By Sam Stone

31st Mar, 2023 | 11:10am

Chris Sutton shares surprise Everton claim amid tough Goodison Park scenario

Chris Sutton wouldn’t be surprised to see Everton embroiled in a relegation battle right up until their final fixture of the 2022/23 season against Bournemouth.

Sean Dyche’s side are currently 15th, just two points clear of the bottom three and face Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night (3 April).

The former Celtic striker has claimed Everton have the “toughest’ run in despite the improved performances under the 52-year-old.

“Of all the teams down there, Everton have the toughest run-in, starting with a Tottenham team who have a point to prove after Antonio Conte’s sacking,” said Sutton (Daily Mail, 30 March).

“I would be surprised if their race doesn’t go down to the last day at home to Bournemouth. There has been a boost under Sean Dyche. 

“He has improved their intensity and they are unbeaten in three, drawing with Chelsea and Nottingham Forest and beating Brentford.

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“But Dyche will not be getting ahead of himself. I bet his worryometer reading is higher than mine. 8/10.”

A game at a time

It’s vital the Toffees just take each game as it comes. They can’t be looking too far ahead. Sutton does allude to a tough fixture list, and to some extent, that is true. However, Dyche’s side have already gone to Chelsea and picked up a result, they face a Spurs side in disarray and then make the trip to a faltering Manchester United.

Everton have been massively improved under the former Burnley boss and if they can maintain their recent performance levels, they stand a chance of competing against almost everyone they come up against.

Furthermore, they must use Goodison Park to their advantage. The Toffees’ home produces a hostile atmosphere which can prove too much for visiting teams.

Monday’s fixture against Spurs is an intriguing affair. Antonio Conte has been relieved of his duties and it’s unclear how the players will react to his departure. A fast start is a must for Dyche’s men. An early goal could knock the stuffing out of a Spurs side which has been short of confidence in recent weeks.