Result against Arsenal crucial for Everton's top-four aspirations says David Moyes

The sides meet at the Emirates stadium tomorrow

Everton manager David Moyes accepts tomorrow's clash against Arsenal could be vital to their Champions League aspirations but does not believe defeat will necessarily bring an end their top-four dream.

The Toffees moved to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who have a match in hand, and four of the Gunners in third after beating QPR 2-0 at the weekend.

For that reason the meeting at the Emirates Stadium, where Everton have a woeful record, has been billed as make or break for the Merseysiders' top-four hopes.

But while Moyes knows it is a significant match he refuses to accept they will be knocked out of contention if they lose.

"It is a vital game now because games are running out," he said.

"I think if we have any small chances of making the Champions League we have to get something out of it and peg back Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.

"We are the big underdogs to get anywhere close to that but the way they have been playing keeps us hoping there is a real chance.

"There is a lot to lose because if we didn't win it the media would be the first to say we wouldn't make the Champions League.

"But from the other point of view we feel no matter what happens we are still in the fight for a European spot and for Everton to be saying that at this stage of the season is a positive thing.

"Maybe after Tuesday night you could be saying Everton won't make the top four but probably for the last three months people have been saying we won't make it.

"But we could lose to Arsenal, win all our remaining games and still make the Champions League depending on results.

"We still have to go there and think this one might have that rider on it but if we didn't we will still be trying to get a Europa League spot.

"Unfortunately it looks like it can only go to fifth this year so if we can't finish in the top four we will try to finish fifth instead.

"But it makes a change people asking me about finishing in the top four and maybe finishing in Europe.

"If you are a bookmaker you wouldn't be making Everton favourites to make the Champions League, they would be the underdogs and the big outsiders.

"I think it (the underdog tag) can help at times but you'd rather be favourites because people are realistically giving you the true position of where you are."

Everton have taken 13 points from their last five matches but history suggests a trip to the Emirates could burst their bubble.

Ever since the Gunners moved into their new north London home in 2006 they have been unbeaten against the Toffees.

Moyes' side have left with just two points from six visits but the manager insists there is a simple explanation for that record.

"Arsenal are a really good team with really good players, that is the reason for it," he added.

"They are a good side and always have been so we'll go there and try to pick a point up.

"We will go to Arsenal and try to win and get ourselves right in the mix.

"We have tended to do that this season but we've got a tough run-in and we could fade away and not having anything but at the moment we are in good shape."

Midfielder Darron Gibson, goalscorer on Saturday, is likely to require surgery on a thigh problem at the end of the campaign.

The 25-year-old missed nearly three months from September with the injury and he sat out almost all January and although he has returned to the starting line-up on a regular basis he is still hampered somewhat.

"He has got a bit of a problem at the top of his thigh which will probably require an operation at the end of the season," said Moyes.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
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

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform