Everton FC News: TIM CAHILL admits Everton are bracing themselves for a barrage from Stoke City on Saturday as they attempt to keep their European dream alive.
David Moyes’s side visit the Britannia Stadium knowing that anything other than a win would scupper hopes of Europa League qualification.
Successive last-gasp victories against Blackburn Rovers and Fulham have kept Everton five points behind seventh-placed Liverpool with two games left.
With their neighbours not in action until Sunday, the Goodison outfit can increase the pressure with victory over Stoke 24 hours earlier.
And Cahill said: “It’s massive for us – we’re fighting for Europe and with another place up for grabs, I think it’s pivotal that we win. If we lose then we’re out the race for Europe.
“At this stage in my career, I think it’s really important that I keep playing in Europe at every opportunity and we have to start at Stoke.”
Everton won 3-2 last season but were held to a 1-1 draw by Tony Pulis’s men at Goodison earlier this season.
Stoke are still smarting from their 7-0 thrashing by Chelsea on Sunday and reports of a half-time dressing-room bust-up between Glenn Whelan and Abdoulaye Faye. But with former Goodison team-mate James Beattie in attack and the threat of Rory Delap’s long throws, Cahill admits Everton are in for a difficult afternoon.
“Stoke have obviously got the weapon of the long throw,” said the Australian. “They’re very physical as well and they’ve got a good manager. It will be nice to see Beats (James Beattie) again after his exit from Everton.
“It’s definitely going to be a very physical game – it’s going to be hard.
“Stoke are one of the most difficult teams to play against in the Premier League. They get the ball into the box at every chance and that throw-in, I suppose, makes it even worse. We’ve just dealt with Blackburn and now all over again with Stoke.”
Meanwhile, Everton target Joao Silva believes English football would be “perfect” for his style of play. The Goodison outfit are close to completing a deal for the 19-year-old youth international.