Everton v Arsenal: We can wipe out taste of Arsenal FA Cup defeat by claiming Champions League place, says Tim Howard

Tim Howard and Everton face Arsenal knowing victory will put them on course to finish fourth

For Tim Howard, this Everton season is as exciting as it is unprecedented. If Everton win their last seven games they will be playing Champions League football next season. That would be a remarkable achievement – Roberto Martinez suggested it would be a “football miracle” – and the goalkeeper is relishing the prospect.

The most important match of Everton’s season, or that they have played for some time, is this Sunday, when they welcome Arsenal, currently fourth, to Goodison Park. If Everton win they will be a point behind them with superior goal difference and a game in hand.

“We are looking forward to it,” Howard said, and understandably so. “Football is crazy. Two weeks ago, we were thinking: ‘Can we catch Tottenham?’ Now we are asking ourselves if we can catch Arsenal.”

The last time Everton played Arsenal was in an FA Cup quarter-final at the Emirates, which Arsenal won 4-1. Subsequent results have suggested that was not a fair reflection of the difference between the sides and Howard would love to make amends this weekend.

“We still have a sour taste in our mouths from what happened at the Emirates,” he said. “We will try and put that right at home. I don’t think we showed well down there and not only do we want to get the right result, we want to put on a performance at home.”

Everton’s run-in is not easy but they have momentum and that can make the difference. Howard agreed that no opponent is beyond their reach and they are doing better than they often do at this stage, with a well-managed squad finding new ways of winning games. On Sunday, Roberto Martinez threw on Steven Naismith, Aiden McGeady and Kevin Mirallas. “It is incredible, Howard said. “We have been in situations over the last five years where a team brings on another red-hot player and you’re the ones thinking: ‘Holy Cow.’ But now, we have the ability to do that.”

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable