behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand.
Everton have taken just three points from their last five Premier League matches to dilute hopes of Champions League qualification, but Ancelotti says his players are ready for the run-in.
“We’re still in contention and we’re going to be in contention until the last game,” the Everton boss vowed to Sky Sports. “The race will not be decided before. There are a lot of teams involved and a lot of matches still to be played. We still have to play against West Ham and we still must play Aston Villa twice.
“The Arsenal game is clearly important, but then West Ham are also playing against Chelsea and Liverpool has to play against Manchester United so it’s so, so complicated to give a count [points target]. For sure, we’re going to fight until the end.
“All the games are really vital. It’s important that we now have most of the squad available because in the last game, I had a lot of young players on the bench, and I didn’t really have the opportunity to make many substitutions.”
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The images of a smiling Dominic Calvert-Lewin in training could be just the boost the Toffees need after more than six weeks without a win, having had to field patched-up teams.