Heat is on Tottenham and Everton as they chase year-end ‘trophies’

As we enter the last third of the English Premier League season, Tottenham and Everton are out of the cups and battling to win their own ‘trophies’ – winning a spot in the Champions League and avoiding relegation.

Everton has spent over half a billion pounds under Farhad Moshiri but has come no nearer to ending a 28-year trophy drought.

Of all the teams in the EPL, Everton is the club which has stayed the longest in the top flight – 120 seasons out of a possible 124.

The last time it was in the second tier was in 1953-54, making it the club with the second-longest consecutive stay in the top flight.

Arsenal has spent the last 99 years in the top division, for a total of 106 seasons, putting it in fourth place of the record for most years in the top flight.

Other teams in the top 10 for years spent in the top division are Aston Villa (109 seasons), Liverpool (108), Manchester United (98), Manchester City (94), Newcastle (91), Tottenham and Chelsea (88) and Sunderland (86).

Everton is immensely proud of its top-flight record, but with only 22 points from 26 games, this could be the year it finally falls after several last-gasp escapes over the years.

The Toffees host Brentford tomorrow (11pm), with the Bees, determined to deliver a knockout punch.

Brentford is ninth in the standing with 38 points from 24 games, unbeaten in 12 EPL games this year, and has an outside chance of qualifying for Europe for the first time.

Tottenham, meanwhile, is fourth in the table with 45 points from 26 matches, three ahead of Liverpool, which has played a game less.

The Reds are buzzing after thrashing Manchester United 7-0 last week and play Bournemouth which they beat 9-0 early in the season.

The Bournemouth-Liverpool match is the early kickoff tomorrow (8.30pm), meaning a win for the Reds would put pressure on Spurs, which host Nottingham Forest at 11pm.

Tottenham has stumbled in recent weeks with two defeats from its last five outings and suffered a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Milan in the second round of the Champions League in midweek.

Its talisman, Son Heung-min – last season’s joint top scorer with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah – has lost his scoring touch this season with only five league goals. Last season he bagged 23.

The good news for Tottenham is that captain and star striker, Harry Kane, is still on fire, scoring 18 times, one more than he did last season.

Nottingham is 14th with 26 points from 25 games and only has one win from its last five matches.

It does not travel well, and that should give Tottenham an advantage.

FIXTURES (Malaysian time)
SATURDAY

Bournemouth vs Liverpool (8.30pm)
Leeds vs Brighton (11pm)
Everton vs Brentford (11pm)
Leicester vs Chelsea (11pm)
Tottenham vs Nottingham (11pm)

SUNDAY
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City (1.30am)
Manchester United vs Southampton (10pm)
West Ham vs Aston Villa (10pm)
Fulham vs Arsenal (10pm)

MONDAY
Newcastle vs Wolves (12.30am)

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