Everton have just three games left to play this season. It’ll be a hotly contested run of matches that will determine the level of European football they feature in next term.
They are, of course, not guaranteed continental status yet but it would be one box ticked off in Carlo Ancelotti’s aims for the club.
When he first arrived, the Italian revealed he wanted to bring Champions League football back to Goodison Park.
He may have admitted that’s now out of the question for this season at least, but a place in the Europa League is very much in their sights.
One player who will be key to their European hopes is James Rodriguez.
The Colombian hasn’t featured since being taken off late in the win over Arsenal at the beginning of the month.
James has since missed the next three games with a minor injury but he has trained this week and has now fully recovered.
Depending on his fitness, Ancelotti must bring him straight back into the starting XI on Sunday evening.
The Toffees face Sheffield United and if their wretched season tells us anything, it’s that Everton should score plenty.
Paul Heckingbottom’s men have conceded the third-highest number of goals in the top-flight this season and if the game was played on paper, they should have no answer to attacking threats like Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Speaking about the £90k-per-week earner earlier this term, Calvert-Lewin said: “I’d seen the great goals he’d scored and the big teams he’d played for. He’s a top, top player and for me, as a centre-forward, I knew chance-creation would be there and it would be down to me to put the ball in the back of the net.”
The striker continued: “I’m really enjoying playing with him. He’s a different level. He dictates games. He takes players out of games by taking touches. The way he manipulates the ball, he’s very hard to get it off – I don’t think I’ve seen him get tackled, even in training.”
Therefore, if Ancelotti gets the chance to unleash a player like that against a team already relegated, they could run riot.
James has slowed as the term has gone on but the former Real Madrid man has been involved in 15 goals across all competitions.
A magician on his day, it’s still incredibly hard to fathom how the Merseysiders landed him last summer.
The 29-year-old has been a wonderful addition to the Premier League; it’ll be a welcome sight to see him return from injury.