Ian Wright has had his say on how the battle to beat the drop in the Premier League is shaping up.
Ian Wright has delivered his verdict on Everton and the titanic battle to stay in the Premier League.
The Blues boosted their chances of beating the drop by twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 at big-spending Chelsea on Saturday.
The point stretched their unbeaten run to three matches and left them 15th in the standings going into the final international break of the campaign.
But not that Sean Dyche will be resting on his laurels. While the new Blues boss has overseen an improvement since taking over from the sacked Frank Lampard – taking 11 points from a possible 24 – his side are still very much embroiled in the relegation fight.
Everton are just two points above third-from-bottom West Ham United, who have played two matches fewer. Indeed, bar from basement boys Southampton, every side beneath the Blues have at least one game in hand.
However, Everton are also just one point away from 12th-placed Crystal Palace, who this week re-appointed the 75-year-old Roy Hodgson after sacking Patrick Vieira.
It means, going into the final stages of the season, there are nine teams in real danger of slipping into the Championship.
Match of the Day pundit Wright, though, feels the Blues will have enough to stay up.
Speaking after a dramatic weekend of action, which also Leeds United win 4-2 at fellow strugglers Wolves and Southampton battle back to draw 3-3 at home to Tottenham Hotspur, Wright told Premier League Productions: “I am really pleased for Leeds because Javi Garcia has definitely got the bounce. You can feel the fans. You can feel something with the players and how they celebrate together.
“You can always notice with the players when something happens because everybody comes to celebrate. Everybody is feeling it, so everyone is together. You feel that with Leeds. They feel together. They have their little bounce. It looks like they might save themselves. It’s tight.
“You have to look at the teams from Southampton, who are right at the bottom, to Palace. You have to look at the ones that are trending in the right direction. Southampton look like they have got the fight. I feel like Everton have got the fight. That’s what it comes down to.
“I look at Palace – they can’t feel sorry for themselves, for a minute, because teams are looking for those three points and teams are saying, ‘let’s play Palace right now’. They need to find something quickly. Wolves are up and down. You don’t know what (Julen) Lopetegui side you are going to get.”
Wright’s former club Palace are 12th with 27 points, level with Wolves in 13th. Then come Leeds, Everton and Nottingham Forest on 26, followed by Leicester City on 25. West Ham (24), Bournemouth (24) and Southampton (23) make up the bottom three.