Relegation threatened Everton welcome Chelsea to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon in what is set to be a vital game for the club, as they bid to beat the drop.
The pressure is seriously cranking up on the Toffees now after two late Burnley goals away at Watford yesterday gave the Clarets a 2-1 victory, and simultaneously turned the relegation fight on its head.
With Norwich mathematically being confirmed as relegated and Watford all but there themselves, Everton occupy the final place up for grabs in the drop zone.
Burnley’s remarkable third straight victory means they move level on points with Leeds, five points clear of the Merseyside club, although having played two games more.
Significantly, Everton’s destiny still lies in their hands but a five point deficit is a mountain to climb for Frank Lampard’s men if current form is anything to go by – and should they fail to beat Chelsea today they lose all control when it comes to their future.
Reported attempts to disturb Chelsea
Needless to say, fans are going into full scale panic mode and will do anything to get a result.
According to the Daily Mail, the antics began in the early hours of this morning as efforts were made to thwart the Blues’ preparation for the encounter at Goodison Park.
A video has gone viral on Twitter of fireworks being set off outside the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool, at around 2am this morning.
The blasts then continued throughout the night in an attempt to disturb the Chelsea players ahead of the immensely important match.
Desperate times for Everton
Supporters are also planning a march of support along Goodison Road prior to the game in an attempt to give the players an extra boost as they arrive at the stadium.
And if there’s one thing the Toffees can cling to currently it’s their home form, having taken seven points from the last nine available on familiar territory.
Unfortunately for them, though, it will be no easy feat to get the better of Thomas Tuchel’s men. The Blues boast a mighty away record having romped to eight successive victories before drawing 1-1 to Manchester United last time out.
It will also be the first time Lampard has come up against his former club since being sacked at Stamford Bridge – not that there will be much time for that to enter his head given the enormity of this fixture.
If Everton were to go down, it would be the first time since 1954 they haven’t occupied a place in the top division of English football.